FSU leans on special teams

MCDONALD: Ferris State sophomore forward Chad McDonald gets ready for a faceoff earlier this season. (Pioneer file photo)

MCDONALD: Ferris State sophomore forward Chad McDonald gets ready for a faceoff earlier this season. (Pioneer file photo)

Bulldogs’ penalty kill meets Mavericks’ top-ranked power play

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota State University has scored five power play goals in four games against Ferris State University this season.

FSU coach Bob Daniels has a simple solution to thwart the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s top power play unit when the two teams meet again Friday in the conference semifinal at 8:37 p.m. in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“We’re not going to take any penalties,” Daniels said. “That will probably be the way to do it. I don’t know if we have a solution for their power play other than to stay out of the box.”

The Mavericks’ power play is operating at a 24.2 percent clip and is 5 of 20 on the man-advantage against FSU this season.

The Bulldogs’ penalty kill has been anything but permeable, though. It sits at 88.1 percent, which is second in the WCHA.

They also held Bemidji State scoreless on six power play attempts in their 3-2 series-clinching win on Saturday.

“Our penalty kill has been very good all year,” Daniels said. “When you have a goalie like CJ (Motte), you’re going to have a pretty good PK anyways. With that said, if we can limit our penalties to two or three a night, I think that’s mission accomplished.”

Limiting the Mavericks’ chances has been an issue, however.

MSU has had three or more man-advantage opportunities in all four meetings this season, including six attempts in a 3-1 win Jan. 17 and seven attempts in a 5-1 win Jan. 31.

“We have to stay disciplined and play between the whistles,” senior forward Justin Buzzeo said. “I think that’s going to be a huge thing. They’ve had some success against us, but we’ve switched some things up and hopefully we can do whatever it takes to keep them off the scoreboard.”

The Mavericks have won seven straight against the Bulldogs dating back to last season.

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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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