Jan. 18, 2013
East Lansing, Mich. - - Michigan State got another outstanding performance from freshman netminder Jake Hildebrand (33 saves), but could not find an offensive hero in falling to Ferris State, 2-1, on Friday evening at Munn Ice Arena. The Spartans' lone goal came from freshman Ryan Keller, and an early third-period tally by Travis Ouellette stood as the game-winner for the visiting Bulldogs. FSU netminder CJ Motte made 12 third-period saves to preserve the victory, pushing the Bulldogs to 2-1 on the season against the Spartans with the fourth and final game between the teams on tap for Saturday evening in Big Rapids.
"I thought that we really missed on some opportunities that were there for us," shared MSU head coach Tom Anastos after the game. "Our goalie was good again, and I thought their goalie was pretty good, too. We had some chances that we just didn't capitalize on, and that's the story of the game for us. We have to get ready for another tough one in Big Rapids tomorrow, because they're certainly going to come at us."
The Bulldogs jumped on the board at 9:38. Cory Kane's wrister from the high slot hit Hildebrand in the logo, but trickled through his pads for an early Ferris lead.
FSU's advantage was short-lived, as MSU countered less than 70 seconds later to tie the game. Working the puck down low, Matt Berry threw it out to Ryan Keller in the high slot, and his shot rang off the crossbar and into the back of the net. It was the first collegiate tally for the freshman winger, who missed 13 games with injury early in the year.
The Bulldogs and Spartans skated through a scoreless second period, and Hildebrand was the one who put on the bigger show in net for MSU. He made two highlight-reel kick-saves as part of his 11 stops in the period.
Ferris State took a 2-1 lead less than three minutes into the final frame. Garrett Thompson sent a cross-slot pass for Travis Ouellette, stationed in the left circle. He one-timed the puck past Hildebrand, beating him blocker side as he slid from his left-to-right to try to make the save. The puck caught the blade of Hildebrand's skate, but not enough to deflect it away from crossing the goal line.
The Spartans outshot their visitors by a 12-5 margin in the final period, getting to the net and keeping active around Motte. In a final-minute flurry, Matt Berry had two grade-A chances around the net, and Chris Forfar also had a good look in the waning seconds as MSU had Hildebrand on the bench in favor of an extra skater.
The teams will face off again on Saturday in Big Rapids.