Monday, October 29, 2012

Bulldogs split CCHA opener with Alaska

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

No. 18 ranked Ferris State defended their 2011-2012 CCHA Regular Season Championship at home over the weekend, nabbing a come-from-behind 6-3 victory on Friday, followed by a 3-2 loss in the final minute of Saturday's contest.

In the series opener, much of the scoring would come during the first two periods of play. The Nanooks built a 2-0 lead past the midway point of the first before the Bulldogs answered back with a pair of goals less than a minute apart. Freshman defenseman Connor Schmidt cut the deficit in half by tallying his first collegiate goal with 17:58 elapsed. An interference call against Alaska shortly thereafter allowed for the Bulldogs to capitalize, as senior captain Kyle Bonis evened-up the score at 18:53 with assists being credited to sophomores Jason Binkley and Travis White.

With 26 seconds remaining in the frame, the Nanooks recaptured their lead with a marker by Andy Taranto.

Ferris State came out of the lockerrooms refocused to start the second, holding Alaska scoreless the rest of the way while rattling off a trio of goals within a four-minute span.

Sophomore Simon Denis initiated the scoring surge for the Bulldogs, finishing off a pass from linemates Eric Alexander and T.J. Schlueter to make it a 3-3 affair just shy of the halfway point.

Bonis put the game back into control of the maroon-and-gold with his second power-play marker of the contest, followed by an Alexander lamp-lighter to close out the period.

With 4:30 remaining in the contest, junior Cory Kane slid the puck past Nanooks' netminder Steve Thompson for an unassisted tally.

Sophomore goaltender C.J. Motte finished with 40 saves for the Bulldogs, while Thompson was credited with 26.

Binkley and White each recorded two helpers apiece.

Although Saturday's finale didn't have as much scoring, it still provided plenty of drama.

Kane put Ferris State ahead by scoring his second goal in as many nights at the 10:39 mark of the opening period, which came courtesy of junior Justin DeMartino.

Alaska's Cody Kunyk returned the favor in the ensuing stanza, with assists being credited to Colton Beck and Taranto.

The Nanooks would earn their first lead of the evening at 9:07, when Kunyk returned the favor by feeding a pass to Beck that found the back of the net.

Junior forward Garrett Thompson restored some momentum to the Bulldogs' side with his second goal of the campaign with under six minutes remaining, but Tyler Morley tilted the game back in favor of the Nanooks with 50 seconds to go.

Motte held a 36-23 advantage in saves over counterpart Sean Cahill.

Ferris State (2-2-2 overall, 1-1-0 CCHA) will remain in Big Rapids this weekend, as they play host to No. 3 ranked Miami.

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