Streaking Away

Bulldogs continue to find a way, still undefeated in the WCHA

by Published: Nov 23, 2013

For the sec­ond straight week­end, a for­mer CCHA oppo­nent came to town and got the short end of the stick.

The Ferris State Bulldogs scraped out a 5–3 vic­tory over the Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks on Nov. 22 at Ewigleben Ice Arena.

“We got the win and that’s great, but we didn’t play very well,” Head Coach Bob Daniels said. “Even when we were up 3–0, cer­tainly we were not play­ing well enough to be up three goals.”

The Bulldog’s sec­ondary scor­ing was the story of the night; none of the scor­ers had more than four goals on the sea­son at the end of the evening.

Junior for­ward Dom Panetta, who is well known for his shift-to-shift motor, ripped in his sec­ond goal of the sea­son in front of the Dawg Pound at 8:18 in the first period to open the scoring.

“Mayhew threw it in the mid­dle, and Coach hates when we do that,” Panetta said. “I got it, lost it, back to Mayhew, he got it back to me, and I was able to bury it glove side high. It’s kind of a momen­tum changer when high energy guys score. I like to bring that to the team.”

Midway through the sec­ond period, senior for­ward Cory Kane met a lonely Nanook in the UAF cor­ner and some­what missed on a hit.

Unfortunately for Kane, the player was off bal­ance and went head first into the boards.

After a short delib­er­a­tion, Kane was assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct.

“We’re lucky we have a lot of dif­fer­ent for­wards that can kill,” Daniels said. “Where I think we missed Kane on the penalty kill was on the faceoffs.”

In the sec­ond, sopho­more for­ward Matt Robertson scored his sec­ond goal in as many games at 16:55 to start a sec­ond period scor­ing flurry.

Robertson got the puck at the Nanooks’ blue line after junior goal­tender CJ Motte made an impres­sive shoul­der stop on a wide-open shot.

Robertson broke away from the pack and slid the puck past a des­per­ate John Keeney to give the Bulldogs a 2–0 lead.

Junior defense­men Jason Binkley had the next marker of the evening when he shot a wrist shot at Keeney, who appeared to trap it between his elbow and body. Keeney looked back too late as the puck trick­led through him at 18:28 in the second.

The Bulldog’s capped their out­burst with a slap shot from fresh­men for­ward Chad McDonald, that snuck just under­neath the cross­bar 44 sec­onds into the final stanza, that gave Ferris a seem­ingly insur­mount­able lead.

The Nanooks woke up and scored three straight awk­ward goals on Motte. Marcus Basara opened UAF’s scor­ing at 5:12, and was fol­lowed by Cody Kunyk at 10:21, and Tyler Morley at 11:36.

The sud­den change of events sucked the air out of the build­ing and put the crowd on the edges of their seats. The 4–0 cush­ion had evap­o­rated into thin air, with UAF nip­ping at the Bulldog’s heels in a then 4–3 con­test late in the third.

Ferris was up to the chal­lenge, and sopho­more for­ward Kenny Babinski put the Nanooks on ice with his sec­ond goal in as many nights, when he put it into the empty net at 19:28.

With the win, Ferris is now unde­feated in their last eight games, and is 6−0−1 in WCHA play to start their tenure in the new conference.

Motte made 41 saves on 44 shots, and con­tin­ued to keep the Bulldogs afloat on what Daniels admit­ted was not their finest effort.

“He had maybe one of the best games he’s had this year,” Daniels said. “He moved the puck really well out of our own end.”

The Bulldogs will again face off with the Nanooks on Nov. 23 at 7:07 p.m., to cap Ferris State’s six-game WCHA home stand. It is the final game inside Ewigleben in 2013 for the Bulldogs.