MARQUETTE, Mich. — No. 6-ranked Ferris State extended its nation-best 11-game unbeaten streak to 9-0-2 by killing a five-minute Northern Michigan power play in overtime to tie the Wildcats 1-1 on Saturday at the Berry Events Center.
Bulldogs’ junior defenseman Jason Binkley was awarded a five-minute major and 10-minute game misconduct for a hard check from behind on NMU junior forward Ryan Daugherty with 31 seconds left in the third period.
The Wildcats were unable to get the game-winner, however, allowing Ferris to leave Marquette with three out of four points.
“We had a way different lineup tonight, so we had to shorten the bench,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said, referencing the absence of senior defenseman C.J. Ludwig (knee injury) and junior forward Reed Seckel (one-game suspension for fighting). “We had a lot of guys getting those special [teams'] minutes at the end who were tired. The reality was they were just fatigued, tired and weren’t able to be as sharp as they needed to be.”
The Bulldogs gave up just a single shot on goal in the final seconds of regulation on the penalty kill, then kept junior goaltender C.J. Motte clean the rest of the 4:29 they were down a man.
Only when Ferris drew an even-strength faceoff in the NMU zone with 5.4 seconds on the clock did Bulldogs’ coach Bob Daniels call a timeout and give his players the green light to go for a go-ahead goal in OT.
“Truthfully, going into the overtime, all I wanted was the tie and that was all that was in anybody’s mind,” Daniels said. “The worst thing would have been if someone would have tried to do something heroic and try to get a shorthanded goal and cost us something on our own end.
“I thought the guys did a super job on the kill, given, too, that the guy that took the five-minute major is one of our better penalty-killing defensemen.”
Both teams scored their lone goal of the night on the power play in the second period.
Ferris took a 1-0 lead off sophomore forward Matt Robertson’s sixth goal of the year at the 9:50 mark and NMU senior forward Jake Johnson deflected in a shot by freshman teammate Dominik Shine just over four minutes later to tie the game at 1-1.
Motte finished with 23 saves to remain unbeaten this season in 13 starts at 11-0-2, while NMU redshirt freshman Mathias Dahlstrom made 20 saves against an offense that is used to scoring nearly four goals per game this year.
“Given the circumstances and that we had to kill in overtime for four-and-a-half minutes, I’m very satisfied with the tie,” Daniels said. “I did think overall we played a better game tonight than we did last night.
“I would have liked to see us generate a little more offense, but a lot of that goes to Northern Michigan. They’re a good defensive team.”