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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bulldogs take Miami to the limit

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Over the weekend, Ferris State achieved the impossible – grab two shootout wins over No.1 ranked Miami.

Though both games will be recorded as ties in the NCAA record-books, the sudden-death heroics by the Bulldogs earn them four points under the CCHA point system.

Defenseman Zach Redmond helped give Ferris State the lead in the second period of Friday’s game by intercepting the RedHawks' pass inside the neutral zone before sending the puck over to winger Blair Riley for the finish.

The Bulldogs held onto their lead until late in the second period, when Miami’s Joe Hartman blasted a slap shot past goaltender Taylor Nelson from the blueline.

With less than five minutes remaining in regulation, the RedHawks pulled ahead thanks to a Curtis McKenzie goal outside of the crease area.

Needing a miracle in the final minute of the game, Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels pulled Nelson in favor of an extra skater. Riley answered the call with 23 seconds left for his second marker of the contest. Helping set-up the play was captain Cody Chupp, which marked his seventh assist of the campaign.

An uneventful overtime forced a shootout to decide the winner, where Redmond was the only player from either team to light the lamp.

Nelson held the advantage over counterpart Cody Reichard in saves, 30-19.

The final game of the series was also a low-scoring affair, as no points were scored until midway through the second period.

With Miele in the penalty box on a tripping call, freshmen forwards Travis Ouellette and Kyle Bonis helped move the Bulldogs’ power play attack through the Miami defense. Looking for options, Bonis skated behind the net before finding senior Aaron Lewicki just outside the crease for the tip-in.

At the 5:28 mark of the following period, Miele would clear his name by blasting a vicious slap shot past netminder Pat Nagle from the right faceoff circle.

There was plenty of drama to go around in the shootout, as 22 skaters participated in the event, setting a CCHA record.

Brandon Smith scored on the initial try for the RedHawks before Riley found the back of the net on Ferris State’s second attempt.

After a successful effort by Bulldogs’ defenseman Chad Billins, Miami’s bid to stay in the game ended off of a failed opportunity by Chris Wideman.

Nagle finished 39 stops, compared to Connor Knapp’s 32.

Ferris State (7-3-2 overall, 2-2-2-2 CCHA) travels back to Big Rapids this weekend, where they will face Ohio State in a two-game set.

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