Bulldogs fall to BC in title game, season will go down in history
This year’s Bulldog team ends their season as one of two teams who lasted until the NCAA Division I title game. Though the Bulldogs will have to settle as runner-ups.
The Bulldogs were defeated by Boston College 4–1 April 7 in Tampa.
“I can honestly say I can look at each player in that room and know that no one left anything on the table,” said FSU senior goaltender Taylor Nelson.
Boston College opened the scoring only 3:18 into the first period. But the Bulldogs responded 5:19 into the first off a goal scored by sophomore forward Garrett Thompson. Sophomore forward Andy Huff and junior forward Travis Ouellette picked up the helpers on the play.
The Eagles took a 2–1 lead 10:33 into the first period off a power play goal.
Despite the Bulldogs out shooting the Eagles 15–14 in the second period, the score remained 2–1 until late in the third period.
Boston College scored their third goal 16:58 into the third period, increasing their lead to 3–1. Ferris emptied their net for an extra man though Boston College netted a long shot on the empty net to increase their lead to 4–1.
Ferris was unable to convert on four power play chances. The Bulldogs were outshot 37–28.
“We definitely didn’t take advantage of the power plays. In any game, that’s going to kill you. And it was at a crucial time in the game, too,” said senior forward Jordie Johnston. “Probably would have changed the outcome quite a bit.”
The Bulldogs finished their season 26−12−5, which included a CCHA regular season championship, Midwest Regional crown, and national runner-up laurels.
“What a year. What a year we’ve had,” said Nelson. “All season long, we sacrificed for one another. We bled for one another. And as far as what it means to the program, I think in our minds, it’s made history.”
Nelson made 33 saves in the game for the Bulldogs and finished the year with a 21−7−3 record.
“Nelly played unreal. He has all year for us. He’s always found a way to make a big save at a big time to spark us,” said Johnston. “Tonight we just didn’t pay him back by going down and putting one in the other end. But, you know, that happens.”
Bulldog senior defenseman Chad Billins and junior forward Kyle Bonis were placed on the 2012 Frozen Four All-Tournament Team.
This was the first ever title game for the Bulldogs men’s hockey program and only their second NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Bulldogs will fly back to Grand Rapids and then arrive in Big Rapids by bus between 3 and 3:30 April 8. Fans are encouraged to welcome the Bulldogs home at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Photos by Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor