Ferris ties Bemidji in home finale

DEKE: Ferris State sophomore forward Gerald Mayhew eludes a Bemidji State player on  Saturday. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

DEKE: Ferris State sophomore forward Gerald Mayhew eludes a Bemidji State player on
Saturday. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

Bulldogs wrap up final home series with 1-1 tie with Beavers, move to 14-19-2

BIG RAPIDS — A low scoring weekend also resulted in Ferris State settling for a tie against Bemidji State in Saturday’s regular-season home finale for the Bulldogs.

Justin Buzzeo scored the only goal for Ferris in a 1-1 tie. Bemidji State won Friday’s game 2-1.

It was only Ferris’ second tie of the season and first in the WCHA. It was Bemidji State’s fifth.

“It was a tight hockey game where goals were hard to come by,” Daniels said. “Tonight, unlike (Friday night), I didn’t think we got off to a slow start. I thought we played pretty well for all three periods. Bemidji is a good team, but we have such a hard time scoring goals. It seemed like on some of our best chances we didn’t get shots away.”

The Bulldogs are 14-19-2 overall and 11-14-1 in the league. The Beavers are 15-4-5 and 11-10-5.

“I thought we played well enough to win,” Buzzeo said. “They’re a pretty good defensive team and shut us down. I thought we could have penetrated the zone more with the puck.”

The Beavers scored at 6:20 of the second period when Kyle Bauman scored his eighth on the season, assisted by Nate Arentz and Gerry Fitzgerald.

Ferris had a 16-6 shots advantage in the second period but couldn’t get the puck past Beaver goalie Michael Bitzer.

Ferris goalie CJ Motte kept his team down by a goal with a quick glove save on Sam Rendle’s quick shot at the net early in the third period. Later in the period, Ferris had to kill two Beaver power plays. Moments after killing the second penalty, the Bulldogs tied the game at 8:23 on Justin Buzzeo’s seventh goal of the season with Chad McDonald and Simon Denis assisting.

Ferris had a power-play chance moments late but failed to score and the game headed to overtime. Both teams had 11 shots on net in the third.

McDonald was whistled for a hooking penalty with six seconds left in the overtime but the Beavers didn’t have enough time to mount a serious bid for the winning goal.

“Given the fact we were down by a goal deep into the third and came back and tied and the guys kept coming and coming, that was really good for our team,” Daniels said. “I thought one of the keys going in was somehow coming up with a lead and seeing if we could play with a lead and if that would change the way the game would unfold. As it turned out, we never had the lead.”

The Bulldogs had an 11-5 shots advantage and two power plays in the first period but shut the door and it was 0-0 after the first 20 minutes. McDonald with three shots, and Jared VanWormer with two especially put the pressure in the first period.

The Bulldogs had a 42-24 shots advantage, including 4-2 in the overtime.

“A lot of the 42 were perimeter shots or pucks thrown on the goal,” Daniels said. “When you do that, it leads to goals. Our tying goal was (McDonald) shooting off the corner and a rebound in front and we poke it in. Because they are a hard team to penetrate and get a lot of great looks, what happens then is because they’re clustered around the goal, ‘let’s throw it on net, crash the net and see if we can get a rebound. That’s what happened to tie it. I’d say we had a handful of fairly good quality chances.”

Goalie CJ Motte, playing his finale regular-season home game on senior night, had 23 saves compared to 41 for Bitner.

“Mack went wide and just threw it at the feet,” Buzzeo said. “It happened to bounce in front and the goalie has his legs spread so I just put if five hole.”

“I was happy for Buzz to get that goal as a senior,” Daniels said. “CJ Motte, it would have been nice for him to get that win on senior night, but he had a strong game as well.”

Ferris will end the regular season with WCHA games Friday and Saturday at Lake Superior State.

“We still have a shot at home ice (for the WCHA playoffs),” Daniels said. “We’d have to sweep and get some help. If we do our part and get four points, we still have a shot. If not, we’ll try to get as high of a seed as we can.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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