BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Sometimes you wind up on the right part of the score sheet and sometimes you don’t.
In the tie between the Ferris State Bulldogs and the Alaska Nanooks, Ferris State freshman Justin Buzzeo and Dom Panetta found themselves on the score sheet in very different areas – Buzzeo for notching his first career goal and Panetta for taking a pair of penalties, one of which led to a power-play goal for the Nanooks.
“We can’t afford that,” said Ferris State coach Bob Daniels of Panetta’s play. “We don’t do that. You can’t just hand them a power play.”
The Nanooks scored to take a 3-2 lead on the ensuing power play with a rebound goal by junior Jarret Granberg.
“The power play was an area of emphasis for us going into the second half,” said Alaska coach Dallas Ferguson. “We don’t score a lot of goals and certainly feel like we have to execute when we’re on the power play.”
Meanwhile, Buzzeo was busy netting his first career goal. With Panetta taking a shift off following his penalties, defenseman Derek Graham found himself playing forward, a position he played for his first two years of college hockey. Graham worked the puck out of the corner before hitting Buzzeo with a great pass at the top of the slot. The freshman took the pass and snapped a shot high over Scott Greenham.
“I think this is the start of something impressive for him [Buzzeo],” said Daniels. “I see him scoring quite a bit in the future.”
Also getting in on the freshman act was Alaska’s Nolan Youngmun, who scored what may be the easiest goal of his career off a miscommunication between Ferris State goalie Taylor Nelson and the Ferris State defense. As Nelson attempted to clear the puck, a Ferris State defenseman attempted to play it and the puck wound up in the Bulldog goal with Youngmun getting credit for the play.
“We weren’t as tight as we could have been defensively,” said Daniels. “There was the miscommunication with Taylor on the turnover behind the net and the poor penalty to give them their first power play that they scored on.”
Away from the freshman was a game that saw Alaska take a lead three times before Ferris State scored two consecutive goals to take a lead before Alaska tied up the game with another power-play goal to send the contest to overtime.
Despite chances by both teams in the extra timeframe, the game went to a shootout to decide who would get the extra point in the CCHA standings.
The first four shooters missed before Alaska’s Adam Henderson scored the shootout’s only goal with a backhand shot that beat Nelson’s glove.
Ferris State (13-8-2, 7-6-2-0 CCHA) and Alaska (7-10-4, 4-9-4-1 CCHA) will conclude their season series tomorrow night.