ADRIAN, Mich. — A late goal by Ryan Gieseler allowed the No. 6 Adrian Bulldogs to squeak out a tie Friday night against the No. 14 Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders in a battle of the MCHA’s elite. The Raiders led three times throughout the course of the game, but ultimately left with a 3-3 tie and stayed four points behind Adrian in the MCHA standings.
“We’re never happy with a tie,” said Bulldogs coach Ron Fogarty. “If you’re happy with a tie you shouldn’t be competing.” Raiders coach Mark Ostipina echoed the same sentiment and frustration with the tie.
The Raiders got the scoring started at the 9:05 mark of the first period when Josh Keizer beat Scott Shackell to put MSOE up 1-0.
Adrian answered back just under six minutes later as Justin Basso took a shot from linemate Duston Hebebrand and beat Connor Toomey to the five-hole.
Both teams battled back and forth playing a very quick and physical period; however no more goals were scored.
“Physicality is a focal point of our game, always has been,” said Ostipina about the physicality of the game.
In the second period, MSOE again struck first, regaining the lead at the 6:40 mark of the period. Junior Jordan Keizer kept the MSOE scoring in the family, not to be outdone by his younger brother, as he beat Shackell from the high slot.
The ever potent Adrian power play struck just over two minutes later to even the score at two. Ryan Lowe scored his first goal as a Bulldog when his pass to Jordan Watts bounced back to him and he slipped it past Toomey.
Adrian tried to gain momentum from Lowe’s goal; however a slew of penalties in the period limited the chances and started to swing things back the Raiders way.
“Too many of our top players took too many penalties tonight; we need to be more disciplined,” Fogarty said.
As the third period started, the Raiders squashed any momentum Adrian could have hoped to carry over from a strong end to the second as Brad Tierney scored just 32 seconds into the period to give MSOE a 3-2 lead.
Tierney’s goal looked to be the difference-maker, as the Raiders led most of the period; however, the Bulldogs and Ryan Gieseler had other ideas. Gieseler played spoiler and hero with his second goal of the year as he scored with just 15.5 seconds remaining in the period to tie the game again.
“We had opportunities as the game wound down but we blew them,” Ostipina said as he reflected back on the last few minutes of regulation.
Both teams picked up a point in the MCHA standings and their first in conference tie of the season.
Neither coach seemed to be very happy with the outcome, but knew they needed to put Friday behind them heading into tomorrow.
“We will just have to watch the tape and make little tweaks, most likely to our forecheck and defensive structure,” said Fogarty when asked about possible changes from game one to game two.
The Bulldogs and Raiders will face off again tomorrow at 3 p.m., as both teams battle for the No. 1 seed in the MCHA and regular season championship.