Just when it appeared the Gophers hockey team might sweep its first series of the season, Ferris State came to life Saturday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
The Bulldogs, who came into the game as the nation’s only team without a win or tie on the road this season, scored twice in the third period to beat the Gophers 3-2 for a series split before an announced crowd of 7,930. It was Minnesota’s first loss of the year in the seven games they had a lead after two periods.
Coale Norris’s goal for Ferris State 1 minute, 47 seconds into the final period tied the score at 2-all. Corey Mackin’s second power-play goal of the game, at 11:20, was the winner.
The Bulldogs (5-14-1) are now 1-9 on the road this season, leaving Brown as the lone Division I team among 60 without an away victory. Ferris State’s victory also ended its 0-10-1 winless streak.
The Gophers (6-7-4), playing in their eighth series of the season, took a 1-0 lead on Brent Gates’ power-play goal at 5:22 of the opening period.
In the second period, each team scored once on the power play. Mackin, the Bulldogs’ senior captain, tied the score at 13:13. But just under two minutes later, Nathan Burke put the Gophers ahead again.
Eric Schierhorn, the winning goalie in relief in the Gophers’ 5-3 win in the series opener when he stopped all 15 shots he faced in the last two periods, started the second game. He allowed only one even-strength goal and had 30 saves.
But Bulldogs goalie Roni Salmenkangas, a freshman from Finland, was a bit better, stopping a season-high 44 shots. The Gophers’ 46 shots were a season best for them.