In tonight’s contest against Western Michigan, Ferris State emerged victorious in a 3-2 shootout victory, and in the process earned a first round bye in the CCHA tournament, which begins next week.
While the last time these two teams met was also a 3-2 victory in favor of the Bulldogs, the previous match-up back in December didn’t go into a shootout.
This was a particularly sweet victory for six of the Bulldogs as it was their last regular season win at the Ewigleben Ice Arena and as part of the FSU hockey team. Seniors Jordan Barber, Matt Case, Cody Chupp, Çasey Haines, Aaron Lewicki, and Blair Riley were honored tonight in a pregame ceremony.
Chupp also scored the early third period goal to have this game go in to overtime and the eventual shootout; Riley also scored the winning shootout goal.
With the season coming to an end, FSU coach Bob Daniels is proud of his Bulldogs and is even prouder of the fact that the Bulldogs have clinched that crucialfirst-round bye.
“I’m real proud of the guys and it could have been disastorous had we not played as good defense as we did, too,” Daniels said.
However, despite the win; Daniels isn’t sold on the whole shootout idea. “I still am unsold on the idea,” Daniels said.
As it is, Ferris State is the only team in the CCHA who was negitavely impacted by the new shootout rule.
Western Michigan is currently ranked dead last in the CCHA. Yet, despite this, Daniels also gives them credit despite taking a loss.
“They played a good road game, and they kept us locked down to a low percentage of shots,” Daniels said.
Even Chupp noticed that the Broncos played differently.
“They [The Broncos] always find a way to get up and give us a good game,” Chupp said. “And we expect that from Western Michigan.”
With the sights on tomorrow’s game, Daniels thinks that tomorrow night’s game is also crucial.
“Tomorrow’s game has a lot of meaning,” Daniels said. “Goíng in there with no worse than fourth, possibly–depending on the Northern Michigan Lake [Superior] State game. We could go in there…tied for third.”
With the first playoff round in the near distant future, Chupp thinks that the Bulldogs are heading in the right direction, and that’s the winning direction.
“We’re confident, you know,” Chupp Said. “We had a bit of a little bit of a rough stretch there and feel like we’re getting back on the right track and theteam’s starting to look really good and this is the time to look as good as possible.”
With the final word on this game, Daniels perhaps says it best.
“We were releived to have secured home ice,” he said. I was happy to secure home ice. I know the players are too.”
Tomorrow night, FSU heads to Kalamazoo’s Lawson Ice Arena to end the series –and the 2009-10 regular season — against Western Michigan.