BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Ferris State, thanks to three second period goals, completed a weekend sweep of Robert Morris.
A slow start to the game turned into an onslaught of chances for the Bulldogs in the second period. They put 23 shots on goal in the frame and connected on three of them.
The difference in the game was the second period, said Robert Morris head coach Derek Schooley. It was an even game except for that.
After seeing the puck enter the net once only to have the goal waved off because the play was called dead, the Bulldogs stepped up the pressure and were rewarded when Todd Pococke fired home a cross ice pass from Matt Case.
However, the Colonials came roaring back and scored their only goal of the game 23 seconds later. After winning the face off following Pococke’s goal, a Ferris State defensive breakdown led to a 3-on-1 for Robert Morris. Zach Hervato made a clean pass to Scott Kobialko who slid the buck behind a sliding Pat Nagle.
The tie game was short-lived. The Bulldogs refused to give up the momentum and Justin Menke netted the game winner just over a minute later at the 9:57 mark of the second. Robert Morris freshman goaltender Eric Levine poke checked the puck away from the Bulldogs Derek Graham only to have it wind up on the stick of Menke who was alone in the left circle. Menke lifted the puck over Levine’s left should for his first goal of the young season.
Ferris State ended their second period offensive eruption at the 12:32 mark with a goal from freshman forward Matt Kirzinger. After breaking out of the Bulldog zone, Graham passed the puck to Kirzinger who went straight to the net with it and made no mistakes in putting a backhand shot past Levine.
Both teams missed their share of chances in the third period. Cody Crichton and Trevor Lewis had a Colonials’ 2-on-1 get broken up with solid defense from the Bulldogs with 12 minutes play in the game. Then, a few minutes later, Lewis deflected a shot from Dave Cowan wide of the net. One of the Bulldogs best scoring opportunities in the frame came with six minutes left when Cody Chupp hit the crossbar.
Aaron Lewicki ended the game’s scoring on an empty-net goal with 22 seconds left in regulation.
The Bulldogs dominated the game and outshot Robert Morris 52-19.
They funnel pucks to the net, said Schooley. It’s tough when the puck is coming from everywhere.
Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels was extremely pleased with how his team played both offensively and defensively.
I thought we got a lot of pucks to the net tonight, said Daniels. We went to the net hard. We potentially drew a lot of penalties.
While the Bulldogs were able to create power play opportunities by going to the net, neither team was able to capitalize with the man advantage. Ferris State was 0-4, while Robert Morris was 0-5 on the power play.
The Colonials play a final non-conference series with the Quinnipiac Bobcats next weekend while the Bulldogs will open CCHA conference play with series on the road against the Alaska Nanooks.
We feel really good about how we’re playing right now, said Ferris State forward Aaron Lewicki. I think if we just keep playing the way we are, we’ll be good in conference play.