Ferris State (4-2-4 overall, 3-1-4 CCHA) defeated Western Michigan (2-6-0 overall, 2-4-0 CCHA) twice in this past weekend's home-and-home series. The Bulldogs won 6-0 on Friday and 5-3 on Saturday.
In Big Rapids on Friday night, the Bulldogs got off to a quick start. J.T. Dahlinger and Matt Frank set up Nick Scheible at 4:25 of the first period to put Ferris State on the board. Less than two minutes later, Greg Rallo (pictured) got help from Mark Bomersback and Dan Riedel to notch Ferris's second goal. The Ferris defense, anchored by goalie Mitch O'Keefe, smothered two Western power plays and 12 shots during the first period.
The Rallo-Reidel-Bomersback line struck again at 5:46 of the second period with Bomersback getting the goal and Rallo and Reidel the assists.
The Bulldogs went up by four late in the second. While on the power play, Jim Jorgensen set up Adam Miller for the goal. In case anyone missed it the first time, they put on a repeat performance a few minutes into the third period while on another man-advantage. Not to be outdone, Riedel and Rallo did some power-play magic of their own, setting up Bomersback's second goal of the night at 17:57 of the third period.
O'Keefe finished with 32 saves to earn his first college shutout. Western goalie Daniel Bellissimo, despite allowing six goals, finished with an impressive 38 saves. Both teams had a significant number of shots, but only Ferris was able to convert.
“They capitalized on their scoring chances and we didn’t,” reflected WMU coach Jim Culhane. “I thought we responded well early in the game but couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Back in Kalamazoo on Saturday, the Broncos appeared to be gaining revenge for Friday night, scoring three unanswered goals in the first period.
First up, just over two minutes into the game, was Patrick Galivan, scoring his first of the season with some help from Brett John and Brian Bicek. Six minutes later, Brent Walton and John Lovecchio set up Jason Moul to put the Broncos up by two. Lovecchio closed out the period by getting a goal of his own at 17:49. Walton and Nathan Ansell were credited with the assists.
But penalties would plague the Broncos in the game's second stanza. Ferris had seven extra-man opportunities and capitalized on them to offensively dominate the period. Western managed only two shots. Additionally, Ferris converted on three of their power play chances to tie the game. Rallo set up Riedel, Riedel and Rallo set up Zac Pearson, and Reidel and Matt Verdone set up Rallo.
Western could not regain the momentum in the third and the Bulldogs steamrolled their way to two more goals. Rallo, earning his fourth point of the night, combined with Brendan Connolly to assist on Eric Vesely's goal. Riedel clinched a four-point night of his own by setting up Bomersback for the final goal.
Western's offense could muster only five shots, and Bellissimo had to surrender the net to Ryan Mensing due to dehydration halfway through the period. Bellissimo left the game with 24 saves. Mensing needed to make just one save.
O'Keefe finished Saturday's game with 19 saves.
Western Michigan will face Michigan State in a home-and-home series next weekend and Ferris will welcome Bemidji State for a two-game series.