BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Another big night from Ferris State’s power play unit helped the Bulldogs earn their first weekend sweep of Michigan State since 1990 with a 4-3 win Saturday night.
“It’s big for the school, big for the community to bring in a Big 10 team and sweep them,” said FSU forward Derek Graham. “The crowd was rocking there at the end. That was the loudest I’ve ever heard this building.”
The No. 10 Bulldogs posted two power-play goals in nine chances in their victory over the No. 16 Spartans.
“You go through streaks,” said Ferris State coach Bob Daniels. “Everything starts to click and your confidence grows.”
Michigan State looked to be in control of the game early when it opened the scoring just four minutes into the contest. Mike Merrifield was thinking shot the whole way with a two-on-one opportunity and made no mistake in burying a wrist shot behind Taylor Nelson.
Ferris State came back just two minutes later with its first power-play goal of the night after a failed clearing attempt by the Michigan State defense. Jason Binkley and Kyle Bonis worked the puck down low to Graham for the tying goal.
“Bonis made a pass to me for the goal and Travis Ouellette was in front of their net causing havoc,” said Graham.
The goal, along with an assist on the game-winning goal extended Graham’s point streak to six games.
Then, late in the period, Ferris State took the lead with a goal by Cory Kane on a shot that hit the post and then ricocheted off Spartan netminder Drew Palmisano and into the goal.
A deflection by Jordie Johnston gave Ferris State a two-goal lead with 17 minutes to play in the second period.
However, Michigan State wasn’t done yet.
The Spartans tied the game in the waning minutes of the frame on goals by Brent Darnell and Greg Wolfe.
“We were pretty down after surrendering that 3-1 lead,” said Daniels.
Ouellette netted the game-winning goal early in the third period with a shot that Palmisano had no chance of saving following a quick pass from Graham.
With the crowd back in the game, the Bulldogs held on to preserve the victory despite great opportunities for Michigan State down the stretch, including a redirection attempt by Lee Reimer in the contest’s final moments.
“There’s a reason they haven’t hardly lost in this building,” said Michigan State coach Tom Anastos. “I thought tonight’s overall effort was better than last night’s. We made some critical mistakes that you can’t make in a game, especially on the road, and we couldn’t overcome them.”
Next week, Ferris State (17-8-3, 11-6-3-1 CCHA) makes the trip to Marquette for a two-game CCHA series with Northern Michigan, while Michigan State (13-11-4, 8-9-3-2 CCHA) heads to Columbus, Ohio, for a two-game series with Ohio State.