BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Stellar performances from Garrett Thompson and CJ Motte propelled Ferris State to a 3-0 win over Michigan State.
Thompson recorded all three Bulldogs goals for a hat trick, while Motte earned the shutout with 23 saves, leading Ferris State coach Bob Daniels to remark, “It’s not often that you get a shutout and aren’t the first star.”
Despite a very fast pace, the first period had no goals and few good scoring chances for either team. Thompson recorded the frame’s best chance with just over a minute to go after Travis Ouellette found him at the doorstep, but Jake Hildebrand kept the puck out.
In the second period, Ferris State took over.
The Bulldogs came out rolling, but early chances by Ouellette and freshman Dakota Klecha were denied by Hildebrand. Ouellette and Thompson had several chances in the frame before Thompson finally put the Bulldogs ahead.
Thompson struck while RJ Boyd was serving Michigan State’s only penalty of the game. With Hildebrand out of position, Thompson banked a second-effort shot off the netminder for the goal.
“My linemates gave me a hard time about that one because they’ve been working hard to set me up,” said Thompson.
Thompson struck again four minutes after getting behind the Spartans’ defense and taking a feed from Jason Binkely. Skating in all alone, Thompson picked a spot above Hildebrand’s glove for his second of the night.
With a two-goal deficit, Michigan State came out hard to start the third period.
The Spartans had their best chance of the night before fans had settled back into their seats for the third period. A big rebound from Motte left the puck trickling through the crease, but Travis White iced it to take the pressure off before Michigan State could ram it home.
“We knew they didn’t have the first and second period that they wanted; we knew they were going to come out hard,” said Motte.
After surviving Michigan State’s lone power play of the game early in the third, Ferris State began to pick up steam, finishing the game on a strong note.
“We knew they were going to come hard; it was a great [penalty] kill,” said Daniels. “If they score, we’re looking at 15 minutes of hockey nursing a one-goal lead.
Thompson netted his third of the night with an empty-net goal.
For Michigan State, it was a game of missed opportunities. The Spartans were plagued by missed shots all night.
“If you want to score goals, you have to hit the net; it’s pretty fundamental,” said Michigan State coach Tom Anastos. “We had some really good chances and didn’t even get a shot on goal.”