By Tom Morelli/WMU Beat Writer
Having lost their first two matchups with Ferris State University back in November, Western Michigan University refused to back down from their opponent this time around.
Just shy of 2,300 fans at the Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo, the Broncos gave an all-out effort from the opening face-off to the final whistle en route to a 4-3 win.
Freshman Ryan Watson led the charge for Western Michigan, scoring his third goal of the season with only 1:06 gone by in the first period.
The Bulldogs came back with a vengeance though, as Brendan Connolly and Mike Fillinger scored their goals just 23 seconds apart from one another for their first lead of the game.
With Fillinger and Evan Case in the penalty box, the Broncos took advantage of a 5 on 3 power-play, as defenseman Nate Ansell outmaneuvered FSU goaltender Pat Nagle for a game-tying goal. Helping out on the power-play goal was Patrick Gallivan and Tyler Ludwig.
Cody Chupp put the Bulldogs ahead once again, garnering a goal with the man-advantage at the 15:15 mark. Ferris State went into the locker room after the opening period ahead by a 3-2 score.
After a silent and scoreless second period, center Max Campbell put the Broncos back in contention, taking a pass from Ansell and Gallivan for the game-tying goal just a minute into the final stanza.
Junior Matt Clackson sealed the deal in front of the home crowd with 7:25 elapsed, thanks to the set-up by his brother Chris and winger Adam Flink.
Goaltender Riley Gill stopped 29 shots and registered his fifth win of the season for Western Michigan.
The win was also a milestone of sorts for WMU. Friday’s victory was the first for the Bulldogs in CCHA play since beating Ohio State on Nov. 23. 2007.
Broncos make it 3 of 4
by Tom Balog / Ferris State Beat Writer
Western Michigan nearly evened the season series with their foes from “Up North”, but fell just short in a 3-3 tie with the Bulldogs in Big Rapids.
Ferris Freshman Mike Fillinger started the scoring with his second goal of the series and fourth of the year at 5:22 of the first period.
The Broncos responded with back-to-back goals from Jeff Pierce to lead 2-1 after 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs looked like they might take control in the second period starting with Brendan Connolly’s second shorthanded goal of the season at 7:09.
Connolly's goal gave him the FSU lead with 10 goals in 23 games and he is just one short of matching his career high of 11 goals in 38 games last season.
Justin Menke provided FSU with the lead again, scoring with a 5-on-3 advantage at 9:52.
The seesaw tilted back in the third period as Max Campbell scored the equalizer on the powerplay at 8:04.
Ferris outshot Western 5-4 in the extra frame, but were held scoreless to drop to 1-3-2 since winning the UConn Hockey Classic Championship in late December.
Mitch O'Keefe turned aside 27 of 30 shots in the FSU net. Riley Gill stopped 25 shots on the other end.
Ferris State (10-11-3, 7-9-2 CCHA) will now head out on a four-game road trip beginning at Lake Superior starting on Friday night.
Western Michigan (7-17-2, 3-14-1 CCHA) makes the long flight west this weekend for a pair of games against the Alaska Nanooks in Fairbanks.