Slow start dooms Ferris State hockey at Mariucci Classic

By Mike Cook

MINNEAPOLIS — The beginning of Friday’s game was too much to overcome for the Ferris State University hockey team.

Harvard scored the first three goals en route to a 7-3 win over the Bulldogs at the Mariucci Classic. FSU (8-9-4), which has lost four of seven games since Thanksgiving, will face either Connecticut or Minnesota in Saturday’s third-place game.

The seven goals are the most allowed by FSU since losing 9-4 to Michigan on Jan. 26, 2007. The Bulldogs had allowed just eight tallies in four December contests.

“Our first period was horrendous, and I think that’s being generous on my part,” said FSU head coach Bob Daniels. ”I did think we played pretty well in the second and third, but I was extremely disappointed with how we came out and played. That’s as bad as we’ve played in about eight years, that first period.”

Harvard had an 11-2 shot advantage midway through the opening period. The seventh-ranked Crimson (7-1-3) also had a 1-0 lead by that point because Lewis Zerter-Gossage tipped a slap shot past Williams at 8:38.

Four minutes later, the Crimson made it 2-0 when Jimmy Vesey scored. It was Harvard’s 16th shot of the period, 13 more than the Bulldogs at that point.

Yet, FSU finished the game with a 38-35 shots advantage.

An errant clearing pass by Lowney was quickly turned into a 3-0 deficit two minutes thereafter when a wide-open Jake Horton scored from the edge of the crease, a shot Williams had no chance to get.

“There’s no way the ice should have been tilted like that,” Daniels said. “We just did not come to play at all. Hopefully, lesson learned.”

Down 3-0, freshman Jacob Hetz scored his first career goal before the period expired.

Off a shot by Recktenwald, Andrew Mayer corralled a rebound behind the goal line and circled the net. Coming out to the left, and as he was being knocked down, Mayer passed across the crease to Hetz. With one knee on the ice, the freshman put a wristshot behind goaltender Merrick Madsen at 17:57.

A Crimson power-play goal by Kyle Criscuolo made it 4-1 midway through the second, but Trevor Recktenwald responded 86 seconds later, redirecting a shot from Simon Denis into the Crimson net for his second goal of the season. Mayer, the third member of the fourth line, finished with two assists.

Daniels called the trio’s play “probably the one shining light” of the first period.

“They played really well against Northern Michigan (Dec. 11-12),” Daniels said. “They got two one night there as well. When you start getting two goals a night from your fourth line, usually you win those games.”

However, the rest of the team continues to struggle on offense. This was just the fourth time in 12 games since Nov. 7 that FSU scored at least three goals.

“(Goals) will come because there’s guys who are proven scorers, but the fourth line certainly earned all they got tonight through hard play,” Daniels said.

Lowney scored his first of the year on a power play with 2:17 to play.

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