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Monday, February 18, 2013

Bulldogs spilt with Falcons in home finale

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Much like their previous series back in November, Ferris State experienced a tough test this past weekend at the hands of Bowling Green State, earning a split in the Bulldogs' final CCHA home series.

Friday's action favored Ferris State early on as senior forward and team captain Kyle Bonis scored off a pass from classmate Matthew Kirzinger with 16:47 elapsed in the opening period. Also earning a helper on that play was sophomore defenseman Simon Denis, who tallied his 14th assist of the campaign.

The Bulldogs appeared to be headed toward a 1-0 victory until late in the third, when Camden Wojtala banged one in off the post to beat netminder C.J. Motte with 1:28 left in regulation to force the extra session.

As the clock neared the halfway point of overtime, the Falcons completed their come-from-behind victory thanks to a backhanded goal by Ryan Carpenter off a rebound from Connor Kucera.

Backup goaltender Tommy Burke earned his fourth win of the year by stopping 36 shots, while Motte had 30 to his credit.

The series finale saw Ferris State honor their senior class prior to Saturday's contest, which consisted of forwards Eric Alexander, Bonis, Matthew Kirzinger and Travis Ouellette, along with goalie Rob Granett.

A Bulldogs clear-out in their defensive zone midway through the first period spurred a 2-on-2 opportunity, as junior forward Justin DeMartino streaked down the right side of the ice before sending the puck between the faceoff dots to sophomore Justin Buzzeo for the finish.

The lead would be short-lived however, due to a Ferris State turnover in the neutral zone nearly six minutes later. Adam Berkle netted an equalizer for Bowling Green State by beating Motte with a backhanded shot off a Brent Tate pass.

With 52 seconds left in the frame, the Bulldogs were able to light the lamp once again, this time on a breakaway by Bonis which came while on the penalty kill.

Momentum carried over into the ensuing stanza, where Alexander sent the puck up-ice toward junior Corey Kane off the left wing to make it a 3-1 game with 1:32 elapsed.

Not to be outdone, the Falcons were able to recover minutes later by rattling off a pair of goals within a 35 second span. The first score came off a turnover in the Ferris State defensive zone that allowed Berkle to fire from afar. With plenty of traffic near the net, Tate chipped in the loose rebound to pull Bowling Green State within one. Shortly thereafter, the Falcons took advantage of a 3-on-2 rush that saw Chad Sumsion leave a drop-pass for Brett Mohler to knot it up at three goals apiece.

A power-play marker by junior forward Garrett Thompson with less than four minutes left in the second put the Bulldogs back out on top, in what would also turn out to be the game-winning goal.

Motte notched his 14th victory of the 2012-2013 season, recording 26 saves in the process to Burke's 16.

Ferris State (15-13-4 overall, 13-11-2-1 CCHA) returns to action on March 1-2, when they hit the road for their regular season finale against the University of Michigan (10-18-2, 7-15-2-2).

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