Bulldogs win exhibition opener

DeMartino nets hat trick in FSU’s 8-2 win over Ryerson

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State’s hockey team kicked off its 2012 season in impressive fashion in an 8-2 win over Ryerson University on Sunday.

Justin DeMartino netted a hat trick in the win, while goaltender CJ Motte made 10 saves on 10 shots to help the Bulldogs open up an early 5-0 lead.

The preseason nationally 11th-ranked Bulldogs poured in three first period goals and cruised past the Rams before an announced crowd of 1,498 fans in Big Rapids.

CONTROL: FSU’s Andy Huff (18) looks to make a play in the offensive zone against Ryerson University. (Pioneer photo/Martin Slagter)

Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said there were plenty of positives and things to work on based on Sunday’s exhibition.

“There were some things I really liked, and some things we’ve really got to work on that we got away with,” he said. “We’ve got to look for our first option instead of skating around looking for another option and getting ourselves into trouble. Early on, CJ Motte made some really great saves, or we could’ve been down 2-0.”

Sophomore forward Nate Milam put the Bulldogs on the board first at 13:19 of the opening frame on an even-strength goal in unassisted fashion.

FSU added another goal at 15:41 of the first when junior wing Garrett Thompson cashed in during a 4-on-4 situation with a marker assisted by Travis White.

The final Bulldog goal of the first stanza came from senior captain Kyle Bonis off assists from Thompson and senior Travis Ouellette at 17:58.

The Bulldogs increased their lead quickly to start the second period by scoring two goals only 22 seconds apart.  The first came from junior wing Justin DeMartino at 3:09 off a feed from freshman defenseman Brandon Anselmini.  The next was by freshman forward Kenny Babinski, who notched his goal at even-strength on an assist from fellow rookie forward Dakota Klecha.

DeMartino said his line was clicking throughout Sunday’s exhibition, which allowed them to put together a number of scoring chances.

“It feels awesome instead of practicing everyday,” he said. “We’re still a little out of shape, with some guys getting tired out there in the third period, including myself. This is a stepping stone in the right direction.”

Ryerson finally cracked the scoreboard at 14:49 of the second period when David Searle notched a power-play goal for the Rams that was unassisted.

The Rams trimmed the margin to 5-2 to start the third and final period when Michael Fine was able to light the lamp off a pass by Daniel Lombardi only 31 seconds into the period.

However, the Bulldogs quickly answered as DeMartino notched his second goal of the game 2:02 into the frame. The goal was assisted by both Babinski and freshman forward Matt Robertson.

Daniels said he liked the offense the team generate on breakaways, but thought the Bulldogs needed to do a better job of creating offense for a sustained period of time.

“I thought we scored a lot of nice goals in transition,” he said. “I don’t know that we had any sustained play in their end of the rink. We’re going to have to find other ways to score, because I don’t think we’ll be able to develop that much offense on line rushes.”

Robertson got into the scoring act himself with less than two minutes to play when he scored off a feed by sophomore forward Justin Buzzeo.

DeMartino wasn’t done, though, as he found the back of the net again to complete a hat trick effort at 19:38 on a goal assisted by both Buzzeo and junior forward Andy Huff.

The Bulldogs utilized three goaltenders in the contest with sophomore CJ Motte playing the initial 20 minutes and making 10 saves.  Freshman Charles Williams stopped five shots in second period action while junior Rob Granett recorded a team-high 11 saves while playing the third and final period.

Ferris State held a decisive 44-28 edge in total shots, which included a game-high 18 in the second period along with 14 in the first and 12 in the third period.

FSU finished 0-of-3 on the power play while the Rams were one-of-three with the man advantage. Ryerson had seven penalties for 33 minutes with the Bulldogs netting six for 23 minutes.

Ferris State will open the 2012-13 regular-season on the road next weekend as the Bulldogs visit RPI on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-13, for a two-game non-league set in Troy, N.Y.  Action gets underway both nights at 7:05 p.m.

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from this game.

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