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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bulldogs split season-opening series

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Ferris State’s offense began the 2009-2010 campaign with a bang last Friday, only to fizzle out the following night in their weekend series against Canisius.

The Bulldogs had a diverse look to their offense in the first game, as five different players accounted for their goals in a 5-1 decision.

With just over a minute into the contest, Zach Redmond and Kyle Bonis each earned helpers after freshman forward Eric Alexander blasted a shot past Golden Griffins’ netminder Andrew Loewen to take control of the scoreboard.

Redmond’s opportunity to light the lamp came later in the period, as he finished off a pass from fellow defenseman Chad Billins to help Ferris State convert on the power-play.

A slashing call on the Bulldogs’ Todd Pococke in the second period proved harmful as Carl Hudson of Canisius used the opportunity to put the puck out of reach for Taylor Nelson.

Ferris State exploded on offense in the final stanza by scoring three goals within a nine-minute span. Freshman forward Travis Ouellette made it a 3-1 margin with 9:50 elapsed, followed by Bonis scoring the first of his career soon thereafter. Senior Aaron Lewicki padded the Bulldogs’ lead with 1:13 remaining in the game, which gave Billins his second assist of the night.

Of the 23 saves made by Nelson, 11 of which came in the first period alone.

At the other end of the ice, Loewen walked away with 39 stops.

Although Ferris State was unable to replicate their offensive success on Saturday night, they didn’t skimp on the action.

Both teams played a physical game, which amounted to a flurry of penalties throughout the game.

The Bulldogs were dealt a major blow midway in the second period, when defenseman Brett Wysopal was sent to the locker rooms after hitting a Golden Griffins’ player from behind.

Ryan Klusendorf of Canisius scored the game’s lone goal just 37 seconds into the third period, but it did little to quell the ever-increasing amount of tempers on the ice.

While Hudson was slapped with a game misconduct following a kneeing penalty at 8:16, the biggest melee occurred at the end of the game when Ferris State’s Justin Menke was disqualified following a hit from behind. Moments later, Redmond and Bonis engaged in some rough play with the Golden Griffins’ Jason Weeks and Vincent Scarsella, which earned all guilty parties a game misconduct.

Of the 131 penalty minutes shared between the two teams, 72 were assessed to the Bulldogs.

Junior Pat Nagle shied away 20 shots for Ferris State, while counterpart Dan Morrison accounted for 48.

The Bulldogs (1-1-0 overall) continue with their non-conference schedule next weekend when they play host to Connecticut in a two-game set.

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