College Hockey:
Motte ‘worth his weight in gold’ in Ferris State’s win over Alaska

— For the second consecutive the game, Ferris State overcame a two-goal deficit.

This time it was en route to a 6-3 win over Alaska.

Alaska jumped out to a two-goal lead with tallies from Kaare Odegard and Colton Beck with Beck’s tally coming on the power play against a penalty kill unit that has been among the top in the nation the past few years.

“I liked the start,” said Alaska coach Dallas Ferguson. “We came out and established the forecheck and took a 2-0 lead.”

Ferris State coach Bob Daniels had a very different opinion on the game’s start.

“We were on our heels,” he said. “They jumped us.”

After Alaska’s two quick goals, Ferris State scored a pair of goals in under a minute to knot the game up and get some momentum back.

“Connor’s [Schmidt] goal really helped right the ship for us,” said Daniels.

Schmidt lit the lamp for his first of the season with a low, hard shot through traffic that found the back of the net after the Nanooks failed to clear their zone. Then Kyle Bonis found the back of the net on a power play to tie things up.

However, momentum shifts in hockey games can be funny things. With the first frame winding down, an innocent dump-in by Justin Tateson hit the boards behind Ferris State goalie CJ Motte and flipped up over the net where Andy Taranto knocked it in to give Alaska a 3-2 lead going into the first intermission.

“Two-two after 18 minutes of hockey and then, just a weird ending to the period where we shot ourselves in the foot,” said Daniels.

That momentum swung back Ferris’ way midway through the second with a faceoff win by Eric Alexander back to Simon Denis, who found the back of the net to tie the game at three.

“They scored on the faceoff and jumped on the momentum,” said Ferguson. “Even then it was 3-3 and we get a power play. [Cody] Kunyk and Taranto get good chances around the net and don’t get it in. Their goaltender was good on that power play.”

Motte’s play on that power play proved to be a big part of the win for the Bulldogs.

“I’m really happy with how CJ Motte played tonight; he was worth his weight in gold,” said Daniels. “If it hadn’t been for CJ, it might have been closer to giving up five goals.”

After Motte saved Ferris on the defensive end, the Bulldog offense took over.

Bonis added his second power-play goal of the night with nine minutes left in the second and Alexander scored his second of the year off a turnover forced by Schmidt stepping up as Alaska moved the puck through the neutral zone.

“I saw [Cory Kane] breaking and fed him and they [Kane and Alexander] took care of the rest,” said Schmidt.

Ferris State (2-1-2, 1-0-0-0 CCHA) and Alaska (2-2-1, 0-1-0-0 CCHA) finish their two-game series tomorrow night.

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