CONNOLLY AND LEWANDOWSKI HELP FSU SNAP LOSING STREAK AT NMU
Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta) and Justin Lewandowski (Naperville, Ill.) scored two goals apiece to help the Ferris State men's ice hockey team snap a three-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory over the Northern Michigan Wildcats Friday (Nov. 28) evening in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association contest at NMU’s Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich.
Ferris State, which improved to 6-6-3 overall and 5-4-2-0 in the CCHA with the win, converted five-of-seven power-play chances as both teams combined for six third-period goals.
FSU's six goals versus the Wildcats represented the Bulldogs' highest total in the all-time series since 12/5/81 when Ferris dropped an 8-6 home decision.
The Bulldogs trailed early in the opening period as Northern Michigan took advantage of back-to-back Bulldog penalties with the game’s first score at 4:04 into the opening period. The Wildcats’ Gregor Hanson scored off a rebound shot during a five-on-three skater advantage for the host team. Ferris State would come back to tie the game at 1- 1 with 4:30 remaining in the first period on a power-play goal by senior left wing Brendan Connolly, his third on the year. Connolly backhanded a wrister into the NMU goal after senior right wing Justin Lewandowski stole the puck from a Wildcat skater behind the goal and quickly fed a pass to Connolly in the slot.
In the second period, Ferris State would break the deadlock on a pair of consecutive lamplighters to claim a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. Justin Lewandowski netted his sixth goal of the season just 20 seconds into the stanza after junior defenseman Matt Case (Plymouth, Minn.) blasted a one-time shot from inside the blueline toward NMU goaltender Devan Hartigan. The puck caromed off the Northern netminder’s glove back to Lewandowski who backhanded one into the goal. The Bulldogs’ third goal would occur with 6:49 elapsed as junior center Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) fired a pass from top of the left circle across ice down to Matt Case as the defenseman wristed one into the near post for his first of the season for their third power-play marker.
Both teams began the final 20 minutes exchanging scores. Ferris State increased its lead to 4-1 on another Connolly power-play goal at 1:39 into the period before NMU would answer with one of their own less than a minute later to draw within 4-2. The Wildcats tallied again with 8:02 left to make it a 4-3 contest before Ferris countered less than a minute later with senior right wing Corey Couturier (Traverse City) producing his third goal on the year.
Trailing 5-3, the 'Cats would locate the FSU goal for the fourth and final time with 5:43 remaining in the game. But, Ferris State would answer NMU's goal with one of its own as Lewandowski added an insurance marker with 55 seconds left in the contest on the Bulldogs' seventh power-play chance to seal the league win and end the losing skid.
Freshman goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) turned aside 23 stops in picking up the win for Ferris State while his counterpart, Devan Hartigan (1-2-0) made 12 saves for NMU.
Connolly finished with a career game-high four points on two goals and assists each while Lewandowski and Matt Case turned in three-point game performances apiece. Lewicki also was among the Bulldog skaters to post a multi-point game effort.