BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Three second period goals extended the Ferris State Bulldogs home winning streak to 10 games.
Two goals came with the man advantage and Taylor Nelson was once again strong in net in the Bulldogs 3-1 win over Nebraska-Omaha (7-6-3, 4-6-2-1 CCHA).
“I think Ferris is a really good hockey team; they’re balanced, they’ve got mobile defensemen and obviously their goaltending played well over the weekend,” said the Mavericks’ coach Dean Blais.
The Mavericks came out ready to play in the first period, but the only good scoring chance in the back-and-forth frame went to Ferris State (11-3-2, 6-2-2-2 CCHA). Chad Billins and Todd Pococke had a two-on-none chance with eight minutes to play in the period. Pococke kept the puck and Mavericks’ goalie John Faulkner got a glove on the shot to deflect it over the net.
The Bulldogs lit the lamp first five minutes into the second period on a Jordie Johnston goal. Johnston was the second Bulldog to keep the puck on an odd-man rush, but this time the shot slipped past Faulkner’s glove.
Ferris State added to their lead just over three minutes later with a power-play goal from Brett Wysopal. Faulkner never had a chance, as Wysopal’s slap shot from the left point found the top shelf.
“What a big addition he was,” said Bulldogs’ coach Bob Daniels. “We only lost one defenseman from last year and that was Evan Case, but to replace him, we got a player who has already played a year of college hockey, Last year, four of our defensemen were freshman. This year none of them are. That year of experience makes a lot of difference.”
Bulldogs’ captain Cody Chupp tallied the last goal with a one-timer off a pass from Wysopal.
The Mavericks finally solved Nelson with five minutes left in the second period. Nick Fanto found himself alone in the right circle and he buried a shot on the short side to end Nelson’s bid for a second straight shut-out.
Fanto’s goal ended the game’s scoring, as a chippy third period didn’t lend itself to many scoring chances. The third period saw very little even strength hockey, as the two teams combined for thirteen penalties.
“I thought our discipline was equally bad with the refereeing.” said Blais. “You let things go, you let them go both ways. We lost our discipline.”
Next week the Bulldogs have a home-and-home series with the Western Michigan University Broncos. They will travel to Kalamazoo on Friday night before coming home to Ewigleben Ice Arena, where they are 10-0-0 this year on Saturday night. Nebraska-Omaha will be making the long trek to Alaska for a two-game set with the Nanooks.