BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — For the second night in a row, the team with the early lead failed to win. This time, the St. Lawrence Saints jumped ahead before falling to the Ferris State Bulldogs by a score of 5-3.
After a slow start in the series opener, St. Lawrence came out firing on all cylinders. The Saints notched the contest’s first goal midway through the first period with Eric Sweetman’s first of the year and looked to be cruising to a series sweep.
The Saints increased their lead 32 seconds into the second period after a Bulldogs turnover ended up on Matt Carey’s stick for his first of the season.
“It was a flip-flop of last night’s game,” said St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel. “We really controlled the game in the first period.”
Carvel attributed some his team’s inconsistency to the growing pains of a young team.
“We have a young team; we dressed eight freshmen tonight,” said Carvel. “We knew we were going to have some growing pains.”
After the Saints took a two-goal lead, Ferris State answered with five unanswered goals, including three on the power play and two on odd-man rushes.
The Bulldogs opened their scoring with a power-play goal that saw quick passes maneuver the Saints’ defense out of position before Garrett Thompson buried a one-timer.
That goal was followed by a three-on-one opportunity for Justin Buzzeo that the junior put away cleanly.
With the game tied heading into the third, it became a question of who would grab the momentum first.
Just 1:27 into the third, Cory Kane notched a breakaway goal and the Bulldogs never looked back.
“The real pivotal moment happened four-on-four when Cory Kane scored and they took the penalty,” said Ferris State coach Bob Daniels. “We didn’t score on the four-on-three power play, but from that point on the ice seemed tilted our way.”
“The way Ferris plays, they force you into mistakes if you can’t handle the puck cleanly,” said Carvel. “Their pressure and their power play were the difference. Other than that, we really didn’t give them anything.”
Daniels tended to agree in his analysis of the game, saying, “The difference is we were able to score on the power play, whereas last night we were oh-for the night.”
Ferris State’s offense was fueled by four multi-point nights, including one from Andy Huff, a player that Daniels feels is coming into his own.
“It was only a matter of time before he started showing up on the score sheet,” said Daniels. “He’s been a bit down, but you have to go through the process. You can’t chase goals, you can’t chase points.”
Next week, Ferris State takes a break after a quick open to the season, while St. Lawrence returns home for a two-game nonconference series with Northeastern.