BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — The Ferris State Bulldogs used early goals to open and close the first contest of a two game home stand against the Robert Morris Colonials.
Casey Haines got to his own rebound and used a nifty deke to his backhand to beat Colonials goalie Brooks Ostergard and give the Bulldogs an exciting 5-4 overtime victory.
The rebound was right there, said Haines. I made a quick little move and the goalie fell for it.
The goal at the 32 second mark of overtime capped a back and forth night at Ewigleben Ice Arena. The Colonials fought back from a two goal deficit in the third period to send the game into overtime.
We showed a tremendous amount of character coming back, but we have to tighten up our mistakes said Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley.
Early Bulldog pressure led to Blair Riley scoring on the game’s first shot 37 seconds into the first period. Riley got the puck in the high slot after Haines lost control of it and took a shot that found the twine as he was turning around.
Robert Morris tied the game up after an Aaron Lewicki penalty nullified a Ferris State man advantage and brought the ensuing face off to the Bulldog’s zone. The Colonials won that face-off and Denny Urban took a slap shot that left Ferris State goalie Taylor Nelson scrambling to cover up his rebound. Chris Kushneriuk beat him to it and put the puck into the net.
The Colonials took their only lead of the game just over a minute later on the power play from Lewicki’s penalty. Ron Cramer and Cody Crichton came in on a 2-on-1 and Crichton barely beat Nelson to the short side.
The Bulldogs answered back with three straight goals in the second and third periods to take control of the game. Riley tallied his second of the night when senior captain Cody Chupp had a shorthanded breakaway. Chupp was slowed by Colonial defenders but held control of the puck until Riley could get it. Riley didn’t waste his chance and put the puck into the top shelf.
Ferris State, then, took the lead on a Lewicki power-play goal midway through the second frame. Senior defenseman Matt Case made a perfect pass from behind the net to Lewicki and Lewicki easily found the goal after being left alone in the slot.
We’ve got to stay out of the penalty box, said Schooley. Both teams gave up a lot of penalties tonight.
The Bulldog power play struck again early in the third period when Haines took advantage of a rebound from a Zach Redmond shot. However, the closing minutes of regulation time belonged to the Colonials.
Furman South cut the Bulldog lead to one by cutting to the net and lifting a backhand shot over Nelson’s shoulder midway through the period.
Robert Morris tied the game with a shorthanded goal of their own with four minutes to play in regulation. Kushneriuk was facing four Bulldog defenders and looked to put the puck on net but it deflected off a Bulldog stick and past Nelson.
It was the first time in the young season that the Bulldogs gave up more than one goal.
I’m pleased with our effort but we need to be smarter, said Schooley. We’ve given up 12 goals in three games and you can’t do that. We have to tighten up defensively and be better on the little things that cost us tonight.
Daniels felt his team played great inside the Robert Morris zone but was not pleased with the play on the other two thirds of the ice.
I’m disappointed we gave up four goals, said Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels. We were very lackluster on defense tonight.
Ferris State went 2-5 with the man advantage while the Colonials were 1-7. The Bulldogs also held a 47-28 shots on goal advantage.