MEN'S HOCKEY NARROWLY FALLS TO BRONCOS IN 2009 CCHA OPENER
A pair of second-period goals was all Western Michigan needed as the Broncos handed Ferris State a 2-1 loss Friday (Jan. 9) evening in the first Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) matchup of 2009 at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
|Casey Haines and the Bulldogs dropped a 2-1 league home decision to Western Michigan in Friday's home-and-home weekend series opener.|
Both teams played to a scoreless tie throught the opening period as Ferris State and Western Michigan recorded 12 shots on goal apiece. In the second period, the Broncos snapped the scoreless deadlock as Kyle O'Kane put WMU out in front at 1-0 after netting his first collegiate goal at 3:45 on the frame. Western Michigan jumped out to a two goal advantage less than six minutes later when J.J. Crew converted off a face off with 10:30 remaining in the period. Each team produced 13 shots on goal in the second 20 minutes of action.
Ferris State, which posted a 39-31 shots on goal advantage for the contest, cut the Broncos' lead to 2-1 with 6:44 left in the game as sophomore left wing Mike Embach (Orland Park, Ill.) tallied his fourth of the year on a breakaway. Senior right wing Corey Couturier (Traverse City) picked up the puck in the Ferris zone and passed from the boards up to senior left wing Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta), who fed a long pass to a streaking Embach just inside the neutral zone. Embach skated uncontested into the WMU zone and deked Bronco goaltender Riley Gill before scoring to the netminder's stickside. The Bulldogs were unable to get the equalizer despite increasing their offensive pressure in the final minutes along with finishing the final period with a 14-6 shots on goal margin.
For his efforts, Embach was chosen as the game's third star while Gill received first-star recognition.
Sophomore goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) made 29 saves in taking the loss for Ferris as his season records falls to 5-7-2. Riley Gill notched 38 stops for the Broncos in a winning performance.
Ferris State is now 9-10-4 overall and 6-7-2-0 in the CCHA this season with the home league setback.