It was the same old song and dance for the MSU hockey team this weekend when they were swept two games in a row by Ferris State.
The Spartans (6-15-3 overall , 5-12-1-0 CCHA ) fell to the Bulldogs (12-9-3 overall , 10-7-1-0 CCHA) 2-1 on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena then 5-2 the next night on Ferris State ice.
The teams have met four times this season, so MSU already was aware of what to expect from Ferris State but still was unable to counter it.
“The way they play is tough because it’s really hard to get momentum against them,” captain and junior forward Greg Wolfe said.
“Every time you get the puck in their zone, they don’t wait, they just shoot it out. It’s hard to establish a forecheck unless you’re really going,” he said.
Freshman forward Ryan Keller notched his first MSU goal Friday night but MSU was unable to convert any more of its 28 shots to pull the game within reach.
Freshman forward Matt DeBlouw put up his sixth goal of the season on Saturday, and junior forward Lee Reimer also scored a power-play goal in the second period.
“We were in the game the entire time, and we had our chances,” freshman goaltender Jake Hildebrand said following Friday’s game. “That’s all you can ask for. We just (have to) find a way (to win). We’re in every game, just have to work harder.”
Hildebrand had 61 saves throughout the two games, and Notre Dame netminder CJ Motte made 44.
Following Friday’s game, head coach Tom Anastos reiterated what Wolfe said — Ferris State is not an easy team to get scoring chances on.
The Bulldogs defense blocks many shots and crowds the net, and for two nights in a row, the Spartans were unable to work their way around that style of play.
“Overall, when you look at the full body of work, the team who won the game was the better team,” Anastos said after Friday’s game.
“I didn’t think our execution was very good. Unfortunately, we made mistakes that ended up in our net, and we were not sharp enough to finish some really good scoring chances, but still, I think they were the better team tonight.”
MSU will look to improve during Tuesday’s exhibition game against the U.S. National Team Development Program (U-18) at 7:05 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena before taking on Penn State at home Friday and Saturday.