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Monday, March 12, 2012

Falcons upset Ferris State in CCHA quarterfinals

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

There's hockey and then there's post-season hockey.

Ferris State found that out the hard way over the weekend, dropping two of three games to Bowling Green in the CCHA quarterfinals.

The Bulldogs, who won all four games over their counterparts during the regular season, lost Friday's contest 3-2 in overtime before staving off elimination the following night with a 7-4 decision.

In Sunday's deciding game, Ferris State appeared to be headed to the semifinals, thanks to a three-goal output within the first 20 minutes.

Senior forward Jordie Johnston initiated the scoring binge just 3:23 into the game, notching his team-high 18th goal of the campaign on a backhanded shot that sailed past Falcons netminder Andrew Hammond.

Classmate Derek Graham added a power-play marker from the left circle at 13:59, before freshman defenseman Jason Binkley stretched the Bulldogs lead shortly thereafter with his first collegiate goal.

Over the next two periods however, Bowling Green marched back with three unanswered goals to force an extra session.

Ryan Carpenter broke-up Taylor Nelson's shutout bid less than six minutes into the middle stanza, with assists being handed-out to Mike Sullivan and Dan DeSalvo.

From there, things would go from bad to worse for Ferris State, as DeSalvo pitched-in two even-strength tallies at 4:43 and 15:54 in the third period.

In overtime, the Falcons pulled-off the inevitable and sent the No. 1-ranked team packing, thanks to a deflection near the net by DeSalvo to complete the hat trick at 2:38.

Nelson, who held a 33-28 advantage over Hammond in saves, drops to 18-6-3 as a starter.

Bowling Green advances to the CCHA semifinals, where they will face Michigan this Friday at Joe Louis Arena in a single-elimination game. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:05 pm, following the Miami-Western Michigan game.

The Bulldogs (23-11-5 overall) are still expected to be one of 16 teams that receive an NCAA tournament bid. Tournament teams will be announced next Sunday, March 18 at noon on ESPNU.

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