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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Buckeyes no match for Ferris State

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Ferris State grabbed five of a possible six CCHA points in their series against Ohio State last week, earning them the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament along with a first-round bye.

It was by no means an easy process for the Bulldogs in their season finale, as the Buckeyes came out swinging in Thursday's game.

Following a back-and-forth grind to begin the contest, Shane Sims gave Ohio State an early lead by firing a wrist shot past goaltender Pat Nagle at the midway point of the opening period.

Sophomore winger Eric Alexander would answer the call for Ferris State in the ensuing stanza by burying a shot from the left side of the crease for his fifth marker of the campaign.

Momentum carried over into ther third, where the Bulldogs were able to notch their first lead of the game. While on the power-play, junior Aaron Schmit skated right into the heart of the Buckeyes' defense, where he finished off a pass from sophomore Travis Ouellette with 2:38 elapsed.

The Buckeyes would counter just over a minute later, as Sergio Somma knotted the game at 2-2 with an unassisted marker.

Following a scoreless overtime, it came down to a shootout, where Ferris State defenseman Chad Billins was the only player to score from either team after three rounds.

Ohio State netminder Cal Heeter finished with 34 saves, while Nagle tallied 21.

A goal by sophomore Kyle Bonis with two minutes left in regulation proved to be the deciding factor for the Bulldogs in their 3-1 triumph on Friday night.

Unlike the previous game, Ferris State was first to strike in this contest, as Ouellette netted a power-play marker near the midway point of the second frame. Earning assists on that play were defensemen Derek Graham and Brent Wysopal.

The Buckeyes answered back at the 10:33 mark of the third on a garbage goal by Somma to give him his second goal in as many mights.

Shortly after Bonis' game-winner, senior Mike Fillinger scored on an empty-net goal with 52 seconds left to put the game out of reach.

Nagle tallied 22 saves to improve to 17-12-5 as a starter. Heeter stopped 15 shots in the opening period en route to finishing with 31 saves.

The Bulldogs (17-14-5 overall, 12-12-4-3 CCHA) are idle until the CCHA Quarterfinal Round on March 11-13, when they travel to Kalamazoo to face No. 4 seeded Western Michigan (16-10-10 overall, 10-9-9-5 CCHA) in a best-of-three series.

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