BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — CJ Motte put 17th-ranked Ferris State on his back and stopped all 27 shots he faced as the Bulldogs skated to a 5-0 victory over Michigan on Friday night.
Ferris State freshman Matt Robertson and junior Garrett Thompson each notched two points in the winning effort.
Robertson’s goal was his first collegiate lamplighter.
“I’m not from Michigan, so I didn’t understand how big this game would be,” said Robertson, a California native. “I got a great feed from Kenny Babinski, settled it down and put it in.”
Michigan carried the play in a scoreless first period. While both teams had scoring chances, Michigan’s Kevin Lynch had the best one with an open look from the top of the crease. However, the Bulldog defense stripped the puck as Lynch moved to his backhand trying to go around Motte.
“We play well at the start of the game and then the second period starts and our game changes,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “I was encouraged by our preparation, determination and focus and then it slipped away.”
Ferris State started the second period with two power-play goals and added an even-strength tally for good measure as the period wound down.
“We give up two goals on the first four penalties and then get a shorthanded breakaway and don’t score,” said Berenson. “Our penalty killing has to be better. It’s as simple as that.”
Ferris State’s power-play goals bookended a scary play involving Connor Schmidt and captain Kyle Bonis. Schmidt’s shot from the point struck Bonis in the head near his face shield, leading to the senior lying motionless on the ice while Michigan cleared the zone and play continued for several seconds before being stopped.
Ferris State coach Bob Daniels indicated that Bonis was not seriously injured on the play and the he did not appear to have a concussion.
Ferris State’s two goals late in the second were a bitter pill for the Wolverines to swallow.
“You notice them getting slow or tired and you want to take advantage of that,” said Bulldogs’ forward Eric Alexander, who notched a power-play tally in his first game back from a foot injury.
Alexander stepped into his power-play role after the injury to Bonis.
“I knew [Thompson] was going to put it at the net and I just wanted to be ready and get a stick on it,” concluded Alexander.
Ferris State tacked on two more goals in the third period with Dakota Klecha notching his second of the season after sustained pressure left the Michigan defense gasping for breath and Thompson burying a shot for a shorthanded goal after skating away from the defense on a breakaway.
Despite the deficit, Michigan’s best chances at ending Motte’s shutout bid came in the contest’s closing minutes.
With just over a minute remaining, Luke Moffatt took a feed at the side of the net that Motte blocked before sprawling back across the goal mouth as Moffatt attempted to wrap the rebound around the far side.
“The third period, the last five, eight minutes, he [Motte] really earned that shutout,” said Daniels. “I’m a little disappointed at how we played in front of him then. That shutout should have been more of a team effort.”