Ferris defenseman Kallen helping out with scoring

Nate Kallen answers questions at a Ferris press conference. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel).

BIG RAPIDS — Nate Kallen isn’t guaranteeing how many goals he’ll score from his defenseman’s spot this season.

But the Ferris sophomore defenseman is making key contributions to a Bulldog team that has won three straight and takes on Michigan State in a home-and-home series this weekend.

Ferris is at Michigan State Friday night and the Spartans come to Big Rapids on Saturdays.

Kallen scored his second and third goals of the season in Saturday’s 5-3 win over Alaska, which upped Ferris’ record to 5-6-1.

“It feels great,” he said after the game. “We had a great team effort.”

One of two players, as a freshman last season, to dress in all 37 games for Ferris State, Kallen finished with two goals and five assists for seven points.

Kallen played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League (USHL) under head coach Todd Krygier, and had three goals and 14 assists in 59 games for the Lumberjacks during the 2015-16 season. In 2014-15, he was with the Belle Tire U18 team and had 17 points in 33 games on five goals and 12 assists.

Kallen grew up in San Diego, and played for the San Diego Jr. Gulls midget team as well as the San Diego Gulls junior squad in the Western States Hockey League. He was selected to participate in USA Hockey’s Developmental Camp in 2014.

After a slow start, the three-game winning streak has boosted the Bulldogs confidence.

“Since our (3-2 overtime) win against Michigan, I think that really sparked something,” Kallen said.

After 12 games, the Bulldog have enjoyed scoring depth. Kallen expects this to continue.

“Especially, on the back end, we have a lot of good defenseman and our forwards are really deep,” he said. “I try to put the puck in the net when I can. If we play hard and smart, that will help us stay out of the penalty box and keep winning.”

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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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