By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer
It took nearly all of December, but Ferris State ended their five-game winless streak with a 6-2 victory over Minnesota-Duluth in the Florida College Hockey Classic consolation game on Saturday night.
In a rematch from last year's 2012 NCAA Midwest Regional Championship, Ferris State was bested 5-3 the night before by Cornell to open the tournament.
Freshman forward Kenny Babinski scored from behind the net off a pass from senior Eric Alexander to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead just 1:22 into Friday's contest, but the Big Reds responded with two seconds left in the opening period on a goal by Brian Ferlin.
Cornell would build their lead over the next two frames, with a John McCarron marker in the second, followed by contributions from Ferlin and Greg Miller just six minutes into the third.
Ferris State initiated a scoring surge late in the game, beginning with freshman Dakota Kletcha's marker with 12:24 elapsed. Less than three minutes later, the Bulldogs pulled within one on a center-ice goal by sophomore Simon Denis.
The Big Reds secured the victory with 13 seconds remaining on an empty-netter from Erik Axell.
Cornell's Andy Iles and Ferris State's C.J. Motte each finished with 22 saves apiece. Freshman netminder Charles Williams relieved Motte midway through the third to collect three saves in as many shots.
Freshman defenseman Brandon Anselmini led the Bulldogs with two assists.
A three-goal effort in the second period proved the be the difference-maker for Ferris State in Saturday's game, after being down by a 2-1 margin against Minnesota-Duluth following the first 20 minutes of play.
Sophomore Justtin Buzzeo took a feed from classmate Dom Panetta off a face-off to give Ferris State the initial lead seven minutes into the contest.
Nine minutes later however, Minnesota-Duluth answered back with scores by Adam Krause and Caleb Hebert within a 30-second span to quickly turn the tides.
Not to be outdone, Ferris State evened-up the scoreboard on a short-handed goal by junior forward Corey Kane with 4:58 elapsed in the middle stanza.
In the final minute of the second, Ferris State Alexander and Anselmini each lit the lamp to put Ferris State back in the lead with their fourth and third goals of the season, respectively.
Special teams came into play late in the third for Ferris State, as forwards Kyle Bonis and Justin DeMartino both scored while on the man-advantage to put the game out of reach.
Williams earned his first collegiate victory with 23 stops, while Matt McNeely (16 saves) and Aaron Crandall (four) saw action for Minnesota-Duluth.
Junior forward Andy Huff had a team-high two helpers for Ferris State.
The Bulldogs (8-8-1 overall, 6-6-3 CCHA) venture back to Big Rapids this weekend, where they will play host to Michigan State (5-11-3 overall, 4-8-1-0 CCHA) on Saturday with puck-drop scheduled for 5:05 pm.