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Monday, February 13, 2012

Ferris State sweeps Irish to remain atop CCHA

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

With their home-and-home sweep over Notre Dame this past weekend, the No. 5 ranked Ferris State Bulldogs have extended their unbeaten streak to 12 games and are the first team in the nation to reach the 20-win mark this season.

Junior forward Kyle Bonis had a hand in all three scores Friday night, as the Bulldogs notched their fourth shutout of the campaign.

Following a scoreless opening period, Ferris State's first goal came midway through the second while on the power-play. With Derek Graham and Travis Ouellette as the set-up men, Bonis skated behind the net and bounced one in off of goaltender Mike Johnson.

With 22 seconds remaining in the frame, Bonis scored once again, but in a more conventional fashion, as he stood outside the crease before receiving a pass from defenseman Scott Czarnowczan.

Graham would lit the lamp himself at the 5:38 mark of the third, with helpers being credited to Chad Billins and Bonis.

Senior netminder Taylor Nelson outperformed Johnson in the saves department, 32-20 to earn his third shutout this season.

The Bulldogs wrapped-up the series on Saturday with a 5-1 decision in front of nearly 2,500 fans at the Ewigleben Arena in Big Rapids.

Following two quick scores in the opening stanza by Nate Milam and Billins, the Fighting Irish wouldn't get on the scoreboard until Riley Sheahan's power-play marker with six seconds left in the frame.

Cory Kane provided Ferris State with some breathing room in the second period with a marker at 15:25, before Graham and Jordie Johnston provided insurance goals in the final 20 minutes of action.

Nelson made 27 stops to improve to 15-4-2 as a starter. After allowing two goals on five shots, Notre Dame pulled Steven Summerhays in favor of Johnson, who tallied 25 saves on 28 opportunities.

The Bulldogs (20-8-4 overall, 14-6-4-1 CCHA) will play host to conference cellar-dwellers Bowling Green this weekend, with a 7:05 pm start time slated for both games. Ferris State swept the Falcons in their previous series back in November.

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