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So Long Spartans

Ferris sets records, swept Spartans, now leads league

by Published: Feb 1, 2012

Sweeping the Spartans: FSU junior cen­ter Travis Ouellette faces off against a Spartan dur­ing the Michigan State game Jan. 27. The Bulldogs swept the series against Michigan State for the first time since 1990. Photo By: Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor

For the first time in the Bulldog hockey pro­gram, Ferris recorded two wins over the Spartans in the same weekend.

The Spartans came to Big Rapids Jan. 27–28 look­ing to move up in the CCHA stand­ings. But the Bulldogs thwarted Michigan State in the first game of the series, defeat­ing them 2–1.

Ferris net­ted its first goal of the game with 18 sec­onds left in the sec­ond period. Senior cap­tain Chad Billins was awarded his fourth goal of the sea­son dur­ing a power play. Senior for­ward Derek Graham and fresh­man defense­man Simon Denis earned assists on the goal.

Freshman for­ward TJ Schlueter net­ted the final tally for Ferris, his fourth goal of the sea­son and first game-winning goal of his Bulldog career. Graham assisted on the goal.

Senior Ferris for­ward Jordie Johnston said that in the first game of the series, a goal the Bulldogs scored was waived off due to review. Then MSU scored a goal that went to review, but its goal was counted.

“We know a lot of teams will get down after a sit­u­a­tion like that,” Johnston said. “Instead, we fought back and scored a goal pretty soon after. I think that was the moment that showed we were there for the week­end and we weren’t going to let another team define how we were going to play.”

In the sec­ond game of the series, Ferris handed MSU a 4–3 defeat. Graham was the first to score for the Bulldogs’ offense. Since switch­ing from defense­man to for­ward, senior for­ward Derek Graham has scored nine points (2G, 7A) in the last six games.

Sophomore for­ward Cory Kane found the back of the Spartans’ net with 36 sec­onds left in the first period, giv­ing the Bulldogs a 2–1 lead.

Johnston scored his 15th goal of the sea­son. Junior for­ward Travis Ouellette broke a 3–3 tie with his game-winning goal on the power play, 1:56 into the third period.

As the final game of the series came to an end, the entire arena chanted “FSU.” All mem­bers of the crowd were on their feet, giv­ing the Bulldogs a stand­ing ovation.

“I’ve never heard our entire arena chant­ing ‘FSU, FSU.’ It hon­estly sent chills through­out my body,” senior Ferris goal­tender Taylor Nelson said. “The last minute of that sec­ond game, you couldn’t hear any­thing. It was so loud; it was incredible.”

Nelson started both games for the Bulldogs. Nelson’s sea­son record improved to 13−4−1.

The Bulldogs are now 11−6−3−1 in the con­fer­ence and 17−8−3 over­all. Ferris moved to the top of the con­fer­ence by earn­ing six league points after sweep­ing MSU.

The Bulldogs are on an eight-game unbeaten streak, 6−0−2. Though the Bulldogs are on an eight-game win streak, Nelson said the team should not be sat­is­fied with the streak they’re on. Instead, Nelson believes the team needs to keep the streak going.

“Yeah, we’re in first. But from first to eighth place, there’s no point dif­fer­ence,” Nelson said. “Every game from here on out is going to be a war. We can’t afford to take a night off at any point.”

Ferris will need to find a way to score on Northern Michigan’s sopho­more goal­tender Jared Coreau dur­ing the Bulldogs’ road trip Feb. 3–4 to NMU.

Coreau is 6th-ranked in the nation in save per­cent­age, .930-percent after 16 games played, accord­ing to U.S. College Hockey Online. Coreau is 8−4−2 this season.

Northern split its road series against Miami Jan. 27–28. Northern is nation­ally 19th-ranked (USCHO). The Bulldogs will face Northern Michigan on the Wildcats’ Olympic-sized rink, 200 feet by 100 feet, which is 15 feet wider than the Bulldogs’ rink.

“Any team can win on any given night, and Northern is no excep­tion,” Nelson said. “It’s going to be another battle.”

To view a photo gallery from the series, visit http://​www​.fsu​torch​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​0​1​/​2​9​/​w​e​b​-​e​x​c​l​u​s​i​v​e​/​h​o​c​k​e​y​-​v​s​-​m​i​c​h​i​g​a​n​-​s​t​a​t​e​-​p​h​o​t​o​-​g​a​l​l​e​ry/