By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer
Coaches will often say that the most important win in sports is the next one, and Ferris State grabbed two of those this past weekend to secure third place in the CCHA standings.
The Bulldogs faced little adversity in Friday's contest, rolling off a 4-0 victory to give senior goaltender Taylor Nelson his second shutout of the campaign.
Senior defenseman Chad Billins helped set-up the game winning goal midway through the opening period with a feed to sophomore forward Garrett Thompson that bounced off the skate of a Bowling Green defender.
Ferris State upped their lead with less than two minutes to go in the second stanza, as junior Travis Ouellette chipped the puck to classmate Eric Alexander on the faceoff, who then blasted a shot Falcons' netminder Andrew Hammond.
In the final 20 minutes, forward Matthew Kirzinger and defenseman Brett Wysopal each tallied their first goal of the campaign to help pad the Bulldogs' lead.
Nelson held a slight advantage is the saves department over Hammond, 29-25.
Though Ferris State escaped with a win on Saturday night, Bowling Green did not go down easy.
Following a quick pair of goals to begin the game by the Bulldogs' Jordie Johnston and Aaron Schmit, the Falcons' Dan DeSalvo cut the lead in half by going top shelf on Nelson. Ferris State responded at the 11:50 mark with a short-handed marker from freshman T.J. Schlueter, only to have Bryce Williamson of Bowling Green light the lamp shortly thereafter.
Down but not out, Bowling Green tied the game with 8:47 elapsed in the second on a power-play goal from Ryan Viselli. The Bulldogs though would regain their lead six minutes later, thanks to Johnston tallying his second goal of the evening.
With nine minutes left in regulation, Derek Graham and Ouellette each tallied helpers on an insurance goal by Wysopal.
Nelson shied away 31 shots to improve his record to 5-1-0. Scott Zacharias tallied eight saves in the loss for Bowling Green, while Hammond finished with five.
Ferris State (8-2-0 overall, 4-2-0-0 CCHA) returns to Big Rapids this Friday and Saturday at 7:05 pm for a two-game set against first-place Lake Superior State (8-2-0 overall, 5-2-0-0 CCHA).