By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer
The wins just keep on piling up for No. 12 ranked Ferris State, who extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games following a weekend sweep over rival Western Michigan.
For the first two periods of Friday’s game, solid goaltending was a common thread at each end, as the contest remained scoreless entering the final frame.
The Bulldogs were finally able to break the deadlock following a Casey Haines goal just 19 seconds in, as the senior winger blasted a shot from the right faceoff dot to beat Broncos’ netminder Riley Gill.
At the midway point of the period, senior Blair Riley registered his team-high 14th goal of the campaign for Ferris State by beating Gill on a breakaway.
Junior Mike Embach made it a 3-0 affair at the 11:43 mark after finishing off a cross-ice pass from sophomore Jordie Johnston. Also garnering a helper on the play was linemate Nate Hennig.
Pat Nagle shied away 22 shots to earn his first shutout of the year, while Gill made 34 stops.
An onslaught of goals created a tug-of-war in terms of momentum the following night, with the Bulldogs striking first.
Ferris State converted on three power-play opportunities in the first stanza, beginning with Todd Pococke’s goal at 8:28. Nearly four minutes later, Pococke would strike again after deflecting a shot from defenseman Scott Wietecha.
After assisting on the Bulldogs’ first two goals, defenseman Zach Redmond blasted a shot from the slot to light the lamp at 17:49. Tallying assists on the play were forwards Cody Chupp and Matt Kirzinger.
Down but not out, Western Michigan persevered in the second period with a pair of goals from sophomore J.J. Crew.
Center Derek Graham gave Ferris State some breathing room less than six minutes into the last frame by finishing off a pass from blueliner Matt Case.
Although forwards Greg Squires and Jared Katz helped set-up a Cam Watson goal at 15:45, the Broncos were unable to get the equalizer in the waning moments of the game.
Gill had another busy night between the pipes with 41 saves, compared to Taylor Nelson’s 26.
Western Michigan (6-9-3 overall, 2-9-3-1 CCHA) returns to action January 2-3, when they play host a non-conference series with Bemidji State.
That same weekend, Ferris State (13-3-2 overall, 8-2-2-2 CCHA) will take part in the four-team Wisconsin Badger Hockey Showdown, beginning Friday with a 5:05 pm tilt against Yale.