Saturday night’s hockey game between Michigan and Ferris State concluded with a series of bizarre events, as the Bulldogs pulled their goalie during overtime in an attempt to land a win and three points in the standings — they needed all three points to secure home-ice advantage in the second round of the CCHA playoffs.
An empty net in a tie game was odd enough, but the Bulldogs managed to sneak an extra man onto the ice as well … and not only did the refs not notice, but that seventh guy, Travis Ouellette, came free on a breakaway. (The above video, starting at the 1:25 mark, shows the sequence when it was seven-on-five in Ferris State’s favor.)
Michigan goalie Steve Racine stopped Ouellette to preserve a tie, and Michigan went on to win in regulation. The evidence is pretty clear if you watch that video above — there are six Ferris State players in the defensive zone as Michigan tries to score on the empty net, then a pass is sent down ice to Ouellette. And the photo below is Exhibit B:
You’ll see six Ferris State players (in the maroon jerseys) inside the Michigan blue line, and there’s a seventh Bulldog just outside the blue line, who then prevented Michigan from scoring into the empty net at the buzzer.
A hat tip to Greg Garno of The Michigan Daily for pointing out the officiating miscue. The Fox Sports Detroit crew, which was broadcasting the game, did not notice Ferris State’s bonus attacker on the ice, nor did Michigan appear to say anything in the moment.
Had Ouellette scored, though, clinching fourth place for Ferris State and sending Michigan on the road to open the postseason, a lot more might have come of this. The CCHA has not offered any comment on the issue.