Big Rapids, Mich. - A goal from sophomore forward Jared VanWormer in overtime lifted the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team to a thrilling 3-2 triumph over nationally eighth-ranked rival Bowling Green on Saturday (Feb. 14) night before a sellout crowd on "Star Wars Night" at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids.
The force was with Ferris State as VanWormer produced his second goal of the night and third point of the contest on a shot 3:48 into the extra session for his sixth goal of the season as the Bulldogs claimed the win to conclude a four-game stretch against the Falcons in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play. The game-winner was VanWormer's second of the season and third of his career.
A crowd of 2,490 plus fans were on hand and greeted by "Star Wars" characters on a cold and chilly night in Big Rapids. The energetic crowd helped the Bulldogs off to a 2-0 advantage before the Falcons rallied back to force the extra period and setup VanWormer's exciting lamplighter in OT.
VanWormer not only finished the evening in a big way, but he also started the contest off with a bang as he was credited with FSU's opening goal 1:06 into the opening period on a tip near the net during a Bulldog power play. The assists on the game's first goal were given to senior forward Justin Buzzeo along with sophomore defenseman Ryan Lowney.
Ferris State added to its advantage at the 10:25 mark of the first period when senior defenseman Jason Binkley recorded his second goal of the year off assists from vanWormer and freshman forward Tyler Andrew, who notched their seventh and third helpers of the year, respectively.
The Bulldogs held onto the 2-0 edge until almost the end of the middle stanza when Bowling Green finally capitalized with a goal from Adam Berkle 17:35 into the period. His sixth marker was aided by Matt Pohlkamp as he picked up his 14th assist of the year.
FSU took its 2-1 lead into the third period and the score stood up until the 13:29 mark of the final frame when the Falcons got the equalizer on Ben Murphy's 11th goal of the season. Brandon Hawkins produced his 11th assist as BGSU managed to knot the game up at two goals apiece.
In overtime, VanWormer scored on a big shot to produce the win with Buzzeo picking up his 11th assist of the year and second of the night. Binkley also recorded his second point of the evening by notching his ninth assist this season.
For the second-straight night, the Bulldogs held a significant advantage in total shots as FSU posted 41 compared to 30 for the Falcons. The Bulldogs tallied 15 in the first period with 14 in the second, 10 in the third and two in overtime. Meanwhile, Bowling Green was credited with six shots in the first frame followed by 16 in the second, five in the third and three in overtime.
Bulldog senior captain and goaltender CJ Motte picked up the win with 28 saves in 63:48 between the pipes while recording his 60th career victory. He's only three wins shy of matching former standout Mike Brown's school-best 63 career victories in net. Motte stopped six shots in period one with 15 saves in the second and four in the third. He also made three saves in OT.
On the Bowling Green side, Chris Nell got the start in net and went the distance in dropping to 6-3-2 on the season. He had 13 saves in the first 20 minutes of play before making 14 saves in the second, 10 in the third and one in the extra session.
The penalties were even as both teams were called for five infractions totaling 10 minutes. Each team also had four power plays with the Bulldogs scoring the lone goal with the man-advantage as FSU went one-of-four. Ferris State's penalty kill unit was also up to the task as the Bulldogs held BGSU without a goal in its four opportunities with the extra skater.
With the win, Ferris State snapped a seven-game skid and improved to 12-18-1 on the year while the Falcons fell to 18-7-5 overall. The Bulldogs are now 9-13-0 in the WCHA with BGSU dropping to 14-5-3 in league action.
Saturday's home contest against Bowling Green marked the 20th sellout inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena for the Bulldogs over the past three years and was the 63rd-straight regular season sellout of the "Dawg Pound" student section.
The Bulldogs next hit the road next weekend for a two-game series at Alabama-Huntsville on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 20-21) in Huntsville, Ala. Both games get underway at 8:07 p.m. (ET).
Following next week's action, the Bulldogs then return home to host Bemidji State in a key WCHA series on Feb. 27-28 at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Tickets for all remaining home contests are on sale now and can be purchased online at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737. Fans are encouraged to purchase in advance to save and guarantee a seat for all the action. For more information, please visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com or call (231) 591-2888.
VanWormer's OT Goal Lifts FSU Past #8 Bowling Green Before Sellout Crowd On "Star Wars Night"
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