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Monday, January 21, 2008

'Dogs and 'Cats split series

by Tom Balog / Ferris State Beat Writer

The Ferris State Bulldogs and Northern Michigan Wildcats both needed to start turning things around as they faced off over the weekend.

The Bulldogs were coming off a disappointing home weekend where they gained only a point against Alaska. The Wildcats were just plain shocked after being swept at home by Wayne State.

Each team left the weekend series in Big Rapids with a little something to be happy about after they split a two-game CCHA set.

Blair Riley, Adam Miller, and Brendan Connolly all scored second period goals for the Bulldogs on Friday night as FSU squeaked out a 3-2 win over the Wildcats.

Matt Siddall and Phil Fox scored in the loss for NMU, their fourth in a row.

Mitch O'Keefe stopped 16 shots in net for FSU while Brian Stewart turned away 35 for the visitors.

The win also moved FSU coach Bob Daniels on step closer to a giant milestone as the victory was #249 in his coaching career.

The milestone would have to wait though as Northern halted their losing skid with a dominating 4-1 win at the Ewigleben Ice Arena on Saturday night.

For the second straight game Riley opened the scoring for FSU, but from then on it was all ‘Cats.

Mike Maltese, Ray Kaunisto, Tim Hartung, and Fox scored in succession and Stewart made 38 saves in net to give NMU their first win since upsetting Notre Dame on Jan. 4.

O’Keefe was tested more in the finale and gave up all 4 goals on 34 shots.

The Bulldogs (10-10-2, 7-8-1 CCHA) sit in seventh place in the CCHA with 15 points and twelve games remaining on the regular season schedule. Next up will be a home and home series with the Western Michigan Broncos, beginning on Friday night at the Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo.

The Wildcats (10-15-1, 7-11-0 CCHA) are just a point behind the Bulldogs in the conference standings and will host the US Under-18 Team back in Marquette on Saturday night.

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