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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ferris State silences Seawolves

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

A lot can happen in 30 days.

Just look at the recent run that Ferris State hockey has experienced in the month of February, faring 5-1 after beginning the calendar year with a mediocre ledger of 4-4.

With their recent sweep over Alaska Anchorage, the Bulldogs have now won six of their last seven contests and are once again flying solo atop the WCHA standings over Minnesota State by a four-point margin.

A five-minute charging major called against the Seawolves was the catalyst for Ferris State's first goal in Friday's game, with Justin Buzzeo turning on the red light at 11:37 off a feed from Jason Binkley and Rob Schempp.

Six minutes later, the Bulldogs made it a 2-0 affair, this time off of a slapshot by Kenny Babinski from just outside of the right faceoff circle.

Alaska Anchorage would avenge that goal early in the second, thanks to a one-timer by Jordan Kwas, which came while on the mad-advantage.

Not to be outdone, Ferris State quickly responded just shy of the five-minute mark on a tip-in by freshman Jared VanWormer off of defenseman Brandon Anselmini's shot from the point.

The line of Andy Huff, Cory Kane and Gerald Mayhew accounted for the Bulldogs' final goal, which came with under two minutes remaining in regulation. The scoring play began with Kane digging the puck out of the corner and tipping the puck in front of the net to Huff, who graciously fed a streaking Mayhew between the circles for the finish.

Andrew Pettitt of the Seawolves closed out the night with an unassisted marker 16 seconds later to cut the deficit in half.

Chris Kamal of Alaska Anchorage had a game-high 33 saves in the loss, compared to C.J. Motte's 29 stops.

Ferris State wrapped-up the series on Saturday with an even better offensive performance, earning a 5-3 decision that saw three of their goals scored in the first period alone.

Senior forward Garrett Thompson nabbed his 14th goal of the campaign with a blast just outside the crease at the 8:06 mark. Earning helpers on that play were Buzzeo and Schempp.

Nearly eight minutes would pass before the Bulldogs were able to capitalize once again. After winning a tough faceoff draw, Kane sent the puck over to an opportunistic Mayhew to complete the scoring sequence.

Kane was finally able to register a goal himself at the 17:30 mark, which came courtesy of a Seawolves turnover in the neutral zone.

Alaska Anchorage ended their dry spell at the 6:08 mark of the second period, when Scott Allen sent a pass over to Matt Allen for a one-timer that fell just out of Motte's reach.

A penalty-kill situation shortly thereafter did not prevent Ferris State from generating some offense, thanks to Huff banging one in 30 seconds later off a 2-on-1 breakaway.

Bailey put the Seawolves back in the picture with 14:26 elapsed, this time firing the puck from the middle lane.

Despite Brett Cameron's marker 14 seconds into the third to make it a one-goal affair, the Bulldogs stood their ground the rest of the way, adding an insurance goal just before the buzzer on Chad MacDonald's empty-netter.

Motte boosted his record to 22-5-3 overall with a 37 save performance. At the other end of the ice, Rob Gunderson had 26 stops to his credit.

Ferris State (23-7-3 overall, 18-4-2 WCHA) heads over to Fairbanks, Alaska this weekend for a two-game slate against former CCHA rival Alaska, whom they swept in their previous encounter back in November.

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