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Monday, March 04, 2013

U-M captures 5 of 6 points from Bulldogs

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Ferris State's performance against Michigan in the final week of the CCHA regular season can be looked at two different ways.

On one hand, the Bulldogs dropped a 4-1 decision on Friday and tied the Wolverines 1-1 the following night before being upended in a shootout.

Looking at it from a different perspective, even though Ferris State fell short, they still managed to finish within the top five of the CCHA standings and have earned a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Michigan came out energized in the series opener, rolling out to a 2-0 lead midway through the first on scores from Zach Hyman and Derek DeBlois.

It wasn't until a power-play opportunity later in the frame that Ferris State would respond, as senior forward Travis Ouellette scored on Wolverines' netminder Steve Racine from the left side of the post at the 16:09 mark. Junior forward Garrett Thompson and sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley were both credited with helpers on that play.

In the ensuing period, momentum shifted back to Michigan's side courtesy one-timer from between the circles by Lee Moffie off a Phil DiGiuseppe pass with less than six minutes remaining.

The icing on the cake for the Wolverines came with 12:13 elapsed in the third, when Lee Moffie fired a shot from the blue line that took a wicked bounce off a Bulldogs' defender before sliding past C.J. Motte.

Motte faced double-digit shots in all three periods to finish with 33 saves, while counterpart Racine had 22 to his credit.

Saturday's tilt was more evenly matched, with Michigan once again grabbing the early lead off of Kevin Lynch's power-play marker nearly eight minutes in.

Ferris State evened-up the score in the following stanza thanks in large part to a breakdown in the Wolverines' defensive zone. Ouellette brought the puck up-ice quickly to create a 2-on-1 situation before dumping it off to linemate Justin DeMartino near the corner. From there, DeMartino found freshman defenseman Zach Dorer open on the left-side of the net, who promptly banged one in for his first collegiate goal.

With neither squad able to finish the job in overtime, the game was decided in shootout, where Michigan's A.J. Treais was the only participant to light the lamp.

Despite the loss, Motte once again topped Racine in the saves department, 35-24.

The Wolverines (13-18-3 overall, 10-15-3-3 CCHA), who finished seventh in the CCHA standings, will host Northern Michigan this weekend in a best-of-three series to kick-off the first round of the conference tournament.

The Bulldogs (15-14-5,13-12-3-1) return to the ice on March 15-17, where they'll play host Ohio State in the CCHA quarterfinals. Both teams split against each other in their only regular season series back in January.

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