BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — A back-and-forth game came down to overtime Friday night and ended with a 5-4 overtime win for Ferris State over the visitors from Bemidji State.
Both teams saw multiple one-goal leads evaporate before Jason Binkley ended the game with a shot from the point that found its way through traffic.
“I was expecting one of their forwards to come out and block the shot, but they didn’t,” Binkley said. “Their goalie was screened, so I took the shot and that was game.”
Bulldogs’ coach Bob Daniels had a different perspective on Binkley’s winner.
“Shows what I know,” Daniels said. “I was thinking the whole time, ‘Move it to [Scott] Czarnowczan, move it to Czarnoczan.’ Okay, just shoot it.”
For Bemidji State (3-5-1, 3-2-0 WCHA), it was a tough road loss, especially after getting two power-play goals and having a lead late in the contest.
“The bottom line is we lost this game and we were close to getting a point on the road,” said Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore. “It’s a loss, a tough loss. It’s a tough pill to swallow.”
After the first period, most observers would have felt that Bemidji State was lucky to be tied 1-1, much less in a position to win late in the game. The Beavers were outshot by the Bulldogs 22-6 in the first frame and looked relieved to have the period come to an end.
“It was really two different games,” said Daniels. “I give the Beavers a lot of credit because in the first, it really looked like we were going to run them out of the rink.”
In the second period, Ferris State (6-2-0, 3-0-0 WCHA) struck first and looked to be in command of the game, but an injury to Justin DeMartino took the wind out of their sails as the Bulldogs struggled to fill the hole left by the big forward.
Bemidji State took advantage of the lull to tie the game at two before the Bulldogs took the lead again on a power-play goal from Kyle Schempp with five minutes remaining in the frame.
Before the second period came to a close, Bemidji State tied the game again with a power-play goal of their own from Ruslan Pedan at 19:38.
The final frame opened with Bemidji State retaking the lead on a goal from Cory Ward that looked like it might be the game-winner, but it wouldn’t hold up.
Ferris State tied the game again after Sean O’Rourke broke up a Beaver 2-on-1 and sent the Bulldogs racing back the other way. Justin Buzzeo worked his way wide before sliding the puck past goaltender Andrew Walsh.
Despite the win, Ferris State players were quick to point out that some parts of their game need to improve.
“Our penalty kill has to get better,” said Binkley. “We gave up two power-play goals. That takes a 4-4 game to a 4-2 game.”