Coming into this season, Ferris State was not on anyone’s radar of sweeping the defending National Runner-Ups. But this past weekend, the Bulldogs handed the Mavericks their first sweep on home ice in over 7 seasons.
The last time Minnesota State was swept on home ice came in 2015 against Omaha in an old-fashioned non conference tilt. To add more salt to the wound, the Bulldogs came into this weekend’s tilt having only won one game on the road against the Mavericks in their history.
Slow starts have plagued the Mavericks so far this season, and game one against the Bulldogs was no exception. Freshman forward, Tyler Schleppe, found the back of the net off a backhanded rebound just under six minutes into the game.
Later in the first junior defenseman, Ben Schultheis, took a shot from the slot that appeared to have deflected off a Maverick skater and into the net for the goal. The Mavericks quickly found themselves trailing 2-0 heading into the second.
Despite outshooting Ferris State 23-10 through two periods of play, Minnesota State was unable to solve Bulldog netminder Noah Giesbrecht and still trailed 2-0 heading into the final frame. Fortunately for the Mavericks junior forward, David Silye, got on the board under two minutes into the third period as he cleaned up a juicy rebound with his backhand on the powerplay for his team-leading 12th goal of the season.
With the Mavericks back within a one-goal margin they continued the onslaught of shots, but were unable to put one past Giesbrecht in the final 18 minutes as Ferris State took game one of the series 2-1.
“Not the start you want when you’re playing from behind in your own building,” Minnesota State head coach Mike Hastings said. “What you’re starting to see is us relying offensively on powerplay and extra attacker.”
The troubling slow starts appeared to have gone away in game two as the Mavericks jumped out to a 1-0 lead after senior forward, Ryan Sandelin, potted a rebound just under two minutes into the first period. Nearly a minute later freshman forward, Adam Eisele, picked up his second goal of the year off a rebound just outside of the crease for a 2-0 lead.
The Mavericks would enjoy their lead for most of the third period until senior forward, Jason Brancheau, backhanded one past Rancier with a delayed penalty to cut the lead to 2-1 with 2:16 left in the first. With the Bulldogs on the powerplay late in the first, freshman defenseman Andy Noel ripped a shot high glove side on Maverick goaltender Keenan Rancier to tie the game 2-2 to end the first period.
Similarly to game one, the second period remained scoreless, and the Mavericks owned a 30-10 shot advantage over the Bulldogs heading into the third. Both teams battled through much of the third period but it was Ferris State who was able to get the go-ahead goal with just under five minutes left to play.
Junior forward, Stepan Pokorny, deflected a one-timer from the point to give the Bulldogs the 3-2 lead. The Mavericks were unable to get one past Geisbrecht in the final five, and dropped game two by a 3-2 final.
“At the end of the day, only scoring three goals with two on the powerplay in our own building, we’ve gotta look in the mirror and get better this next week,” Hastings said. “It doesn’t get easier, so we’ve got work to do.”
The Mavericks will be on the road Dec. 9 and 10 as they take on Bowling Green.
Header Photo: The Mavericks are set to play their next game in Bowling Green, Ohio Dec. 9 and 10. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)
Write to Karson Buelow at Karson.Buelow@mnsu.edu