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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ferris State rolls past Chargers

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Coming off the heels of a rough outing against Notre Dame one week ago, Ferris State had a much easier time this past weekend with their non-conference series against Alabama-Huntsville.

The Chargers were first to make in impact in Friday’s game, with Joe Federoff lighting the lamp less than five minutes into the contest.

About four minutes later, the Bulldogs drew even on a Corey Couturier goal that came courtesy of sophomore winger Mike Emblach.

Assistant captain Blair Riley gave Ferris State a 2-1 lead on the game-winning goal midway through the period, with Evan Case and Brendan Connolly both earning helpers.

Just before the end of the first, senior J.T. Dahlinger earned a game misconduct for checking an Alabama-Huntsville player from behind, which left the Bulldogs short a forward for the remainder of the contest.

Despite Dahlinger’s removal, Ferris State remained relatively unscathed over the next 40 minutes. At the 2:30 mark of the second period, Casey Haines and Michael Trebish made it a two-goal game by setting up Aaron Lewicki’s eighth goal of the campaign.

Cody Campbell breathed some life back into the Chargers about seven minutes later, scoring the only power-play marker of the night.

Alabama-Huntsville pulled goaltender Cameron Talbot in the last minute of the game, which allowed Connolly to score an empty-netter with seven seconds remaining.

Sophomore Pat Nagle collected 33 saves between the pipes for the Bulldogs, while Talbot was credited with 30.

Ferris State put together an even better performance the following night, in a game that was marred by penalties from both sides.

Captain Cody Chupp ignited the Bulldogs’ offense halfway in the opening period to notch his sixth goal of the season. Assisting on that goal were linemates Justin Menke and Lewicki.

Couturier added a goal with 3:18 gone by in the middle stanza, only to have the lead cut in half 40 seconds later by a Chargers’ score from Brennan Barker.

The score was tied just shy of the six-minute mark thanks to Campbell, who was helped out by Brandon Roshko and Barker.

Both teams racked-up a slew of penalties at 12:42, after a heated exchange between four players from each side. Among them was Connolly, who was disqualified from the game after head-butting Kevin Morrison during the scuffle.

Once matters cooled down, Ferris State continued to thrive offensively. Later in the period, Menke and Case tallied assists on Riley’s goal with the man advantage.

The Bulldogs went on to add two more to their credit in the third period, with a power-play marker by Chad Billins at 13:31, followed by Couturier’s just three minutes later.

For the second night in a row Couturier earned first-star honors, which wrapped-up a four point weekend for the senior from Traverse City.

Goalie Taylor Nelson stopped 26 shots for Ferris State, compared to Talbot’s 28.

With the sweep, the Bulldogs once again have a winning record of 9-8-3 overall. Ferris State will have nearly a month off before returning for the Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup on January 2 against St. Lawrence. Depending on the outcome, the Bulldogs will face either host Vermont or Colgate in the consolation or championship game the following night.

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