Ferris State Pulls Out Overtime Deadlock On Senior Night At The Ewigleben Ice Arena

Ferris State Pulls Out Overtime Deadlock On Senior Night At The Ewigleben Ice Arena

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team battled back to pull out a 1-1 overtime tie against Bemidji State on Senior Night Saturday (Feb. 28) evening as the Bulldogs played their final regular-season home game before a sellout crowd at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

The Bulldogs fought back with a big goal in the third period for the equalizer from senior forward Justin Buzzeo, who was one of six seniors honored in a memorable pregame ceremony before the 2,490 fans in attendance.

With the tie, the Bulldogs picked up a point in the WCHA standings and still hold hope of potentially earning a first-round home playoff series in March heading into the final weekend of the season.

Following a scoreless opening frame, Bemidji State struck first with the opening goal 6:20 into the second period. Kyle Bauman notched his eighth marker of the season with assists credited to Leo and Gerry Fitzgerald for their seventh and 11th helpers of the campaign, respectively.

The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Beavers until Buzzeo tied the game up 8:23 into the final period. His goal, which brought the crowd to a frenzy, was aided by sophomore Chad McDonald and junior defenseman Simon Denis. McDonald tallied his seventh helper on Buzzeo's seventh goal of the year with Denis notching his 11th assist this campaign.

The Bulldogs had several opportunities down the stretch to pull out the victory, including a late power play in regulation in which they fired three shots on goal, but could not produce the game-winner.

Ferris State finished with a decisive 42-24 margin in total shots for the night, including an 11-5 edge in the first period. FSU then outshot BSU 16-6 in the second before each team tallied 11 shots apiece in the third. The Bulldogs totaled four shots in overtime to two for the Beavers.

Both teams failed to convert on the power-play as FSU went 0-of-5 and Bemidji State was 0-of-6 for the night. Ferris State totaled six penalties for 12 minutes with BSU called five times for 10 minutes.

Senior goaltender CJ Motte made 23 saves for FSU in his final regular-season home appearance, including five in each of the opening two frames followed by 11 in the third and two in overtime.

Meanwhile, Bemidji State's Michael Bitzer posted 41 saves for the evening, including 11 in the first period, 16 in the second, 10 in the third and four in the final 20 minutes of action.

Along with Buzzeo and Motte, the Bulldogs also recognized senior defensemen Jason Binkley and Travis White along with senior forward Dom Panetta prior to their final home games. Additionally, former Bulldog skater TJ Schlueter, who was injured last year and became a member of the coaching staff, also donned the uniform again and took a lap around the ice on Senior Night.

With the deadlock, Ferris State moved to 14-19-2 on the year and 11-14-1 in the WCHA. Bemidji State is now 15-14-5 overall and 11-10-5 in league play.

Following the weekend series, Bemidji State currently sits fourth in the WCHA with 27 points while Northern Michigan is fifth with 26 points. Ferris State currently has 23 points, but could potentially match the Wildcats or Beavers for the fourth and final home ice spot by pulling off a sweep next weekend coupled with help from the two team's opponents.

Ferris State, which has clinched a WCHA Playoff appearance, will close out the regular season next Friday and Saturday, March 6-7, at Lake Superior State. Friday's puck drop is set for 7:37 p.m. (ET) in Sault Ste. Marie with Saturday's contest beginning at 7:07 p.m. Both games will be carried live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.