BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Multi-point performances from three players lifted the No. 8 Ferris State Bulldogs to a 5-1 win over the 11th-ranked Lake Superior State Lakers on Friday night.
The Lakers opened the scoring 5:33 into the game and that was all the offense LSSU would generate.
Nick McParland jumped on a rebound that didn’t quite make it into the corner and slid a shot past Taylor Nelson to put the Lakers up 1-0.
“We had a really good first period and we didn’t maintain it,” said Lake Superior State coach Jim Roque. “If you want to win on the road, you can’t play 20 [minutes] and then take 20 [minutes] off. I don’t care where you’re at.”
Nelson went on to post 32 saves in the win.
“We have an unbelievable comfort level with Nelly [Nelson] and CJ [Motte],” said Ferris State forward Kyle Bonis. “We’ve been really fortunate to have great goaltending all three years I’ve been here.”
Ferris State had numerous chances in the first period including multiple 2-on-1 rushes, but could not find a way to get a puck past Lakers’ goalie Kevin Kapalka.
That scenario changed in the second period when Brett Wysopal fired a puck past Kapalka, who was screened by Matthew Kirzinger. Unfortunately for Wysopal and the Bulldogs, officials ruled that Kirzinger was in the crease and disallowed the goal.
Despite the outcome, that play brought renewed energy to the Ferris State bench.
Cory Kane then evened the game at one just over a minute later by sliding the puck under Kapalka with a great second effort following a pass from Bonis.
Jordie Johnston then put the Bulldogs up for good with a short-handed tally. Johnston picked off a cross-ice pass and went coast-to-coast before burying a shot behind Kapalka.
“The short-handed goal was huge,” said Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels. “If you have to pick one turning point in the game, that was it.”
Ferris State ended their second period onslaught with a wraparound goal by Travis Ouellette. Ouellette tried to keep the puck on a 2-on-1 with Nate Milam by deking into the slot, but the move left him off-balance and his shot went wide. Ouellette picked up his own rebound behind the net and finished the play with a goal.
“We played a pretty sloppy first period,” Wysopal said. “But I thought we showed a lot of character by coming back and scoring three goals in the second.”
In the third period, Ferris State began to hold back and work to capitalize on Lake Superior’s mistakes as the Lakers worked to overcome a two-goal deficit.
The strategy paid off with two goals.
The first came midway through the frame when Scott Czarnowczan buried a one-timer off a perfect pass from Bonis. Then Bonis ended the night’s scoring three minutes later by burying a rebound from an Aaron Schmit wraparound attempt.
Prior to tonight’s contest, the Lakers held a 5-0 record when scoring first.
The Lakers and Bulldogs will conclude their season series tomorrow night.