College Hockey:
Motte stops 24 as Ferris State sweeps Lake Superior, claims WCHA title

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – On a night dedicated to them, Ferris State University’s seniors came up big by generating all of the offense in a 2-1 win over Lake Superior State as the Bulldogs claimed the WCHA regular season title

Garrett Thompson started the game’s scoring just over a minute in with a four-on-three power-play goal. After a tripping penalty to Stephen Perfetto, the Lakers won the ensuing faceoff but were unable to clear the zone. Thompson picked up the puck along the far boards and drove into the slot before flipping a wrist shot past Kevin Kapalka.

“I thought our special teams were great all weekend,” said Ferris State coach Bob Daniels.

Scott Czarnowczan added to the Bulldogs’ lead just under a minute later with an innocent shot on goal after the senior defenseman gained the Lakers zone that nevertheless slipped through Kapalka’s pads.

“It was pretty much the same as last night,” said Lake Superior State coach Jim Roque. “We go down two-zero early and fight back hard, but can’t come up with the tying goal.”

The Lakers played what might have been their best shift of the weekend late in the first period. With the Bulldogs on the penalty kill, Lake Superior State kept the home team hemmed in their own zone for nearly a minute, but were unable to score on C.J. Motte.

Lake Superior State fought back in the second period with a short-handed goal just 29 seconds into the frame. A mishandled puck in their zone led to a Bulldogs turnover that was sent past Motte by Colin Campbell.

With momentum behind them, the Lakers put pressure on the Bulldogs, but for the second straight night a tying goal eluded them as Motte was sensational in the game’s second half.

“It was a real solid weekend; we played 60 minutes both nights and stuck to our game plan all weekend,” said Motte.

With the win, Ferris State wrapped up a share of the WCHA title; with Minnesota State’s tie with Michigan Tech later in the evening, the Bulldogs claimed it outright.

“It feels unbelievable to come together as such a close-bonded team,” said freshman Kyle Schempp. “Bulldog hockey is hard-nosed and hardworking from day one. I know now why we work so hard and call it Bulldog hockey. I knew we had it because of the hard-nosed, hard-working attitude that everyone has whenever we get to the rink.”

Lake Superior State’s (16-19-1, 12-16-0 WCHA) season has come to an end, as they are out of the WCHA playoffs, while Ferris State (25-9-3, 20-6-2 WCHA) will host a WCHA quarterfinal series at home next weekend.

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