Rivalry Renewed As Western Michigan Pulls Out 3-2 Home Win Over Bulldogs

Rivalry Renewed As Western Michigan Pulls Out 3-2 Home Win Over Bulldogs

Kalamazoo, Mich. - A rivalry was renewed by Friday (Oct. 9) night as the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team squared off against longtime rival Western Michigan to open a home-and-home weekend at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo.

The Bulldogs led the contest much of the way, but Western Michigan pulled out a 3-2 victory with a key third-period goal to record the victory in the season opener for both squads.

The opener for both teams featured 16 penalties and a total of 14 power-play opportunities as the two squads faced off for the first time in two seasons. Four of the game's five goals, including all three Western Michigan scores, came with the man-advantage.

The Bulldogs grabbed the first lead of the game at 10:16 of the opening period when sophomore forward Mitch Maloney notched FSU's initial lamplighter of the campaign in front of the net. The goal came on the season's first FSU power play opportunity and was assisted by both junior forward Chad McDonald and senior forward Kenny Babinski.

However, the Broncos tied the contest up slightly less than six minutes into the middle frame when a pair of FSU penalties led to a 5-on-3 advantage. WMU captain Sheldon Dries was able to put a shot past Williams between the circles with assists to Kyle Novak and Corey Schueneman.

But, the Bulldogs responded as Babinski registered the second FSU goal of the campaign with just over six minutes to play in the second period off assists from junior defenseman Ryan Lowney and McDonald, who picked up his second point of the evening.

Western Michigan tied the contest up at two goals apiece following two periods of action as the Broncos notched their second goal at 18:11 of the middle frame when Chris Dienes posted his first goal of the year off assists from Taylor Fleming and Colt Conrad.

The 2-2 score stood up until the 6:40 mark of the final period when the Broncos notched the go-ahead goal on a power-play shot from Griffen Molino. Novak and Dienes both picked up their second points of the evening on the eventual game-winner.

The Bulldogs had several opportunities and timely shots to knot the contest up down the stretch but could not produce the tying goal.

Ferris State finished with a 33-29 edge in total shots with 11 shots in the first period, seven in the second and 15 on net in the third. The Broncos totaled 12 in the opening 20 minutes followed by nine in the middle frame and eight in the final period of action.

Junior netminder Charles Williams came up with 26 saves in his first regular-season contest of the year to give the Bulldogs an opportunity to pull out a win. His total included 12 saves in the opening period of action and also had seven in each of the final two frames.

On the Western Michigan side, Colin Olson recorded the victory with 31 saves in 60 minutes of action. He came up with 10 saves in the first period, six in the second and registered the win after making 15 saves in the final 20 minutes.

Overall, Western Michigan finished three-of-eight on the power play while FSU went one-of-six for the night. Ferris State was whistled nine times for 18 minutes in the box with WMU called seven times for 14 minutes.

Olson claimed the game's first star in the Broncos' win while Novak earned the second and Ferris State's Babinski picked up third star honors.

Friday night's tilt in Kalamazoo represented the first meeting between the two former Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) rivals in two years. It also began a five-year home-and-home scheduling agreement between the two West Michigan foes.

The two teams will meet on Saturday (Oct. 10) night in the final of the home-and-home series at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. (ET).

Tickets for Saturday's home opener are on sale thru the FSU Athletic Ticket Office, which will open at noon on Saturday. They can also be purchased online at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737.