Ferris comes up short against BSU

FERRIS: Bulldogs forward Kenny Babinski (11) battles for the puck against Bemidji State’s Graeme McCormack on Friday at Ewigleben Arena. BSU won 2-1. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

FERRIS: Bulldogs forward Kenny Babinski (11) battles for the puck against Bemidji State’s Graeme McCormack on Friday at Ewigleben Arena. BSU won 2-1. (Pioneer photo/Ryan Zuke)

Beavers hold on for 2-1 WCHA victory

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State University’s hockey team is chasing Bemidji State in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings, but the Bulldogs were not able to gain ground Friday.

Freshman Tyler Andrew scored his third goal of the season to pull the Bulldogs within one with three minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the third, but the Beavers held on for a 2-1 victory at
Ewigleben Arena.

BSU improved to 15-14-4 overall and 10-10-4 in the WCHA to move four points ahead of FSU. The Bulldogs must win Saturday to stay alive for home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

“We won’t really dwell on the meaning of the game,” FSU coach Bob Daniels said. “Now-a-days, the guys all have the standings right in front of them. The message for us is we need to have a better first period. The only thing I was a little disgruntled with in terms of the game, I thought we could have come out with more energy.”

Despite outshooting BSU 13-4 in the second period, FSU (14-19-1, 11-14 WCHA) entered the intermission down two.

Beavers’ forward Philip Brewer scored on a 2-on-1 feed from John Parker at the 15:33 mark of the second period for a 2-0 lead.

“I thought in the second and third, we picked up our game a bit,” Daniels said. “The only real blunder we made in terms of defensive hockey was the 2-on-1. That was probably the only scoring chance we gave up in that period.”

The Bulldogs went on a power play 14 seconds later — their second of the game — but could not solve goalie Michael Bitzer. He had 35 saves.

CJ Motte countered with 22 saves.

“I thought both goalies were sharp,” Daniels said. “After the first period, it was a pretty tough game for a goalie on our end because he (Motte) didn’t see a lot of chances.”

The Bulldogs’ power play continued to struggle, going 0 for 3. They are converting on just over nine percent of their opportunities this season.

“I thought we had some good looks,” Daniels said of the power play. “On our last opportunity, we hit the goal post. We also had another really good point shot. The overall power play on the year numbers are not what we want at all, but grading tonight’s performance, I thought we gave ourselves some opportunities.”

A FSU turnover behind the net led to a setup in front as forward Cory Ward beat CJ Motte to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead with 3:05 left in the first.

The two teams play again at 7:07 p.m.
Saturday.

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Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

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