In a tightly-checked contest during which the two teams combined to generate a total of only thirty-eight shots on target all evening long, the streaking visitors grabbed the first goal with the game not even ten minutes old and then added a critical second strike on the power play less than six minutes into the middle period as high-flying FERRIS STATE completely shut down host MICHIGAN STATE 2-0 in the 2013 edition of the U.S. HOCKEY HALL OF FAME GAME.
Ferris State, who have to rate as one of, if not THE biggest surprise of this 2013/14 NCAA season so far, are currently ranked # 4 in the entire country by both USCHO.com as well as USA Today / USA Hockey in their respective polls and pushed their commendable mark this term to an impressive fourteen wins against just two losses with three draws following the positive result in East Lansing last night. The eye-opening Bulldogs, who finished with an overall record of 16 wins against 16 losses with five ties skating in the old Central Collegiate Hockey Association last term, have not tasted defeat even one single time on their last fifteen outings (twelve wins and three ties in that span) this fall. This amazing string of uninterrupted success, which comes under the direction of 25th-year head coach BOB DANIELS, ties a standard of excellence achieved twice before (initally during the 1990/91 season and then again over the course of the 2011/12 campaign) by the little-know school which is, for the record, located in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Ferris State do not, at present, have any players on their roster who have been drafted by National Hockey League clubs but obviously remain undaunted by that situation, as confirmed by the Bulldogs’ deserved 2-2 draw on the road at the Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor opposite the # 3 ranked University of Michigan (a squad that have no fewer than a dozen NHL draft picks on their roster this season) earlier this week. The backbone of this Ferris State team, without question, is reliable goaltender C. J. MOTTE, the homegrown junior from St. Clair who posted very strong numbers (2.19 goals-against-average, .927 save percentage) after appearing in 35 contests as a workhorse sophomore last term. Motte, whose younger brother, Tyler, was the fourth round choice (# 121 overall) of the Chicago Black Hawks at the 2013 NHL Draft this past summer and is now lacing his skates for the intra-state rival Michigan Wolverines, has now started all but two of the Bulldogs’ matches this season (17 ga, 2.15 avg, .927 svpct) while remaining personally unbeaten between the pipes porting the mark of fourteen wins and three ties for Ferris State this season.
The pivotal point in this intra-state clash of former CCHA rivals came when Michigan State left wing MATT DEBLOUW, the homegrown sophomore from Chesterfield who was the seventh round choice (# 186 overall) of the Calgary Flames at the 2012 NHL Draft, was assessed a five-minute major penalty for boarding a little more than three minutes into the second period with the Spartans already trailing by a goal. Michigan State actually killed off the first two minutes but, alas, this was not a minor penalty and, after having passed on a few good opportunities to clear the puck, conceded when Bulldogs center GERALD MAYHEW, the homegrown freshman from Wyandotte, fed Canadian legionnaire JUSTIN BUZZEO, the junior left wing from Windsor, Ontario, who is the second-leading scorer on the Ferris State team this term, for a tap in goal. With the entire visiting squad doing yeoman’s work to both clog the passing lanes as well as block a total of twenty-four shots attempted by Michigan State, the Bulldogs goaltender Motte actually had very little to do in registering his second whitewash this season.
Michigan State’s imported right wing VILLIAM HAAG, the promising 20-year-old freshman from Gothenburg, Sweden, who has totaled five goals and eight points in his first 15 NCAA contests in the United States, managed to put three shots on target against nationally ranked Ferris State but, like the rest of his unproductive Spartan teammates, failed to score in the U.S. Hockey Hall Of Fame Game at the Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing.
December 14, 2013
Munn Ice Arena – East Lansing, Michigan
Attendance : 5,737
FERRIS STATE 2 – MICHIGAN STATE 0
09:21 … FSU – McDonald (Babinski)
25:34 … FSU – Buzzeo (Mayhew, Lowney) – ppg
shots-on-goal : Ferris State 22 ( 7 + 7 + 8 ) – Michigan State 16 ( 6 + 3 + 7 )
penalties : Ferris State 12 – Michigan State 9
MICHIGAN STATE : Hildebrand – J. Chelios, Krygier ; Boyd, Draeger ; Gatt, Holland – Keller, Wolfe, Berry ; D. Chelios, Ferrantino, Cox ; MacKenzie, Ebbing, Haag ; DeBlouw, Hoomaian, Darnell
FERRIS STATE : Motte – Czarnowczan, White ; Anselmini, Binkley ; Dorer, Lowney – Robertson, Schempp, Thompson ; Buzzeo, Babinski, McDonald ; Huff, Schlueter, DeMartino ; O’Rourke, Mayhew, Van Wormer
Note — the Spartans were without Canadian legionnaire LEE REIMER, the creative senior center from Landmark, Manitoba, who is tied for third on the Michigan State scoring chart with nine points (two goals) this term and has 41 assists in 89 NCAA games the past two-plus seasons … Bulldogs, meanwhile, were minus the services of CORY KANE, the experienced senior center from Irvine, California, who is the sixth-leading scorer for Ferris State this season with 11 points (five goals, six assists).
Michigan State right wing JOE COX (21), the homegrown freshman from Chelsea who has scored four goals while skating in all fifteen of the Spartans’ contests this season, has an unsuccessful shot on capable Ferris State netminder C. J. MOTTE (30) during the U. S. Hockey Hall Of Fame Game at the Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Michigan.