Wolverines Open CCHA Playoffs With 6-4 Win

Michigan's No. 14-ranked ice hockey team opened postseason play on Friday night with a 6-4 win over the Ferris State Bulldogs at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor. In the win, U-M captain Andrew Ebbett netted two goals and an assist as he paced the Michigan offense. Game two takes place on Saturday at 7:35.

It isn't Senior Night, but it'll have to do. Just 13 days removed from the Ferris State Bulldogs shocking 4-3 overtime victory over the No. 14-ranked Wolverines, U-M got a chance for redemption in the CCHA tournament. And they took advantage.

T.J. Hensick put Michigan on top 7:47 into the first frame. Hensick snapped the puck past FSU goalie Mitch O'Keefe at the near post after finding open ice at the bottom of the left circle. Kevin Porter found Hensick with the cross-ice pass to set up the Wolverines first goal.

Just 1:04 later Andrew Ebbett doubled the U-M lead with his first of three points on the night. At the gap between the top of the circles, Ebbett sent a rocket into the FSU net.

"(Matt) Hunwick made a good pass. I think the goalie thought he was to go cross ice to Jack (Johnson) and then it came back and I beat (the goalie) back to the other side," said Ebbett later. "(Brandon) Kaleniecki did a good job screening."

Ferris State cut the lead to one goal at 12:19. Matt Verdone beat U-M goalie Noah Ruden high from the bottom of the left circle. Michigan outshot the Bulldogs 9-8 in the period and U-M lead 1-0 after the first 20 minutes.

Andrew Ebbett scored his second goal to open the second. Andrew Cogliano found Ebbett at the bottom of the left circle and the Wolverine captain sent the puck over the glove of O'Keefe to make it 3-1.

"On the second goal, (Andrew) Cogliano broke his stick on the pass, and I was actually working on that shot with (Danny) Fardig yesterday in practice, so I just put it up high and it found its way through the screen and went in."

Minutes later U-M extended the lead on the power play. Brandon Kaleniecki picked up a rebound in front of the FSU net and tucked the puck past the FSU goalie and into the net.

Michigan added one more goal off the stick of Kevin Porter before the Bulldogs pulled back within one midway through the period. Eric Vesley put the puck past Noah Ruden in front of the crease just 24 seconds after Porter's goal to end the second.

Mark Bomersback split the U-M defense just over midway through the period and beat Ruden through the five hole to make it 5-3. 40 seconds later they cut the gap to one. Dan Riedel put a rebound past Ruden for the Bulldogs final goal of the night.

However, unlike last time, the Bulldogs rally fell short. Travis Turnball netted the final goal of the contest at 16:20 slipping the puck past O'Keefe at the near post.

"They gave me some time with the puck so I saw an opening and got it around the net and it just went in. Ferris State had just come back and scored a couple goals, so we needed it. We were realizing the sense of urgency we had to have out there. We just needed to win."

With the win the Wolverines jump out to a one game lead in the weekend best of there series. Game two is set for Saturday night at 7:35.

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