Two-Goal Lead Not Enough As Bulldogs Wrap Up Weekend With Split Against Mavericks


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Postgame Press Conference 

Big Rapids, Mich. - A 35-save effort by sophomore goaltender Darren Smith was not enough to boost the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team past the nationally 16th-ranked Minnesota State Mavericks on Saturday (Dec. 10) in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) action, as the Mavericks won 3-2.

Senior forward Jared VanWormer tallied his seventh point in his last five games with a goal in the first period and Smith had a third solid outing in a row in net in the loss to Minnesota State.

The Bulldogs got out to an early lead when VanWormer scored at 5:45 of the first period on a backhand shot that hit the crossbar and went in after a scrum in front. Sophomore forward Corey Mackin and senior forward Gerald Mayhew each earned their seventh assists of the year on VanWormer's fifth goal of the year.

Freshman defenseman Joe Rutkowski gave Ferris State a 2-0 lead at 12:12 of the opening frame on the power play.
Senior forward Chad McDonald took a slap shot that missed the net, but drew Maverick goaltender Cole Huggins out. Rutkowski drove down the wall to the back of the net and fired a shot off the netminder's backside to bounce it into the net for his second goal of the year. The assist was McDonald's fourth of the year and junior forward Mitch Maloney registered the other assist for his fifth of the year.

The Mavericks went off for three consecutive goals, starting at 14:48 of the second when Brad McClure found Max Coatta driving to the net. Coatta fired a shot past Smith to pull the Mavericks back with in one. Ryan Schwalbe was also credited with an assist on the goal.

Zeb Knutson evened the game at 2-2 for Minnesota State on the power play at 3:57 of the third period when he found himself unabated to the net and danced one through Smith from C.J. Franklin and Ian Scheid.

Minnesota State's Franklin notched the game-winning goal at 13:02 of the third on the power play from Marc Michaelis and Daniel Brickley when he pounded away at a shot while Smith was on his back to make it 3-2 Mavericks.

The game saw 56 penalty minutes, with the Bulldogs owning 35 of them on 12 infractions.

The Mavericks led the shots battle 38-19 in the game, outshooting Ferris State 22-11 in the final 40 minutes.

On the power play, the Bulldogs went 1-6 while Minnesota State capitalized twice on nine chances.

Ferris State fell to 7-11-1 overall and 6-7-1 in WCHA action with the loss while Minnesota State improved to 10-6-2 overall and 6-6-2 in conference play.

The Bulldogs are off for 18 days before they play Robert Morris at the Three Rivers Classic at the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, PPG Paints Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) on Dec. 29 between the Bulldogs and the Colonials.