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NAHL alum Bonis leads Ferris State to NCAA Championship game

April 6, 2012

Former Traverse City North Stars forward Kyle Bonis knows how to celebrate a goal.

Ferris State will play for the NCAA hockey championship for the first time on Saturday night, and goaltender Taylor Nelson is concentrating on the team's season-long motto.

"We can't be satisfied," Nelson said. "We've been saying it all along. We're happy to advance, but we're not done yet."

Aaron Schmit scored two goals, NAHL alum Kyle Bonis had the tiebreaking tally in the third period and Ferris State beat Union 3-1 on Thursday to advance to the Frozen Four final.

The Bulldogs got the win in their first Frozen Four appearance and will face Boston College or Minnesota in Saturday night's championship.

Union College, a 2,133-student liberal arts school that does not offer athletic scholarships, fell to 26-8-7.

Ferris State (26-11-5), the Central Collegiate Hockey Association champion, is from Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 nationally for a two-week stretch early this season. That was the program's high-water mark — until Thursday.

"It's almost hard to comprehend right now," Bonis said. "This is great, but we have to stay in the moment."

Bonis snapped a tie at the 15:17 mark of the third. Senior Brett Wysopal's shot from the left circle was deflected away by goaltender Troy Groesnick, but Bonis was there for the rebound.

Schmit put it out of reach with an empty-netter in the final minute.

"As tough as this is right now, as much as this hurts, this is something our program can build upon," Union coach Rick Bennett said.

Union opened the scoring on sophomore Daniel Carr's goal at the 7:56 mark of the second period. After a clean faceoff win by Union's Jeremy Welsh, Greg Coburn blasted a one-timer from the center point position and Carr deflected it just over Nelson's glove.

Schmit answered with a power-play goal at 17:02 of the second. Bonis' shot was stopped by Grosenick, but Schmit put away the rebound.

Grosenick entered the game ranked second nationally in goals-against-average (1.64) and save percentage (.936). The sophomore was the first Union player to be among the 10 semifinalists for the Hobey Baker Award.

Grosenick had 34 saves, including 27 in the final two periods. Nelson had 27 stops.

 
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