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WCHA Final Five: Tough Defense, Penalty Shot Lead Ferris State to NCAA Tournament

Brandon Anselmini's power play goal evened the game for Ferris State in the first period
Brandon Anselmini's power play goal evened the game for Ferris State in the first period
Ferris State Athletics

Ferris State came into the WCHA Final Five this weekend almost as the forgotten team among the league's three leaders in Michigan Tech, Minnesota State, and Bowling Green. But a stellar defensive effort all weekend, allowing only a single goal in two games, earned Ferris State their first ever WCHA Broadmoor Trophy and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 victory over Minnesota State.

The Mavericks got on the board first with a power play tip-in by Bryce Gervais on their first man advantage in the first period. But Ferris State's Brandon Anselmini evened the game minutes later with a power play goal of his own.

The two teams remained deadlocked deep into the second period when Minnesota State defenseman Carter Foguth was whistled for covering the puck in his own crease, giving the Bulldogs a penalty shot. Leading scorer Gerald Mayhew took the penalty shot and beat Minnesota State goalie Cole Huggins to put the Bulldogs ahead.

Ferris State shut the Mavericks down in the third period, allowing only one shot on goal, though a Brett Knowles shorthanded opportunity rang off the crossbar in the closing minutes of the game. For the game, Minnesota State was held to a season-low 14 shots on goal.

The title was Ferris State's first ever in a conference tournament and placed the Bulldogs in next week's NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014. They will wait to find out their opponent on tomorrow's selection show, but most projections have the Bulldogs meeting St. Cloud State in the West Regional in St. Paul, Minnesota