Postgame Press Conference
Big Rapids, Mich. – The Ferris State University men's ice hockey squad ran its unbeaten streak to eight consecutive contests after lighting up the Northern Michigan Wildcats 5-1 before a sellout crowd of 2,490 fans on Friday (Feb. 12) evening inside FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids.
With the victory, the Bulldogs also officially clinched a Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Playoff berth.
Freshman forward Corey Mackin finished with three assists in the victory and had first assists on three consecutive goals for the Bulldogs.
Despite the fact the Bulldogs held a 22-7 edge in shots on goal after the first period, the contest remained scoreless much due to the goaltending of Atte Tolvanen for the Wildcats
However, Ferris State struck first at 1:03 of the second period when sophomore forward Mitch Maloney notched his third goal of the year
Senior forward Matt Robertson and junior forward Chad McDonald each marked assists on the goal as McDonald found Robertson on a rush. Robertson came in on the backhand and drove to the net, and a loose puck found its way to Maloney's stick as the sophomore banged home the rebound.
The assists were Robertson's seventh and McDonald's ninth of the year, respectively.
Sophomore forward Andrew Dorantes tallied his fifth goal of the year and the eventual game winner at 10:41 of the second period to put the Bulldogs up 2-0 on NMU in the pivotal WCHA series-opener.
Senior defenseman Brandon Anselmini found Mackin in open space, and the freshman skated in on the Northern Michigan goal before dropping a pass back to Dorantes, who outwaited Tolvanen and ripped it past the freshman goaltender.
Anselmini netted his 11th assist of the year, which was also his ninth point in his last nine games.
The Bulldogs got their only power play goal of the night from senior defenseman Simon Denis at 17:18 of the middle frame to make it a 3-0 contest.
Junior forward Gerald Mayhew had a chance on net and Mackin found the rebound. Mackin then turned and pushed the puck up to the top of the face off circle where he found Denis driving to the net. Denis ripped the shot top corner on Tolvanen for his seventh goal of the year.
Mayhew notched his team leading 16th assist of the year on Denis' goal.
Senior forward Kenny Babinski added to the barrage of scoring at 18:32 of the third when Mackin found him again, and Babinski patiently waited for Tolvanen to show an open spot before ripping it past him. Dorantes, who had scored earlier, added an assist for his second point of the night.
Ferris State capped its five-goal effort when freshman forward Jacob Hetz scored his third goal of the year. Hetz came in one-on-one and ripped a shot that beat Tolvanen cleanly off the crossbar and in to the glove side in the final frame.
Mackin finished the game now having 12 assists on the season with his three in the contest.
In net, Smith made 26 saves on 27 shots to improve to 11-4-5 on the season. Smith has not lost since December 12.
Tolvanen took the loss for the Wildcats, making 37 saves on 42 shots, and fell to 6-9-6 on the season.
The Bulldogs moved to 14-9-6 overall along with a 12-7-4 WCHA record by virtue of the win while the Wildcats fell to 12-12-6 with a 9-8-4 mark in the WCHA.
Ferris State takes on Northern Michigan again on Saturday (Feb. 13) evening inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena at 7:07 p.m. (ET) in the weekend finale. Fans are encouraged to wear red as part of a "Red Out" effort.
Limited tickets remain for Saturday's finale with the possibility of another sellout crowd on hand in Big Rapids. Tickets can be purchased online at StarTickets.com or call 231-591-2888 for details. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office will open on Saturday starting at noon while supplies last.