VanWormer scores in OT, Ferris State advances

Associated Press
Ferris State center Kenny Babinski (11) and St. Cloud State defenseman Nathan Widman (5) battle for the puck during the second period Saturday. Ferris State won 5-4 in overtime.

St. Paul, Minn.  — Jared VanWormer scored at 18 seconds of overtime to give Ferris State a 5-4 victory over St. Cloud State on Saturday in the NCAA West Regional semifinals.

The Bulldogs (20-14-6) will face Denver on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida. Denver beat Boston University 7-2 in the second semifinal.

VanWormer’s scored off a rebound of Gerald Mayhew’s shot.

“Wanted to go to the net and see if I could get a rebound. He (Gerald) made a nice play. He put it off the pad, great place, great time, and I had to put it in. … Just have to keep winning and playing Bulldog hockey and we’ll be fine.”

St. Cloud State (31-9-1) scored twice in the third period to force overtime. Mikey Eyssimont pulled the Huskies within one on a power play at 4:38 with his second goal of the game, and Joey Benik tied it with 8:31 to go.

“This tournament can rip your heart out, absolutely can rip your heart out,” St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said. “Obviously we didn’t have our A-game today. We battled back. We showed what we can do but it’s pretty simple. Four turnovers led to the first four goals. We did some uncharacteristic things early in the game.”

VanWormer also scored in the first period. Mitch Maloney, Kenny Babinski and Gerald Mayhew added goals for the Bulldogs, and Darren Smith made 29 saves.

“I’m obviously thrilled to win, especially against a team such as St. Cloud with the year they’ve had,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said. “Any win in the NCAA Tournament is great, but when you consider the opponent we played, I’m really proud of our guys and our team and the way they battled.”

Jacob Benson also scored for St. Cloud State.