BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Sometimes a little bit of momentum is all it takes.
Following a three-game losing streak, Ferris State needed a sweep of Colgate to keep its season on track and the Bulldogs got that with a 3-1 win on the strength of goals in the first minute of both the second and third periods Saturday night.
“Yesterday, we had momentum through the game and definitely coming out and getting those two goals helped us a ton,” said Ferris State forward Garrett Thompson. “Bringing that energy to the game early like that early when we scored our first goal gives us jump and gets us into the game more.”
Ferris State took a 3-1 lead on a shorthanded goal just 21 seconds into the third period and hope to use a sweep over the ninth-ranked Raiders as a springboard for the rest of the season.
Travis Ouellette pounced on a bad pass that was juggled by freshman Spiro Goulakos and headed up ice. However, Goulakos didn’t give up on the play and hauled Ouellete down from behind. Ouellette kept his wits about him as he went to his knees and made a heads-up pass to Thompson, who deked around Eric Mihalik for the goal.
“Their third goal really deflated us,” said Colgate coach Don Vaughn. “But you can’t allow that to happen and that’s something we’ve talked a lot about.”
Ferris State’s first goal came 54 seconds into the second period when Ouellette tapped home a Jordie Johnston shot that ricocheted off the boards behind the Colgate net and onto his stick.
“We’ve been very good [and] we’ve scored 20 goals this year, I think, in either the first two minutes or the last two minutes of a period, and then tonight we give up two big ones in the same timeframe,” continued Vaughn.
The Raiders came back with a goal of their own by Hobey Baker candidate Austin Smith. Quick passes by Mihalik and forward Chris Wagner put Smith behind the Ferris State defense where he almost waited too long before lifting a backhanded shot over Taylor Nelson’s blocker to tie the contest at one.
Matt Kirzinger netted the game-winner for the Bulldogs midway through the second period with a hard shot that Mihalik didn’t get enough of as the puck trickled into the net behind him.
“I have to give Kirzinger credit on that one,” said Thompson. “After Simon [Denis] made a nice play off the glass, I was coming in and looking backdoor to Jordie and their ‘D’ did a good job of taking that pass away. I heard Kirzinger tapping his stick, letting me know he was open, so I just tried to put the pass on his stick.”
Ferris State (13-8-1, 7-6-2 CCHA) returns to action next Friday to start a two-game CCHA series with Alaska in Big Rapids. Colgate (12-7-2, 6-2-0 ECAC) will continue their road trip with contests against Princeton and Quinnipiac.