BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Four players put together multi-point nights to propel the Ferris State Bulldogs to a 3-1 win and one game lead in their CCHA quarterfinal series with the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.
Mike Embach had two goals with Aaron Lewicki adding the Bulldogs third goal and an assist and Brett Wysopal and Justin Menke both had two assists on the night.
An early 5-on-3 power play for the Mavericks set the tone for the night when they failed to convert despite multiple chances.
You got the 5-on-3 and you hit the pipe and you have three other great opportunities and you miss the net, it’s the story of the game, said Nebraska head coach Dean Blais. It set the tone of the game. They get two power-play goals and we don’t get one.
Ferris State weathered the early storm from the Mavericks and slowly started to change the momentum of the game, eventually outshooting Nebraska 12-9 in the frame.
Embach netted his first goal of the night seven minutes into the second period. Lewicki and Wysopal teamed up to force a turnover before poking the puck to a streaking Embach who skated in on Jeremie Dupont all alone. Embach’s quick wrist shot beat Dupont high on the glove side.
With five minutes left in the second period, Lewicki put up Ferris State’s first power-play goal just three seconds into the attempt. With Alex Hudson in the penalty box for hooking, Menke won the ensuing faceoff cleanly and Lewicki buried the one-timer attempt.
Missed attempts for the Mavericks abounded in the second frame. Hudson and John Kemp missed on a 2-on-1 when Hudson fanned on a pass from Kemp. While, senior captain Mark Bernier was robbed by Pat Nagle when the Mavericks attempted a back door pass to him late in the period.
We have to execute on those plays, said Blais. Anytime you get an odd man situation, you have to execute.
Ferris State added one more goal midway through the third period. Quick passes from the Ferris State power play unit left Embach free to tap a pass from Menke home for his second goal of the night.
Their penalty kill did a pretty good job, said Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels. We were fortunate to capitalize on the couple of chances we did have.
Nebraska finally got on the scoreboard with just over a minute left. Kemp jumped on a rebound and pushed it past Nagle to end the shutout try.
With the win, Ferris State is now 11-0 in home playoff games. Nebraska (20-15-6) and Ferris State (20-11-6) will play game two of their CCHA quarterfinal Saturday at 7:05.