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Monday, February 07, 2011

Bulldogs grab two wins against Alaska

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Over the weekend, Ferris State accomplished something that no other Bulldogs' squad has been able to do for the past eight years - sweep Alaska.

The series, which was pushed back a day due to severe winter storms across the midwest, saw Ferris State leapfrog the Nanooks for fifth place in the CCHA with 2-1 and 3-2 wins.

Sophomore forward Travis Ouellette opened up the scoring for the Bulldogs on Saturday by netting his third of the campaign with 1:20 left in the first period. Following a shot by Eric Alexander that went wide of the net, senior Mike Fillinger scooped up the loose puck before sending a cross-ice pass to Ouellette.

Matthew Kirzinger scored the eventual game-winning goal at the 13:37 mark of the second period with a back-handed shot from the left faceoff circle. Earning a helper on that play was senior Mike Embach.

Looking to generate some offense, Alaska pulled goaltender Scott Greenham in the final minute of the game. With 33 seconds to go, the Nanooks succeeded, as Jarrett Granberg broke-up Pat Nagle's shutout bid on a five-hole shot.

Nagle (pictured) finished with 31 saves, while Greenham tallied 23.

In the series finale, Ferris State fell behind 1-0 after 20 minutes of play but quickly erased that deficit with a pair of goals in the middle stanza.

The Bulldogs broke their scoring drought at the 7:14 mark, when Alexander took a pass from senior defenseman Zach Redmond and beat Greenham on a breakway. Nearly a minute later, Scott Wietecha gave Ferris State their first lead of the game with a powerful shot from the right faceoff circle.

Alaska would answer back at the 13:03 mark, as Dustin Sather snuck the puck past Nagle by redirecting Granberg's initial shot.

A turnover in the neutral zone by the Nanooks in the third period would help set-up the game-winning goal for the Bulldogs. After an Alaska defenseman attempted to clear the puck, Alexander intercepted it at the right faceoff circle and began charging toward the net. From there, proceeded to hit-up a wide-open Fillinger for the finish at 7:55.

Nagle stopped 29 of 31 shots to improve his record to 14-10-2.
At the other end of the ice, Greenham compiled 20 saves.

Ferris State (14-12-4 overall, 11-10-3-2 CCHA) returns to Big Rapids this weekend for a non-conference series against Alabama-Huntsville, whom they split with earlier this season.

Photo courtesy of Paul McCarthy/Ferris State Athletics

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