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Monday, January 27, 2014

Bulldogs split with Michigan Tech

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Coming off the heels of a penalty-laden series against Minnesota State that saw them swept for the first time this season, No. 6 ranked Ferris State managed to earn a split this past weekend against Michigan Tech.

Friday's affair was a classic chess match, as the score remained close throughout the contest. The stoic approach from both sides was on display late in the first period, when the Bulldogs' Andy Huff provided the initial lead at the 16:24 mark. Just a mere 10 seconds later, David Johnstone of the Huskies tied it up at one goal apiece off a feed from Blake Pietila and Brad Stebner.

Less than two minutes into the second frame, freshman forward Chad MacDonald banged one in on MTU netminder Jamie Phillips from just outside to crease to restore Ferris State's lead.

A boarding call against the Bulldogs provided the next scoring opportunity for their opposition, as Reid Sturos lit the lamp on the man-advantage at the 12:00 mark to even-up the score.

The deciding goal came at 8:45 of the final stanza when Ferris State turned the puck over in their defensive zone, allowing Sturos to tally his second marker of the night.

Bulldogs' goaltender C.J. Motte made 30 stops, dropping to 17-4-3 as a starter.

Phillips had 28 saves to his credit, while Pietila tallied a game-high three assists.

Not wanting to be swept two weekends in a row, Ferris State regrouped in the series finale to secure a 3-0 decision.

The Bulldogs scored in each period, beginning with a power-play goal by Huff in the first, with assists being credited to Justin Buzzeo and Ryan Lowney.

Midway through the second, sophomore Dakota Klecha notched his first goal of the campaign in unassisted fashion, beating Phillips with a backhanded shot.

With under nine minutes left in regulation, seniors Justin DeMartino and Scott Czarnowczan helped set-up freshman Jared VanWormer's first collegiate goal.

Earning both his first win of the season and first-ever collegiate shutout for Ferris State was sophomore Charles Williams (1-2) with 25 stops.

Taking the loss for Michigan Tech with 22 saves to his credit was Phillips (3-6-1).

With another weekend in the books, the Bulldogs still remain atop the WCHA with 28 points, while Minnesota State remains in tow with 24.

Ferris State (18-6-3 overall, 13-3-2 WCHA) is idle this weekend, and will return on Feb. 7-8 when they play host to in-state rival Northern Michigan (10-12-2, 8-7-1).

The Huskies (8-14-6, 6-8-4) meanwhile, hit the road for a two-game showdown against third-place Bowling Green State.

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