Ferris swept by UNO; Western splits with Notre Dame
Ferris State was defeated twice on the road last weekend, losing 5-2 to the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on Friday, and dropping a 5-3 decision on Sunday.
Though the Bulldogs outshot the Mavericks 34-29, only Nebraska-Omaha could find the net, scoring three goals on tender Mitch O'Keefe in the first period (Derek MacIntyre replaced O'Keefe after the first intermission). Matt Frank started a mini-comeback, scoring off of a Nick Scheible assist at 3:02 of the third period. Adam Miller then set up Zac Pearson to bring Ferris within one. However, Maverick Bill Thomas scored a pair of goals in the last six minutes to seal the Maverick 5-2 victory.
The Bulldogs hoped to turn the tide on Friday--Matt Verdone nailed a power play goal early in the first period (Pearson and Jim Jorgensen were credited with assists). Despite managing only five shots in the first stanza, the Bulldogs ended the period 2-1, courtesy of Verdone and Matt Stephanishion's unassisted goal. But the Mavericks scored early in the second to tie the score and then dominated the second period, outshooting Ferris 17-5. Greg Rallo, with some help from Mark Bomersback, gave the Bulldogs the lead again at 15:58 of the second. But the third period would belong entirely to the Mavericks, as they scored three unanswered goals to complete their series sweep.
Ferris will face Northern Michigan at home next weekend.
In Kalamazoo, Brent Walton (pictured) scored a hat trick on Friday night to give the Western Michigan Broncos a 4-3 win. Though Notre Dame lit the lamp first, just nine seconds into the game, Daryl Moore retaliated (unassisted) 24 seconds later to even the score. At 3:23 of the first, Walton started his scoring tear, knocking in a power play goal (Ryan Mahrle and goalie Dan Bellissimo were credited with assists). Mahrle set up Walton again late in the second for Walton's second goal of the game; less than a minute later, Walton scored again to put the Broncos up 4-2. Jason Moul and Jonathan Lupa were credited with assists on Walton's third goal. Notre Dame struck twice more before the game's end, but the Broncos held on for the win.
Bellissimo finished with 32 saves.
On Saturday, the Broncos traveled to South Bend to try to complete the sweep. They kept the game scoreless until the opening of the second period, when Notre Dame earned a power play goal. Special teams would be key for the Irish, as another power-play goal would put them up 2-0 early in the third. A third even-strength tally with under three minutes left sealed the fate of the Broncos. Bellissimo finished with 28 saves.
Head coach Jim Culhane credited Notre Dame's versatile special teams, but also expressed pride in his players: “They converted twice on the power play, which was the difference tonight. I thought we competed well against a Notre Dame team that is tough to beat at home.”
The Broncos are idle next weekend and will then travel to Northern Michigan the weekend of December 17-18.