By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer
Well, that's one way to make a debut.
Competing in their first-ever series under the WCHA banner, Ferris State downed Alabama-Huntsville on consecutive nights this past weekend, notching 5-0 and 3-2 victories.
The Bulldogs put on a goal-scoring clinic in Friday's contest, rattling off four goals in the first period alone.
Junior forward Dominic Panetta initiated the surge, beating Chargers' netminder Carmine Guerriero just 1:40 into the contest.
That lead would be doubled 12 minutes later by senior Garrett Thompson, who scored the first of Ferris State's three power play goals of the evening.
Kenny Babisnki banged one in from the right side at 17:47, before freshman Kyle Schempp registered a marker on the man-advantage with 20 seconds remaining.
Just past the halfway point of the second, defenseman Scott Czarnowczan chipped in a score on the power-play, with assists being credited to Justin DeMartino and Thompson.
Junior defenseman Jason Binkley had a pair of helpers, while goaltender C.J. Motte stopped 21 shots en route to earning his first shutout of the season.
Competition amongst the two squads was a bit more fierce in the finale, with an opening stanza in which neither team found the back of the net.
Alabama-Huntsville's Alex Allan broke the silence an even-strength marker at 11:29 in the second, but Ferris State's Justin Buzzeo would respond with the equalizer a minute later.
A similar situation would end up playing out in the final stanza, with Matt Salhany restoring the Chargers' lead with 13:04 elapsed before Schempp returned the favor 19 seconds after the restart.
A cross-checking call levied against Alabama-Huntsville late in the game proved to be the deciding factor, as Czarnowczan and DeMartino set-up Buzzeo's game-winner with 3:24 remaining.
Motte collected 19 saves to improve to 5-0 as a starter, while counterpart Matt Larose finished with 42 of 45 shots faced.
The Bulldogs (5-2-0 overall, 2-0-0 WCHA) return to Big Rapids for the first of their next three weekends at home, beginning with a two-game slate against Bemidji State.