After losing to Harvard on Friday afternoon, Ferris State salvaged their trip to Minnesota with a 4-1 victory in Saturday's Mariucci Classic consolation game over Connecticut.
The Huskies played in the late game last night against Minnesota and the effects of the close, draining loss showed early. A pair of sloppy defensive mistakes led to Ferris State goals from Kenny Babinski and Jared VanWormer, which put the Bulldogs up 2-0 after the first period.
Ferris State would continue to control play in the second period, adding on goals from Jacob Hetz and Kyle Schempp to build a comfortable 4-0 lead.
The Huskies would cut the lead late in the second when Corey Ronan finished off a 2-on-1 while shorthanded to get his team on the board, and Max Letunov sniped a laser shot top shelf to make it 4-2. But the Huskies could draw no closer, despite some early power play opportunities in the third period.
The win moves Ferris State to 9-9-4 overall on the season, while the Huskies drop to 5-12-1 on the year.
Notes and Thoughts:
-Third place games are usually all about which team can find the motivation to play, and today, that team was Ferris State. Connecticut isn't a very deep team right now and it looked like they really sold out in their game against Minnesota last night. The Bulldogs were the better team early and built a lead that was too big for UConn to catch, even though the Huskies made a nice push late in the second period to cut into the deficit.
-That said, I really like the future for this UConn program. There were 13 underclassmen in the line-up tonight and they are only going to get better. Max Letunov is the star of the group, and he's not going to be around for long, but when the rest are upperclassmen, this is going to be a very good team.
-UConn's Tage Thompson had three shot attempts in the second period, and all three shots hit the pipe. I've never seen that before.
-A solid effort from Ferris State tonight to take care of business early against a gassed Husky team. For a team built to play on tiny ice, they didn't look out of place on the big ice here at Mariucci. Bob Daniels' teams are always fast and tough. They did a great job taking advantage of UConn's early mistakes and played a beautiful defensive third period. They don't quite have the high-end talent to be this good consistently, but they'll be another team to watch next year when they have a more veteran group.
Shots on Goal: FSU: 8-11-7-26 UConn: 5-15-7-27
Even strength shot attempts: FSU: 16-12-9-37-46.6% UConn: 10-21-15-46-55.4%
Prime scoring area attempts: FSU: 4-9-3-16 UConn: 1-11-5
What do the numbers tell us?
UConn had nothing in the prime scoring in the first period, and very little in the second period(all five attempts are still well out from the crease). The Bulldogs controlled play in the first period and early in the second to build their lead, and while UConn rebounded late in the second
1:27 Kenny Babinski from Matt Robertson and Chad McDonald 1-0 Ferris State
Robertson entered the zone on a 3-on-2 and had the puck swatted away by a UConn defender, but Babinski picked it up in the high slot and fired a wrist shot that beat Nichols to the glove side.
10:26 Jared VanWormer unassisted 2-0 Ferris State
A UConn defender turned the puck over in front of his own net and VanWormer was there to clean it up and roof a shot over the glove of Nichols.
3:42 Jacob Hetz from Brandon Anselmini 3-0 Ferris State
Anselmini intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and passed it to Hetz. His wrist shot from the high slot beat a screened Nichols, who didn't even react to the shot.
7:55 Kyle Schempp from Gerarld Mayhew and Simon Denis (power play) 4-0 Ferris State
Mayhew took a shot from the high left circle. Schempp was standing in front of the net and blocked the initial shot, but backhanded the rebound past Nichols for the goal.
14:43 Corey Ronan from Patrick Kirtland (short-handed) 4-1 Ferris State
Kirtland forced a turnover in the neutral zone and skated down the left wing on a 2-on-1. He made a nice cross-crease pass to Ronan who tapped it into the net.
19:26 Max Letunov from Tage Thompson and Joona Kunnas 4-2 Ferris State
Letunov cut into the slot with the puck and took a wicked wrist shot top shelf that bounced off the back bar and out of the net.
19:13 Kenny Babinski from Matt Robertson (empty net) 5-2 Ferris State
Robertson stole the puck in the UConn end and fed it to Babinski for the empty-netter.