Justin Lewandowski & Matt Case
Ferris State's Justin Lewandowski (#27) and Matt Case (#16) battle for a loose puck in Friday's (Feb. 6) contest at Michigan State, which was televised by FS Detroit.
The law of averages is starting to work in Ferris State's favor as the Bulldogs won their second consecutive shootout in as many Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) games as freshman center Derek Graham (Schoolcraft) tallied the deciding lamplighter en route to a 2-1 shootout decision after FSU produced a 2-2 overtime tie against Michigan State in Friday's (Feb. 6) series opener at MSU’s Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich.

Trailing 2-0 midway through the second period, Ferris State would even things out after 60 minutes of regulation play with lamplighters coming from sophomore left wing Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) and junior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids). Menke scored near the midway point of the second while Chupp produced the equalizer with 7:29 left in regulation. A shootout was held following a scoreless overtime period and the Bulldogs would register the difference maker in the fifth round on Graham's goal. For Ferris, the overtime contest represented the Bulldogs' sixth extra-session affair this season and the third such contest in their last four encounters to date. The shootout decision was FSU’s third this campaign and the second in CCHA play. Ferris bested Nebraska-Omaha, 2-1, in a three-round shootout last Saturday (Jan. 31) in Big Rapids following a 1-1 overtime deadlock.

Ferris State, which is now 11-11-7 overall and 8-8-5-2 in the CCHA this season, earned a point with the tie and then picked up its 23rd of the season with the 2-1 shootout win in the FS Detroit televised in-state matchup. The result will officially be recorded as a tie per NCAA rules. Prior to the last two current shootouts, FSU had dropped its previous three league shootouts all by 1-0 scores.

The Bulldogs trailed 1-0 in the shootout after Matt Schepke connected on the Spartans’ second attempt. Cody Chupp, who was picked as the game's first star, evened the count for Ferris as he deked MSU senior goaltender Jeff Lerg to tie it at 1-1. The shootout would continue to the fifth round as Ferris sophomore netminder Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) made a nifty glove save on Andrew Rowe’s attempt. For the Bulldogs, Derek Graham took the puck in on Lerg, who came out to defend, and the FSU skater leaned to his left before forehanding the puck into the far corner of the net.

Michigan State jumped on the board less than three minutes into the game as Andrew Rowe converted on the man advantage for the Spartans. A shot by Daultan Leveille from above the left circle went between the pads of Pat Nagle and Rowe was quick to act on the loose puck by pushing the slow-moving object into the Bulldog net. Ferris State, which matched MSU in shots on goal with 11 in the opening period, was denied a potential goal-scoring opportunity thanks to Lerg, who made a diving save on a shot by Derek Graham around the 9:20 mark.

Corey Couturier
Corey Couturier and the Bulldogs extended their unbeaten streak to four straight (1-0-3) and have seven league points in the past four games.
The Spartans would add to their lead in the second period at 4:21 when Brock Shelgren’s shot inside the right circle toward the FSU goal was deflected by Joey Shean for the score to give MSU a 2-0 advantage. The Bulldogs would get one back less than three minutes later on Justin Menke’s third goal of the season. Menke received a centering pass from Cody Chupp in the slot and put the puck past Lerg’s glove side to draw Ferris within 2-1 with 9:38 to go in the frame. Junior defenseman Matt Case (Plymouth, Minn.) carried the puck into the neutral zone and dropped off to Chupp, who picked up the puck on the right side of the boards and skated into the Spartan zone before sliding a pass to Menke from behind the goal line. FSU had an earlier chance to tally a marker but sophomore defenseman Scott Wietecha’s (Wolverine Lake) slapshot hit the crossbar. The Bulldogs continued to battle and applied offensive pressure in hopes of producing the equalizer, but Lerg was up to the task as the 2007-08 second-team All-American came up with several outstanding saves. Ferris would wrap up second-period action by outshooting the hosts, 21-12.

Michigan State maintained its one-goal (2-1) cushion until 7:29 remaining in regulation when the Menke-Chupp connection teamed up for a Bulldog even-strength game-tying goal. Chupp snapped an eight-game non-goal scoring streak with his seventh of the year as a result of redirecting a Menke pass past Lerg, who wrapped up the night with a 44-save performance.

For the Bulldogs, Nagle compiled 30 stops as his record improves to 6-8-3 this campaign. FSU outshot the Spartans 46-32 in the contest.

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