It has been a number of years since Michigan and Ferris State played in the same conference. Tonight, I was reminded exactly what an old rivalry game in the CCHA felt like.
The sold-out crowd was into the game, the Ferris State players brought the intensity and the officials killed the flow of the game and dampened the crowd by calling everything a penalty.
This time it worked in Michigan’s favor. The young Wolverines aren’t at the point right now where they can walk into a barn like Ewigleben and roll an energy team like Ferris State so the frequent pauses were a welcome sight for Michigan and kept Ferris from using the energy in their favor, especially in the third period after the Bulldogs tied the game.
To say this was an ugly road win would be an understatement. The Wolverines started the game with a 4-0 shot advantage and were thoroughly handled by the Bulldog forecheck from there on out committing 8 penalties and ceding a 29-16 shot advantage by the end of the game.
The Wolverines, however, took advantage of the few scoring chances they had and netted two power play goals. The first came from Jake Slaker around the midway point of the first period taking a sweet feed from Dexter Dancs to record his first career goal.
Sam Piazza would get the game winner after Ferris State tied the game in the third period. Piazza gets so much power into his wrist shots and he cracked one from the point on the power play with just 4:28 left in the game to dig out the win.
Jack LaFontaine was the story of the game. Red Berenson wanted to get all three goaltenders a start and LaFontaine drew the short straw and got his first start on the road. The Michigan blueline did him no favors and LaFontaine responded by swallowing the net and shutting down a Ferris State attack that put twenty nine pucks on net and went to seven power plays.
Up next the Wolverines head home to face our old friend Mel Pearson and the Michigan Tech Huskies.