Weekly Game Notes 15-16: Nebraska-Omaha at Ferris State

Weekly Game Notes 15-16: Nebraska-Omaha at Ferris State

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vs. #18 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks
Friday & Saturday (Dec. 4-5) -- Friday @ 7:05 p.m. (EST) and Saturday @ 5:05 p.m. (EST)
Ewigleben Ice Arena (2,493 capacity) - Big Rapids, Michigan

Live Game Statistics: Friday & Saturday
Video Radio Broadcast: WWBR Big Country 100.9 FM with Dominic Hennig calling the action. 
TV Television: Ferris Television (Friday Game Only - Tape Delay)
Video Live Video Webcast:B2 Networks 

The Opening Faceoff: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team, which was idle this past weekend, returns to action this weekend (Dec. 4-5) as the nationally-ranked Bulldogs resume their current five-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) homestand entertaining the nationally-ranked Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.  The two-game set will be held at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.   

Bulldog Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2009-10 Bulldog home regular-season hockey games can be purchased by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office's normal hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) weekdays. Single-game tickets may also be purchased by contacting Star Tickets at 1-800-585-3737 or online at Star Tickets website: www.startickets.com. Tickets are also available at all Meijer store locations in West Michigan and at the Student Services Office in the FSU Rankin Student Center.

Bulldog Hockey Promotions: This Friday's (Dec. 4) contest is Meijer Family Night where fans get four game tickets, four sodas and two bags of popcorn all for $32.  Church and local youth group night along with the FSU College of Business and 2 for 22 or 3 for 33 will also be featured.  On Saturday (Dec. 5), Big Rapids Public School Night will be highlighted along with 2 for 22 and 3 for 33.  RSO Night and 70's & 80's Night will be held for Ferris State students.  Following this Saturday's contest, three current 2009-10 Bulldog hockey student-athletes will be available to sign autographs.    

The Telecast: Ferris Television will air this Friday's (Dec. 4) weekend series opener against Nebraska-Omaha on a tape delayed basis.  The televised contest represents the third and final Ferris Television contest for the 2009 portion of the Bulldogs' 2009-10 schedule. 

The Radio Broadcast: Almost all of Ferris State's 2009-10 games will be broadcast live by radio station Big Country WWBR-100.9 FM with Dominic Hennig calling the action.

Video Webcast: A live video and audio webcast will be available for all 2009-10 FSU men's ice hockey home games through B2 Networks for a charge of $7 on FSU's Athletics Website at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com (Click on B2 Networks icon).  Live internet statistics will also be available for all Bulldog home contests.  This weekend's series at Alaska will be featured on B2 Networks. 

The Records: Ferris State, which was idle last weekend, has compiled an 8-3-2 overall record with a 4-2-2-(2) CCHA mark this season.  The Bulldogs recorded a home league series sweep of Ohio State two weeks ago (Nov. 20-21) at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, winning 8-1 and 6-5 in overtime.  FSU, which produced a current 8-0-0 home mark this season, is ranked 17th in U.S. College Hockey Online, Inside College Hockey.com, and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls for Nov. 16.  Ferris State compiled a 12-19-7 overall record last season, which included a ninth-place 9-14-5-(2) CCHA ledger. 

Nebraska-Omaha is 7-4-3 overall with a 4-4-2-1 CCHA mark this season.  The Mavericks swept Western Michigan this past weekend (Nov. 27-28) in a two-game league set at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb., prevailing 4-3 and 4-2.  UNO, which is 1-3-2 on the road this campaign, is ranked 18th this week (Nov. 30) by U.S. College Hockey Online and is 19th in Inside College Hockey.com's poll.  The Mavs received votes in the USA Today/USA???Hockey Magazine poll registered a 15-17-8 overall mark last season while finishing eighth place in the CCHA at 8-13-7-3 (26 pts.). 

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 18th season, 278-324-65 (.466) - (9-16-3 vs. Nebraska-Omaha - 5-6-3 Home, 4-10-0 Away). Daniels has the distinction of being the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State history. He was honored as the 2002-03 CCHA Coach of the Year and the Inside College Hockey (INCH) Coach of the Year, but the crowning highlight of his coaching career was being chosen as the recipient of the 2003 Spencer Penrose Award as the ACHA's Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year. He was among three finalists for the 2007-08 CCHA Coach of the Year Award.

Nebraska-Omaha - Dean Blais (Minnesota, 1973), 1st season, 7-4-3 (.607); Career: 269-119-36 (.677) - (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State at UNO and 3-1-0 vs. FSU in career).  Blais, who became only the second coach in UNO's hockey history in June 2009, previously was the head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League's Fargo (N.D.) Force.  He was twice (1997 and 2001) named the Spencer Penrose Award recipient as the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Division I Coach of the Year at North Dakota and led the Fighting Sioux to two NCAA National Championships (1997 and 2000).

Scouting Nebraska-Omaha: Junior forward Rich Purslow (7-4=11) and senior defenseman Eddie De Grosso (4-7=11) led UNO in scoring.  Sophomore John Faulkner (5-2-2, 2.43 GAA, .893sv%) and senior Jeremie Dupont (2-2-1, 2.88 GAA, .879sv%) are the Mavericks' goaltenders.  UNO ranks tied for 24th place nationally in scoring offense (2.93 gpg.) and is tied for 21st in scoring defense (2.71 gpg.).

The All-Time Series: Nebraska-Omaha maintains a 16-9-3 lead over Ferris State in their all-time series which debuted in the 1999-00 season.  FSU is 5-6-3 at home and 4-10-0 on the road against UNO.  Last season, Ferris State went 1-0-1 in a regular-season home series versus the Mavericks in Big Rapids, winning 7-1 in the opener and then skating to a 1-1 overtime tie before prevailing 2-1 in a shootout.  The Bulldogs then suffered a pair of losses (3-0 and 5-2) to Nebraska-Omaha in the quarterfinal round of the 2009 CCHA Playoffs at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb.  FSU has compiled a 4-5-1 record in its last 10 encounters with UNO.  Eleven of the last 13 meetings in the series have been decided by two goals or more with Ferris State compiling a 3-8-0 record.  The Bulldogs are 2-2-0 at home and 1-6-0 on the road during the 13-game period.  FSU is 0-2-0 all-time in December matchups with both outings taking place on UNO's home ice.

CCHA Player Of The Month: Senior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) has been selected as the RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month for November 2009.  Riley, who earned the monthly honor for the first time in his career, played a vital role in leading the Bulldogs to a 4-0-2 record in November while totaling a team month-high eight goals and two assists for a squad-leading 10 points.  He totaled four multiple-point games for the month, which included a career-best four points (3-1=4) versus Ohio State (Nov. 20) and featured his second career hat trick in a FSU jersey.  Riley is the second Ferris State player to receive such recognition as he joins former goaltender Derek MacIntyre, who claimed the honor for February 2007.

Home Sweet Home: Ferris State's 8-0-0 home start this season is the program's best since the 1979-80 season when the Bulldogs won their first 11 straight home encounters en route to compiling a 17-5 home mark.

Weekly Kudos: Blair Riley was not only the CCHA's Offensive Player of the Week (11/23) for his notable performance in a home league series sweep of Ohio State (11/20-21), but also earned national player of the week accolades from Inside College Hockey.com the same week (11/23).

Getting It Done: Ferris State's top forward line of seniors Blair Riley (12-4=16), Casey Haines (3-8=11), and Cody Chupp (4-10=14) have combined for 40 points (19-21=40) this season in 11 contests while generating a 7-2-2 record.  The trio have accounted for 29.5% (33-112) of FSU's points and 41.0% (16-39) of its goal scoring in the eight home games.

Taylor Made: Sophomore goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) six victories (6-1-1 record) this season in nine appearances represents a career single-season best, eclipsing his five wins (5-8-4) in 19 outings a season ago.

Productive First Halves: During the Bob Daniels era, the Bulldogs have traditionally been a first-half team. The first three months (October, November, December) of his 17-plus seasons at FSU, the Bulldogs are a combined 147-154-36 (.489%) and then compiled a 131-170-28 mark (.441) in the second half. The 2002-03 team had their best first-half record under Daniels (13-5-0, 72.2%), and were 18-5-1 (.783) in the 2003 portion of its season.

Effective Newcomers: Ferris State's five-member rookie group has produced 34 points with 15 goals and 19 assists this season.  The group's scoring output accounts for 23.8% (34-143) of the squad's scoring and 30.0% (15-50) of the team's total goals production.  Sophomore defenseman Brett Wysopal (LaGrange Park, Ill.), a transfer from Colorado College, leads the newcomers with 10 points (1-9=10) while freshmen forwards Matthew Kirzinger (5-3=8) and Travis Ouellette (6-2=8) are tied for second among the team's leading rookie points producers.

Mr. Overtime: Senior center Casey Haines (Indiana, Pa.) has accounted for both of Ferris State's overtime winning goals this season.  He netted the game winner in a 5-4 overtime decision against Robert Morris (10/23) and then had the deciding goal in a 6-5 overtime victory versus Ohio State (11/21).  Haines has scored four-game winning lamplighters in 116 career contests to date..

Did You Know?: Blair Riley's 16 points (12-4=16) in 14 games this season matches his 2008-09 season's production of 16 points (7-9=16) in 37 contests. Riley is averaging 1.14 points a game to date this campaign.  Riley's 12 goals are two shy of tying his career season-best 14 tallies in the 2007-08 season and eight away from equalling his career-high 24 points (14-10=24) set in that season.

Better Than Before: Senior right wing Cody Chupp's (Big Rapids) 14 points (4-10=14) in as many contests this campaign surpasses his output of 12 points (7-5=12) in 33 outings last season.  His career single-season high is 30 points (11-19=30) established in 39 games as a sophomore in the 2007-08 season.

Welcome Addition: Sophomore defenseman Brett Wysopal concluded this November with a squad second-most eight points (1-7=8) in six outings.  Wysopal, who was forced to sit out last season after transferring from Colorado College due to NCAA Division I transfer policy, compiled four points (0-4=4) in the two-game set against Ohio State (11/20-21).

Looking Ahead: Ferris State will close out the 2009 portion of its 2009-10 schedule next weekend, Dec. 11-12 with a home-and-home CCHA series against the Western Michigan Broncos.  The Bulldogs visit WMU in Friday's (Dec. 11) opener at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich., with opening faceoff set for 7:35 p.m. (EST).  The two teams will then meet on Saturday (Dec. 12) for a 5:05 p.m. (EST) tilt at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.  

CCHA Preseason Polls: Ferris State was picked to finish eighth in the 2009-10 CCHA Coaches Preseason Poll with 50 points.  The Bulldogs received 314 points in the media poll to place ninth among the 12 conference teams. Points were awarded on a 12-11-10-9, etc., basis. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school, in the order they predicted the regular season will end.

Head of The Class: Senior Cody Chupp has been chosen as a candidate for the 2009-10 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.  To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community, and competition.  The 20 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season and those 10 individuals will be placed on the official ballot.  Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of classroom, character, community, and competition.  Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award winner at the 2010 NCAA Men's Frozen Four to be held in early April at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. 

New Look: Ferris State is sporting new uniforms this season to comply with the university's graphic standards.  The white-colored uniforms feature a Bulldog on the front with crimson color along the shoulders.  The crimson-colored uniforms have the wording Ferris State in gold with black trim around the letters.  Alternating crimson, gold, and white are along the sleeves for both uniforms. 

Returning Firepower: Ferris State returns 11 of its top 14 points leaders from the 2008-09 season, which includes three of the team's leading points producers.  Overall, the Bulldogs return 71.1% (64-90) of their goal-scoring output and 72.4% (173-239) of their points production from last season.

Preseason Kudos: Junior defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) was named to the 2009-10 CCHA Preseason All-Conference Honorable Mention Team.  The preseason teams were selected by the league's 12 head coaches and coaches weren't allowed to vote for their own players.  The 2008-09 FSU Most Valuable Player finished second among last season's team scoring leaders with a career season-best 24 points on three goals and a squad-high 21 assists in 38 contests.  Redmond also earned honorable mention accolades on the 2008-09 CCHA Preseason All-Conference Team.

Leading The Way: Cody Chupp will serve as Ferris State's team captain for the second consecutive season.  Chupp is now the 10th skater in FSU hockey history to don the captain's ‘C' on his jersey for at least two seasons.  Chupp, who has amassed 65 career points on 26 goals and 39 assists in 109 games, was selected as the inaugural recipient of the program's Community Service Award.  He also was a nominee for the 2009 Bank of New York Mellon Hockey Humanitarian Award as college hockey's finest citizen and also earned finalist status for a 2009 National Student-Athlete Day Gian Steps Award in the Civic Leader category.

Well Deserved: Aaron Lewicki, a two-time (2007-08 and 2008-09) Ferris State CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year pick, was honored as the recipient of the FSU Athletics Department's Jimmy Swears Courage Award for the 2008-09 season.  The award is presented to a deserving student-athlete who has used perseverance, dedication and determination to confronting a life-altering situation.  Lewicki compiled a team third-most and career season-best 20 points on 10 goals and assists apiece in 37 2008-09 contests.

New Points System: The Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced that a regulation time or overtime win will be worth three points in the league standings.  An overtime tie will be awarded one point while a shootout win will earn a team an additional point.  A loss in regulation or overtime will receive no points. 

TV Exposure: Ferris State will making a combined three national and regional appearances on television this upcoming 2009-10 season.  The Bulldogs will be showcased in both games of a home-and-home CCHA series against Michigan (Jan. 22-23) courtesy of CBS College Sports while FS Detroit Plus will air the FSU's home league matchup versus Northern Michigan on Feb. 6.  Ferris Television will televise three home CCHA outings in the first half of the 2009-10 season - vs. Bowling Green State (11/6), Ohio State (11/20), and Nebraska-Omaha (12/4).  Three more league tilts are tentatively slated to air in the second half of this season - Northern Michigan (2/5), Michigan State (2/19), and Western Michigan (2/26). 

Bulldog Hockey Twitbook: All Ferris State Bulldog Hockey fans now can have access to additional information on the 2009-10 team via Twitter at twitter.com/FerrisHockey

On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics' official web site can be found at www.ferrisstatebulldogs.com. The site features information on all of FSU's varsity athletics programs including rosters, statistics, yearbooks and more.