BIG RAPIDS, Mich. - Five goals by underclassmen propelled the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team past the Mercyhurst Lakers on Friday (Oct. 19) by a 5-2 score at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in non-conference action.
It was freshman forward Hunter Wendt who stole the show for Ferris State, as the second generation Bulldog hockey player netted his first collegiate goal and scored twice, adding an assist for a three point game, while fellow freshman and goaltender Roni Salmenkangas picked up his first collegiate victory.
After outshooting the Lakers 16-2 in the opening frame, it took until the second frame for the Bulldogs to strike. It was Wendt that finally broke through for Ferris State, scoring on a nifty forehand to backhand shot over Mercyhurst goaltender DeAugustine for a 1-0 lead at 7:41 of the second period. Senior forward Corey Mackin (3) and junior forward Oskar Andren (3) picked up the assists after a hard-fought cycle play in the corner.
The Lakers responded when Joshua Lammon scored at 11:01 of the second period, redirecting a pass off the underside of the crossbar and in to tie the game at 1-1.
On a power play just minutes later, Ferris State freshman defenseman Cooper Zech fired a shot over DeAugustine after a stutter-step move at the top of the zone for a 2-1 Bulldog edge. Junior defenseman Nate Kallen (1) and sophomore forward Frankie Melton (1) picked up the assists on Zech's first collegiate goal.
Then, at 15:53 of the second, a strong keep-in by Ferris State senior defenseman Jacob Hetz found its way to the front of the net, where Wendt tapped it across to sophomore forward Marshall Moise. A diving stick of a Mercyhurst player deflected the puck up in the air, hit Moise in the face, and dropped past DeAugustine, giving FSU a 3-1 lead. The goal was Moise's first of the year, while Hetz and Wendt each earned their first assists of the year on the goal.
In the third, the Lakers cut the Ferris State lead to 3-2 on a deflection off of a point shot by Mercyhurst's Matthew Whittaker at 2:06 of the third period.
Less than 80 seconds later, Ferris State sophomore forward Frankie Melton picked up a feed from freshman forward Jake Transit and beat DeAugustine on a wraparound play for his second goal of the season at 3:24 of the third. Transit picked up his first collegiate point, an assist, on the goal for the 4-2 lead.
Ferris State capped the scoring when a feed by Mackin from behind the Mercyhurst net hit a skate and bounced to a wide-open Wendt, who drilled it into the gaping cage for the 5-2 lead. Mackin picked up his fourth assist of the season, while junior defenseman Joe Rutkowski earned his first assist of the year on the goal.
The Bulldogs dominated possession and outshot the Lakers 41-26 in the game, with a 27-8 margin through the first 40 minutes of play. In goal, Salmenkangas made 21 stops for his first collegiate victory, while DeAugustine took the loss for the Lakers on 36 saves.
FSU finished 2-5 on the man-advantage, though their final power play started in the final 30 seconds of play, while holding Mercyhurst 0-5 on the power play.
The Bulldogs look for the series sweep when they take on the Lakers again at 7:07 p.m. (ET) on Saturday (Oct. 20) night at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in the series finale.