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Monday, March 18, 2013

Bulldogs ousted by Ohio State in CCHA quarterfinals

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Ferris State's long-standing run within the CCHA came to a bitter end over the weekend, as the Bulldogs lost a best-of-three series to Ohio State in the conference quarterfinals.

Friday's opener favored the visiting Bulldogs, who jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a power-play marker by senior Kyle Bonis from between the faceoff circles with 15:44 elapsed in the first. Earning assists in the process were linemates Travis Ouellette and Justin Buzzeo.

The Buckeyes bounced back to begin the middle frame, notching two goals within the first seven minutes of play. Max McCormick knotted the game up at one goal apiece at the 1:13 mark, after knocking in a rebound on Ferris State goaltender C.J. Motte.

With the Bulldogs down a skater, Ohio State capitalized on that opportunity to grab their first lead of the game at 6:55 on a goal by Tanner Fritz.

Not to be outdone, Ferris State was able to bounce back shortly thereafter on Justin DeMartino's fifth marker of the campaign, which came courtesy of Garrett Thompson and Brandon Anselmini.

DeMartino answered the call once more for the Bulldogs in the early moments of the third, banging in the game-winning goal from close quarters off an Eric Alexander feed at the 1:24 mark.

Ahead by a 3-2 margin, Bonis lit the lamp once more with 24 seconds left on an empty-netter to register his team-high 19th goal of the campaign.

Motte collected 28 saves to pick-up his 15th victory, while counterpart Brady Hjelle had 18 stops.

What Ferris State had hoped would be the close-out game on Saturday, turned out to be the exact opposite, as Ohio State bounced back from one-goal deficit early on to steal a 3-1 decision.

Ouellette placed the Bulldogs in the lead with 3:31 elapsed in the opening stanza on a power-play goal, with helpers being credited to Jason Binkley and Buzzeo.

The Buckeyes evened-up matters 10 minutes later, responding with a goal by Ryan Dzingel on the man-advantage.

Ohio State would light the lamp in each of the remaining two periods to stave off elimination and force a deciding game three.

With both teams looking to keep their respective season alive, there was plenty of action right out of the gates to begin Sunday's clincher, as four of the five scores came in the first period alone.

McCormick tallied his third goal in as many nights to put the Buckeyes ahead at the 1:32 mark, but Ferris State countered at the midway point with scores by juniors Andy Huff and Cory Kane.

Ohio State made it a 2-2 affair with just over a minute remaining in the first, as Curtis Gedig fired a shot over the right shoulder of Motte, which came while on the man-advantage.

Following a scoreless second period, the Buckeyes broke the tie at the 3:33 mark of the third on a goal by Anthony Greco.

Of Ohio State's six assists, three belonged to Dzingel.

Hjelle finished with an astounding 47 saves, 21 of which came in the second period.

Motte had 27 stops in the loss, dropping to 15-15-5 as a starter.

Ferris State ends the 2012-2013 season with an overall ledger of 16-16-5.

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