Ferris falls to third in the CCHA standings with a series against Michigan looming
The Bulldog hockey team was swept at home for the first time this season at the hands of the No. 2 nationally ranked Miami RedHawks.
Ferris entered the series unbeaten in its previous 12 conference contests and 11–0 at home this season. Both streaks came to an end on Friday.
Through 24 games, the Bulldogs are 16−6−2 overall and 10−4−2−2 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). Ferris and Miami were tied for first in the CCHA standings prior to the series and now the Bulldogs trail Miami by six points.
The games drew the two largest crowds of the season as 2,277 people were in attendance on Friday and 2,076 people saw Saturday’s game. None of the preceding games this season had more than 2,000 people at them.
Miami’s goalie, Cody Reichard, earned his first shutout of the season on Friday night as he stopped all 23 shots the Bulldogs threw his way in the 4–0 win. Reichard is the nation’s leading goaltender allowing just 1.53 goals per game. Head coach Bob Daniels credited the Miami defense for the shutout.
“I do think their defense deserves a lot of credit for shutting us down,” said Daniels.
Both the Bulldogs and RedHawks were held without a goal on power play opportunities as Ferris went 0 for 7 and Miami went 0 for 5. Justin Menke and Alden Hirschfeld were given 10-minute game misconduct penalties at different times during the game and were ejected.
On Saturday, the game was much closer and more competitive throughout, but the Bulldogs fell 5–4. Ferris jumped out to a 2–1 lead midway through the second period on goals by senior defenseman Matt Case and junior left wing Mike Fillinger. Miami countered with three goals over the final five minutes of the second period to take a 4–2 lead.
RedHawks captain Tommy Wingels scored his second goal of the contest eight minutes into the third period. Ferris tacked on two more goals, the last coming with 35 seconds remaining in a 6 on 5 advantage.
Daniels was pleased that the team played hard until the end and never gave up, but said the team should not have put itself in that situation.
Senior and Bulldog captain Cody Chupp was escorted off the ice at the end of the second period after suffering a hip injury. Chupp was taken to the hospital for x-rays, which came back negative for any serious injury.
Sophomore goaltender Taylor Nelson surrendered all four goals in the second period before giving way to junior Pat Nagle in the third. Once again, Reichard earned the victory for the RedHawks as he improved his record to 12−2−2 this season.
Four goals were reviewed throughout the course of the game, three of which Ferris scored and were waived off. One of the reviewed goals was confirmed as a goal.
The Bulldogs play the University of Michigan in a home-and-home series this weekend. The Wolverines, currently sixth in the CCHA, are coming off a win and shootout loss against Alaska. The teams will play in Ann Arbor on Friday and then in Big Rapids on Saturday. Both games are scheduled to begin at 8:05 p.m.
“I do think we have work to do, though,” said Daniels. “Michigan obviously has put the pieces of the puzzle back together.”