BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Ferris State made a strong statement in the first half of a battle for second place in the CCHA with a 4-1 win over Michigan State Friday night.
Second-period goals from Aaron Lewicki, Mike Fillinger and Kyle Bonis paved the way for the Bulldogs’ victory
“Ferris was real good,” said Michigan State coach Rick Comley. “It looked like we really struggled getting comfortable. It’s a tough, tough environment. Not just the crowd; you feel like you’re in a closet.”
Ferris State carried play through the first two periods while Michigan State took command in the third.
In the first, Ferris State outshot the Spartans 7-2, with Michigan State not registering a shot on goal until after the 13-minute mark of the frame. However, sophomore goalie Drew Palmisano kept Ferris State off the scoreboard.
Seven minutes into the second period, Lewicki lit the lamp for Ferris State’s first goal of the night. Palmisano left a rebound lying just outside the crease. Justin Menke got to the puck first, but Palmisano made a great glove save before Lewicki lifted the second rebound over the sprawling netminder.
With nine minutes to play in the second, Palmisano left another rebound lying in the crease that Fillinger buried as Palmisano tried to locate it.
Seconds later, Ferris State goalie Pat Nagle made a huge pad save on a one-timer attempt from Kevin Walrod at point-blank range.
With four minutes to play in the second period, Bonis made it a three-goal game with a backhand shot off a pass from Derek Graham during a Ferris State two-on-one.
“We played really well for the first period and a half,” said Ferris State coach Bob Daniels “We got really loose in the third and left Nagle out to dry in the third period too much.”
Michigan State scored three minutes into the third period to cut the Ferris State lead to two. Derek Grant deflected a shot by Torey Krug for a power-play goal.
Michigan State skated with much more energy after the goal and outshot Ferris State 15-5 in the period.
“I thought Pat stood tall, but I would have liked a better response,” said Daniels.
While Michigan State had the energy in the period, Justin Menke’s goal with six minutes remaining in the game killed any chance of a comeback. With Nick Sucharski in the penalty box for cross-checking, Menke deflected a perfect pass from Lewicki over Palmisano’s shoulder.
While he felt his team was outworked, Comley was optimistic about tomorrow night’s series finale.
“This game won’t affect tomorrow; you have to come out and play,” said Comley.
The two teams will conclude their season series tomorrow night at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing with a 5:05 start time.