Ferris State downs No. 4 Michigan hockey in shootout to begin weekend series

By Stephen J. Nesbitt, Daily Sports Writer
Published October 28, 2010

In the opener of a home-and-home weekend series against Ferris State, the No. 4 Michigan hockey team had one last chance at completing its comeback at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids.

Down 2-1 with less than 20 seconds left on the clock, the Wolverines faced off deep in the Bulldog zone with senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick on the bench for the extra attacker. And with the man-advantage, Michigan finally struck again. Sophomore forward David Wohlberg led a flurry in front of the net and popped the loose puck behind goaltender Pat Nagle with just 12.7 seconds remaining on the clock.

After an eventless overtime period, the team sent three shooters each to take a shot in the shootout. The first and third Ferris State shooters scored, and Nagle stopped Michigan to notch the 3-2 victory.

Despite the tight final score, the game wasn't altogether too pretty for the Wolverines.

Michigan escaped the first period fortunate to be deadlocked in a scoreless tie, as Hunwick, who made 11 saves in the first frame and 26 overall, was pelted with shot after shot from onrushing Bulldog forwards.

On the other end of the ice, Michigan couldn't find a rhythm on offense. Despite having two power plays in the first period, the offense mustered just three shots on goal — the first of which came on a dump-in from center ice 15 minutes into the game.

After the first intermission, the Wolverines came out firing, carrying the play and putting fifteen shots through to Nagle during the second period.

But the scoreboard told a different story, as it was Ferris State who pulled ahead on the scoreboard. Just over eight minutes into the period, Bulldog forward Eric Alexander found himself with a point-blank shot from between the circles, and he slapped the puck just beneath the crossbar on Hunwick's glove side.

The Wolverines had ample opportunities to score, thanks to six Ferris State penalties in the second period alone, including a five-on-three power play opportunity, but the power play unit — the same group that boasted a 41 percent power play efficiency through five games this season — couldn't convert.

The momentum switched in the Bulldog's favor late in the game, as several Michigan penalties brought the action back in front of Hunwick. After a five-on-three penalty, the Ferris State power play was finally able to poke another puck past Hunwick at 11:52 of the final frame to take a 2-0 lead.

The Wolverines came charging back just over a minute later, when freshman forward Jacob Fallon knocked in the first goal of his career.

But after tying the game at the end of regulation, the Wolverine shootout unit couldn't find the net behind to clinch the win.