Bulldogs Double Raiders, 4-2

Graham gets game-winner in home opener
Graham gets game-winner in home opener

ADRIAN, Mich. – The men's hockey team (3-0, 3-0) helped vindicate last year's season-ending loss to the Milwaukee School of Engineering (3-2, 3-2) by producing a solid third period effort, and breaking a 2-2 tie with a pair of goals to win, 4-2, in MCHA play Friday night at Arrington Ice Arena.

It may have been the longest two seconds in Bulldog hockey history, but that's about how long it took the puck to roll from the edge of the goal line to over the line and a 3-2 Bulldogs lead.

Zach Graham's centering attempt from deep in the attacking zone deflected off a Raider player and loomed on the goal line for what seemed like an eternity before rolling in for the eventual game-winner. Raider netminder Nick Kohn was unaware of the puck's location as it eventually crossed the goal line. Shelby Gray earned an assist on Graham's third of the season.

The No. 8 Bulldogs would add an empty-net goal with just 32 seconds remaining to ice the win when Chris Leone found the back of the Raider net from his own blue line, as Adrian outshot the No. 12 Raiders in the final period by a 2-to-1 margin (12-6) with the game on the line.

The Bulldogs came out strong jumping to a 2-0 lead after one period of play. Justin Basso's low shot from the right faceoff area put Adrian up 1-0 just over five minutes into the contest. Gray and Graham assisted on Basso's first of the season.

With just four seconds remaining in the first frame, Sam Nyberg scored his first collegiate goal on the power play. Nyberg's snap shot from the left point had eyes as it found its way to the top right corner through a maze of bodies. Gray and Josh Cousineau earned assists to put Adrian in front, 2-0.

The defending Harris Cup champion Raiders played their best hockey in the second period, outshooting the Bulldogs 11-3, and tying the game at 2 apiece. MSOE scored both goals in less than two and a half minutes to make the game interesting.

Cousineau's team-leading sixth assist and Gray's three-assist night left both players tied for the team point lead with Josh Ranalli at seven. Basso and Graham each had a multiple-point night with a goal and helper each.

The Bulldogs outshot the Raiders by one, and Adrian goaltender Scott Shackell recorded 22 saves on the night and allowed only one goal at even strength.

These same two teams will go at it again tomorrow (Saturday) in a matinee matchup set for 3 p.m. at Arrington Ice Arena.

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