Ferris hockey team edges Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Ferris State University men’s ice hockey defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 3-2 in a nationally-televised contest at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Saturday in nonconference action as the two squads wrapped up a weekend series.

For Ferris State, senior captain Corey Mackin scored twice, including the game-winner, while freshman netminder Roni Salmenkangas made 44 saves in a stalwart effort between the pipes against the Big Ten Conference foe.

The Gophers jumped in front at 5:22 of the first period on the power play when Brent Gates Jr. scored on the man-advantage to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead.

The Bulldogs evened the score at 13:13 of the second period when Mackin punched in his first goal of the game on the power play for his sixth of the season, jarring in a loose puck at the top of the crease. Junior forward Jason Tackett earned his seventh assist of the year while redshirt junior forward Craig Pefley notched his seventh to knot the game up.

Minnesota responded at 15:09 of the second on the power play when Nathan Burke scored on a breakaway to push the Gophers back in front 2-1.

At the expiration of a Bulldog power play, Ferris tied the game at 2-2 at 1:47 of the third period when sophomore forward Coale Norris drove the net front and tipped in a pass from sophomore forward Lucas Finner (1). Sophomore forward Frankie Melton also earned his fifth assist of the season.

Ferris State took the lead with the game-winning goal on the power play at 11:20 of the third when Mackin scored his seventh of the season and 40th career collegiate goal for the Bulldogs. Pefley (8) and junior defenseman Nate Kallen (14) earned assists on the game-winning goal.

For the Bulldogs, Pefley picked up his fifth assist of the weekend, as the redshirt junior assisted on five of Ferris six goals.

In goal, Salmenkangas picked up the win with 44 saves, a career-high for the Finland native and freshman, while Minnesota’s Eric Schierhorn took the loss for the Gophers.

The Bulldogs snapped an 11-game winless streak and are 5-14-1 overall.

Ferris hits the road again to take on the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play on Friday and Saturday at the Von Braun Center with both puck drops set for 8:07 p.m. in Huntsville, Ala.

FSU will then return home for its first home action of 2019 on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12, against Minnesota State.

Minnesota 5, Ferris 3 (Friday)

Ferris fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday (Dec. 28) at Mariucci Ice Arena .

Pefley notched three assists in the contest while freshman defenseman Cooper Zech fired a goal and added an assist to remain the Western Collegiate Hockey Association freshman and defenseman scoring leader.

The Gophers got on the board first at 1:53 when Scott Reedy scored his first of the night for a 1-0 Minnesota lead, but the Bulldogs responded with a pair of their own goals.

First, at 3:20, Kallen scored his third of the year on the rush, beating Gopher goaltender Mat Robson high. Pefley (4) and Zech (13) earned assists on Kallen’s goal.

Shortly after, the Bulldogs notched a power play goal at 11:47 of the first when Zech rifled a shot in off the back-bar of the net for his fourth goal of the season and team-leading 17th point of the year from Pefley (5) and Kallen (13).

Minnesota tied the game on a Brent Gates Jr. goal at 14:42 to knot the score at 2-2, but the Bulldogs again reclaimed the lead.

In the final minute, at 19:01 of the first, Tackett picked up his sixth goal of the year on a one-timer from the inside of the right wing faceoff circle on a cross ice feed from Pefley, who picked up his third assist of the night and sixth of the year. Mackin earned his ninth assist of the year on the goal as well, giving FSU a 3-2 lead after one period.





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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