Western Michigan Edges Bulldogs With Two Third-Period Goals In Rivalry Battle

Postgame Video Highlights 
Postgame Press Conference

Big Rapids, Mich.- The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team fell to non-conference in-state rival Western Michigan 5-3 on Thursday (Oct. 6) night before a crowd of more than 2,000 fans at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena. 

Redshirt freshman Craig Pefley continued his hot start for the Bulldogs with two assists while junior forward Mitch Maloney scored his second goal of the season in what was a hotly-contested match up. 

The Broncos struck first on the power play at 14:30 of the first period, when Corey Schueneman scored his first of the year from Aidan Muir and Taylor Fleming. 

Maloney responded at 17:47 of the opening frame when he slapped a shot into a gaping cage to even the contest at a goal apiece. Pefley potted his fourth assist of the season and first of the night on the play with senior forward Gerald Mayhew earning his first assist of the season. 

The tie lasted just over a minute as Frederik Tiffels put the Broncos back in front at 18:58 of the first. Scott Moldenhauer earned the lone assist on the play as the Broncos took a 2-1 lead into the locker room after one period of action. 

Senior forward Jared VanWormer deadlocked the game back at 2-2 with his first lamplighter of the season at 14:48 of the second period for Ferris State. Freshman defenseman Nate Kallen fired a shot that Bronco goaltender Ben Blacker fought off, but enior forward Chad McDonald was able to push the puck back in front of the open net where VanWormer was able to push it in. 

The Bulldogs were unable to keep it even for long  as Western Michigan's Wade Allison netted a power play goal on a breakaway at 15:41 of the second period. Fleming and Blacker earned assists on Allison's first collegiate goal. 

Ferris State, though, again responded at 17:19 when senior defenseman Ryan Lowney rifled in his first goal of the year as the Bulldogs scored on a five-on-three power play. Pefley earned his second assist of the evening with VanWormer gaining his second point of the game and first assist of the season. 

Western Michigan netted the game-winning goal at 11:31 of the third period when Lawton Courtnall scored his first collegiate goal from Aaron Hadley to give the Broncos a 4-3 lead. 

The Broncos then scored the final goal of the evening at 17:23 when Sheldon Dries scored from Neal Goff to make it 5-3 in favor of WMU. 

The two teams combined for 32 penalty minutes with the Bulldogs going 1-of-7 on the man advantage while generating 13 shots. The Broncos finished 2-of-9 on the power play with eight shots. 

In net, sophomore goaltender Darren Smith made 37 saves on 42 shots for the Bulldogs. Blacker made 31 stops on 34 shots on goal and earned his first win of the season. 

Defensively, Ferris State finished with 21 blocked shots to Western Michigan's 14 overall. Freshman defenseman Joe Rutkowski and junior defenseman Tyler Dorantes each paced Ferris State with three. 

Ferris State has a chance to even the season series as the two teams travel to Kalamazoo on Friday (Oct. 7) for the second game of a home-and-home series. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m. (ET) from Lawson Ice Arena on the campus of Western Michigan for the series finale.