Men's hockey: Ferris State dominates third period, tops BSU 4-1
BEMIDJI — The BSU men’s hockey team matched No. 4 Ferris State nearly blow-for-blow in the first 40 minutes Friday night.
Ferris State scored three times in the third period en route to a 4-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory at the Sanford Center.
“We played a good 40 minutes,” said BSU winger Radoslav Illo, who scored the Beavers’ lone goal midway through the third period. “These are bummers. You don’t want to lose like this this late in the season, especially when the pressure’s on us and we need to win games.”
The Beavers (8-16-7, 8-11-4 WCHA) went to the final period trailing just 1-0, as Travis White opened the scoring for the Bulldogs (21-6-3, 16-3-2 WCHA) nine minutes into the game. However, neither team appeared to have an edge until the third period.
Ferris State’s Cory Kane made it 2-0 five minutes into the period and from then on the Beavers seemed to struggle to generate the same kinds of scoring chances they generated in the first two periods. BSU had outshot Ferris 22-19 through two periods but the Bulldogs dominated 10-1 in the first 10 minutes of the final frame.
“That third period, I’d like to have back, no question,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “We killed off that penalty, which was great, but we wanted to get into a little bit of a rhythm right there. But once they got that second goal it was tough. They’re just a tough team when they have a lead.”
Illo appeared to give the Beavers some hope at the 13:23 mark. Teammate Ruslan Pedan stripped the puck from Brandon Anselmini at the blue line and fed it to Illo, who had a breakaway and beat FSU goaltender CJ Motte in stride.
That cut the lead to 2-1 and gave the Beavers a chance to tie but less than 25 seconds later Justin DeMartino capitalized on a BSU turnover and redirected a puck past BSU goaltender Jesse Wilkins to get the goal back.
“That was a bummer. We got a little excited that we could tie the game but then they got that goal back,” Illo said. “We can’t let shots like that go through, we have to do a little better in the defensive zone.”
The Beavers had a few more chances later in the period — including a power play with six minutes left — but never got back within one.
Ferris State’s Chad McDonald scored an empty-net goal with 22 seconds left to seal the victory.
“Scoring that third goal right after they got their first was huge for us,” FSU head coach Bob Daniels said. “It was a little fortuitous, I think it ricocheted off one of our guys, but that was still a big moment for us to take away some momentum from them.”
Motte, a Hobey Baker Award nominee, made 25 saves for the Bulldogs while Wilkins was also solid for BSU, stopping 27 shots.
The Beavers had just two power plays all game — including one very good one in the first period in which they kept it in the Ferris zone for all two minutes — while Ferris was given five chances on the man-advantage. The BSU penalty kill, which gave up four goals last weekend against Minnesota State, returned to form Friday and held the Bulldogs scoreless.
“Tonight we got on the power play a lot, and I wish we would have done better, but they obviously have one of the best penalty kills in the country,” Daniels said. “I like their team quite a bit.”
The Beavers, fall to 3-9-4 on home ice and are winless at the Sanford Center since Nov. 23. BSU has three more games in Bemidji, including today’s rematch with the Bulldogs at 7:07 p.m.
The Beavers are currently clinging to seventh place in the conference standings along with Lake Superior State. Both have 20 points while ninth-place Northern Michigan has 19.
“They’re a good team, one of the top teams in the country,” Illo said. “But I don’t feel like we were much worse today. I think we can play with them, we showed that in the first two periods. We just have to stay positive and play 60 minutes.”
BSU 0 0 1 — 1
FSU 1 0 3 — 4
First Period — 1, FSU, White (Robertson, Babinski), 8:34. Penalties — BSU, Gerbrandt (Tripping), 1:07; BSU, Rendle (Hooking), 8:34; BSU, Cain (Tripping), 10:09.
Second Period — No Scoring. Penalties — FSU, Kane (Interference), 11:12; BSU, Harms (Slashing), 18:50.
Third Period — 2, FSU, Kane (Anselmini), 4:47; 3,BSU, Illo (Pedan), 13:24; 4, FSU, DeMartino (Kane, Mayhew), 13:46; 5, FSU, McDonald (Unassisted), 19:38, EN. Penalties — BSU, Ward (Interference), 6:55; FSU, Klecha (Slashing), 13:53.
Shots On Goal — FSU, 10-9-12—31; BSU, 9-13-4—26. Goalies (Shots-Saves) — FSU, Motte (26-25); BSU, Wilkins (30-27). Penalties-Minutes — FSU, 2-4; BSU, 5-10. Power Plays-Opportunities — FSU, 0-for-5; BSU, 0-for-2. Faceoffs — BSU 36-30. Three Stars — 1, Kane, FSU; 2, White, FSU; 3, Illo, BSU.