Ferris State hockey blanked by Michigan State in first round of Great Lakes Invitational, 2-0

DETROIT — In the previous 49 years, the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) has never had Ferris State in its field of participants until this season for the 50th anniversary of the prestigious holiday tournament.

But Michigan State spoiled the Bulldogs’ first appearance in the GLI in program history with a 2-0 first-round shutout victory at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday, sending Ferris State (9-8-1, 6-4-0 WCHA) to a matchup with Michigan Tech (13-4-0, 10-2-0 WCHA) in the third-place game today at 3:30 p.m. after the  No. 5 Huskies were upset by Michigan, 2-1, earlier in the day.

CROSSED UP: Ferris State’s Kenny Babinski (left) tries to shake Michigan State’s John Draeger (right) during the first round of the Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday. The Bulldogs suffered a 2-0 loss to the Spartans to set up a third-place game against Michigan Tech today. (Ferris State Athletics/Michael Corn)

CROSSED UP: Ferris State’s Kenny Babinski (left) tries to shake Michigan State’s John Draeger (right) during the first round of the Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday. The Bulldogs suffered a 2-0 loss to the Spartans to set up a third-place game against Michigan Tech today. (Ferris State Athletics/Michael Corn)

The Spartans (7-9-1, 1-2-1 Big Ten) and Wolverines (9-7-0, 2-1-0 Big Ten) will square off in the championship game at 7 p.m. today.

After a scoreless first period between the two teams, Michigan State broke the scoreless tie when senior forward Brent Darnell lit the lamp on an assist from sophomore defenseman Rhett Holland to give MSU the 1-0 edge with 16:25 to play in the second frame.

Michigan State held a 21-19 advantage in shots through the first two period until Ferris State ramped up the pressure with a 12-8 edge in shots in the final period, but none of those shots found the back of the Spartan net and MSU added an empty-net goal by sophomore forward Thomas Ebbing in the final minute of play to set the final score at 2-0.

MSU sophomore forwards Mackenzie MacEachern and Joe Cox picked up the helpers on Ebbing’s goal.

The Bulldogs finished the night with a 31-29 lead in shots, with MSU junior goaltender Jake Hildebrand (7-9-1) recording 31 saves for the shutout while FSU senior goaltender C.J. Motte (9-7-1) stopped 27 shots in the loss.

Ferris State went 0-for-4 on the power play while the Spartans couldn’t convert on their two chances with the man advantage.

Overall, the Bulldogs were whistled for four penalties for eight minutes while Michigan State spent 12 minutes in the penalty box for six infractions.

Both of today’s GLI games will be televised on Fox Sports Detroit Plus.

Following today’s third-place game, the Bulldogs will travel to Alaska for four games over a one-week span as FSU battles both the Alaska Nanooks (10-8-0, 5-7-0 WCHA) and Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves (5-7-4, 2-6-2 WCHA) in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play beginning on Jan. 2-3, 2015, in Fairbanks.

The next home contest for Ferris State is scheduled for Jan. 16-17, 2015, when the Bulldogs host Minnesota State in conference play at Ewigleben Ice Arena.

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