Bulldogs fall to No. 1

FACE-OFF: Ferris State sophomore forward Jared VanWormer battles during a face-off against a Minnesota State player. The  Bulldogs fell to the No. 1 Mavericks 2-1, advancing to 11-12-1 on the season. (Pioneer photo/Richard Mead)

FACE-OFF: Ferris State sophomore forward Jared VanWormer battles during a face-off against a Minnesota State player. The
Bulldogs fell to the No. 1 Mavericks 2-1, advancing to 11-12-1 on the season. (Pioneer photo/Richard Mead)

National front-runner Minnesota State takes 2-1 win at Ewigleben

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State hockey took a 2-1 loss against the nation’s best team Friday night.

Ferris State held their own in the first period on the heels of great net-minding by senior goaltender CJ Motte. Motte and the Bulldogs were tested early by the Mavericks, as Minnesota State’s Casey Nelson sent a pair of wrist shots at goal
early.

Ferris State’s back end was able to keep Minnesota State at bay through the better part of the first, but the Mavericks changed the pace.

Minnesota State forward Jordan Nelson nudged a rebound off of Motte’s pads, sending it just past the goalie’s out-stretched blocker. The rebound came off of a shot sent by the Maverick’s Casey Nelson. The score made the game 1-0 with 7:53 left in the first.

The Bulldogs had a great chance at evening the score late in the first after Kyle Schempp gained a ten foot edge on a Maverick defenseman and sending a backhander at goal. The shot rang off of the left sidebar of the net resulting in a melodic groan from the home fans. 

The score stood at 1-0 after the first period.

Ferris State was able to hold the puck a bit more in the second. Growing eager to put a point up, Ferris State’s Andrew Dorante charged the net going after the puck, resulting in the forward crashing into the opposing goalie.

After a penalty kill by the Bulldogs, Minnesota State gained a bigger edge on the Bulldogs, sending an outside slap shot over Motte’s left shoulder. The score put the Mavericks up 2-0 with 5:05 left in the second period.

Despite good inside play by Ferris State sophomore forward Gerald Mayhew, the Bulldogs went into the locker room down 2-0 at the end of the second. Minnesota State held a 22-15 advantage in shots-on-goal following the period.

I thought the first period was very even, they had more opportunities than we did in the second and more territorial plays,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said.

The third period saw the Bulldogs hit the ice with new life, evening out their deficit of shots-on-goal and controlling the tempo on both sides of the median.

The Bulldogs dug themselves out of a shutout after junior forward Simon Denis fed a pass to sophomore Kyle Shempp, who quickly sent it past the Mavericks net-minder. This is the first season that Denis has played at forward as a Bulldog, previous seasons played as a defenseman.

Simon kind of chipped the puck in, and after it squirted loose I saw that their goalie came out to play it and I kind of just put it around him,” Shempp said. “It was a good jump-start for us.”

The goal would be the only mustered by the Bulldogs, after a last second shot sailed wide as the final seconds rolled off the clock, giving Minnesota State the 2-1 victory. 

I like the effort, I like the attitude tonight, and I liked our approach to the game,” Daniels said. “It wasn’t a lack of effort or caring, just a couple of our guy’s games were off tonight and kind of fought the puck.”

Ferris State hosts the Mavericks Saturday night in game two of the two-game home series.

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