Bulldog Hockey's Postseason Run Comes To An End In WCHA Final Five Semifinals

Bulldog Hockey's Postseason Run Comes To An End In WCHA Final Five Semifinals

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey squad saw its postseason run come to an end on Friday (March 20) evening as the Bulldogs suffered a 4-0 setback to nationally second-ranked Minnesota State in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Final Five Championship semifinals at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

The Mavericks scored the opening goal in the third period then added two more in the second and one in the third to beat the Bulldogs and advance on to the league championship game versus Michigan Tech on Saturday night. FSU saw its season end with a 18-20-2 overall record before an announced crowd of 6,844 fans.

Minnesota State's Brad McClure scored the first of his two goals in unassisted fashion at 12:24 of the opening period to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead. The score stood up thru the first frame as the Mavericks took the one-goal lead into the first intermission.

McClure pushed the edge to 2-0 on his second goal at 15:18 of the second period for his 12th marker of the year. His second goal was assisted by Casey Nelson and Jon Jutzi, who picked up their 26th and ninth assists, respectively.

Soon after, the Mavericks made it a three-goal game when C.J. Franklin found the back of the net for his eighth lamplighter this season at 18:16 of the middle frame on the power play. McClure tallied his 14th assist of the season and third point of the night while netminder Stephon Williams produced his first assist on the goal.

The Bulldogs battled down the strech, but could not come up with a goal as Minnesota State added an empty-netter from standout Bryce Gervais at 17:57 of the third period to account for the final margin. His goal was his 27th of the year and came in unassisted fashion.

Both teams totaled 25 shots on goal with the Bulldogs outshooting the Mavericks 13-5 over the final 20 minutes of action. FSU went 0-of-3 on the power play while Minnesota State finished 1-of-4 on the night with the man advantage.

Overall, Ferris State was called for five penalties totaling 10 minutes in the box with MSU whistled four times for eight minutes.

Williams earned the victory in net for the Mavericks as he improved to 24-5-3 on the year with 25 saves in 60 minutes of work. Meanwhile, FSU senior netminder CJ Motte made 21 saves in his final collegiate contest for the Bulldogs while going the distance in net.

McClure picked up the game's first star with his three-point performance with FSU sophomore Kyle Schempp notching the second star and Williams adding the third star for the Mavericks, who beat the Bulldogs for the eighth-straight time.

Ferris State and Minnesota State were meeting in the WCHA Final Five Championship for the second-straight year as the Mavericks topped FSU in last year's league playoff championship game. MSU improved to 28-7-3 on the season with the triumph.

The Bulldogs, who went 7-1-1 in their previous nine outings to conclude the year prior to the WCHA semifinals, made their second-straight league Final Five appearance this season. Five seniors had their Bulldog careers come to an end on Friday night, including Motte along with defensemen Jason Binkley and Travis White in addition to forwards Justin Buzzeo and Dom Panetta.

"I am very appreciative of their efforts," said FSU head coach Bob Daniels. "They have led us to two NCAA Tournaments, the NCAA Championship game, two conference titles and will be right at 90 wins and that's a pretty good four years. I'll take that four years out of any group of kids. I think the further we get away from this loss, the more we will appreciate this year's team, our seniors and their accomplishments."