Weekly Game Notes 19-20: Ferris State at Badger Hockey Showdown

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THIS WEEK:
at Badger Hockey Showdown
Saturday-Sunday (Jan. 2-3) --  Kohl Center (15,237 capacity) - Madison, Wisconsin
Saturday (Jan. 2) vs. #8 Yale Bulldogs -- 5 p.m. (EST) 
Sunday (Jan. 3) - Merrimack vs. Ferris State/Yale - 5 p.m. (EST) and #7 Wisconsin vs. Ferris State/Yale - 8 p.m. (EST)


Live Game Statistics: Saturday & Sunday
Video Radio Broadcast: WWBR Big Country 100.9 FM with Dominic Hennig calling the action.  Listen 
TV Television: None
Video Live Video Webcast: Bigtennetwork.com (Wisconsin Games Only - $2.99 fee per game) 

The Opening Faceoff: The nationally-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team returns to the ice for the first time since mid-December this weekend (Jan. 2-3) as the Bulldogs will participate in the 21st annual and final Badger Hockey Showdown at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.  Ferris State will face the nationally-ranked Yale Bulldogs in the tourney's first opening-round matchup on Saturday (Jan. 2) at 5 p.m. (EST) while the host Wisconsin Badgers entertain the Merrimack Warriors in the other semifinal matchup, which commences at 8 p.m. (EST).  The tourney's third-place and championship contests will be held this Sunday (Jan. 3) at 5 and 8 p.m. (EST), respectively.  

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.  A "Home Stretch Special" ticket package is currently being offered for Ferris State's final seven 2009-10 regular-season home contests.     

The Radio Broadcast: Both of Ferris State's Badger Hockey Showdown contests this weekend (Jan. 2-3) will be broadcast live by radio station Big Country WWBR-100.9 FM with Dominic Hennig calling the action.  Listen

The Records: Ferris State is 13-3-2 overall and 8-2-2-2 in the CCHA this season as the Bulldogs are midst a current 10-game (8-0-2) unbeaten streak.  Ferris State, which has posted a 2-3-2 away/neutral mark this campaign, is currently ranked 11th nationally in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and U.S. College Hockey Online polls.  FSU is presently listed 14th in Inside College Hockey.com's poll.  Ferris State compiled a 12-19-7 overall record last season, which included a ninth-place 9-14-5-(2) CCHA ledger. 

Yale sports a 7-3-2 overall mark and is 4-1-2 in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) this season.  The Bulldogs, who are 5-1-0 in their last six outings, recorded a 4-1 league home decision over Princeton (Dec. 5) at YU's Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn., in their most recent action.  Yale is currently listed sixth by Inside College Hockey.com, eighth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, and ninth in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll.

Wisconsin is 11-5-2 overall and 8-4-2 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) this campaign.  The Badgers extended their current unbeaten string to four straight (3-0-1) after tallying a 4-3 league decision at nationally-ranked North Dakota (Dec. 12) in Grand Forks, N.D.  UW, which is 5-1-1 in its last six contests, is currently ranked seventh nationally in all three college hockey polls - U.S. College Hockey Online, USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine, and Inside College Hockey.com.   

Merrimack is 7-8-0 overall and 4-6-0 in the Hockey East Association (HEA) to date after suffering a 4-1 league loss to nationally-ranked Massachusetts (Dec. 12) at UM's Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.  The Warriors are midst a two-game losing streak after winning their previous four and are 6-3-0 in their last nine encounters.    

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 18th season, 282-324-65 (.467) - (0-0-0 vs. Yale, 2-0-0 vs. Wisconsin, 0-0-0 vs. Merrimack). 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.

Yale - Keith Allain (Yale, 1987), 4th season, 58-42-11 (.572) - (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State).

Wisconsin - Mike Eaves (Wisconsin, 1977), 8th season, 154-116-36 (.562) - (0-2-0 vs. Ferris State).

Merrimack - Mark Dennehy (Boston College, 1991), 5th season, 58-42-11 (.572) - (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State).

Scouting Yale: The Bulldogs, who have seven skaters with double-digit points totals, are led by sophomore forward Brian O'Neill (6-10=16), junior forward Broc Little (10-5=15), and senior forward Sean Backman (8-6=14).  Freshman Nick Maricic (3-1-1, 2.52 GAA, .908sv%) and junior Ryan Rondeau (1-1-1, 3.84 GAA, .880sv%) have been Yale's primary goaltenders.  Yale leads the nation in scoring offense (4.33 gpg.).

Scouting Wisconsin: Junior defenseman Brendan Smith (8-18=26) and sophomore forward Derek Stepan (5-17=22) are the top points getters for the Badgers, who feature seven individuals with double-figure points totals.  In goal are juniors Brett Bennett (6-3-0, 2.12 GAA, .904sv%) and Scott Gudmandson (5-2-2, 1.87 GAA, .925sv%). UW is second nationally in scoring offense (4.06 gpg.) and sixth in scoring defense (2.11 gpg.).

Scouting Merrimack: Freshman forward Stephane Da Costa (9-10=19) is tops among four players in double-figure points.  Junior forwards Chris Barton (7-7=14) and Joe Cucci (2-12=14) are also among the Warriors' leading scorers.  Senior goaltender Andrew Braithwaite (4-2-0, 3.01 GAA, .905sv%) and sophomore goalie Joe Cannata (3-6-0, 3.38 GAA, .886sv%) have split time in net this season. 

The All-Time Series: Ferris State and Yale will meet for the first time ever in their all-time series.  FSU and Wisconsin could meet for the fifth time in their series which is presently tied at 2-2-0.  The Bulldogs have won the last two meetings versus the Badgers with both encounters taking place at the Badger Hockey Showdown.  FSU posted a 3-1 victory over Wisconsin in the championship game (12/28) of the 2003 Badger Hockey Showdown and then defended its title with a 5-3 decision over the Badgers in the 2005 Badger Hockey Showdown Championship contest (1/1).  Ferris State and Merrimack could square off for the second time in their all-time series which the Bulldogs own a 1-0-0 series advantage.  FSU recorded a 5-4 win over the Warriors in the 1986-87 campaign at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Tournament game in Troy, N.Y.  

Two-Time Badger Hockey Showdown Champions: Ferris State will be making its third appearance in the program's history at the Badger Hockey Showdown after winning back-to-back championship titles in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.  The Bulldogs skated to a 3-1 victory over host Wisconsin in the championship game (12/28/03) of the 2003-04 season and then tallied a 5-3 decision over the Badgers (1/1/05) in the tourney championship contest for the 2004-05 campaign. 

Regular Season Tourneys: Ferris State has posted a 19-17-5 record (.524) in regular-season tournament outings.  A season ago (1/2-3), FSU compiled a 0-1-1 mark at Vermont's 13th annual Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup in Burlington, Vt.  The Bulldogs dropped a 5-4 decision to St. Lawrence (1/2) in their tourney opener before prevailing 2-1 in a shootout following a 3-3 overtime tie against Colgate (1/3) in the consolation game.  Head coach Bob Daniels has notched a 15-10-3 career mark (.589) in those regular-season tournament outings.  

Regular-Season Tourney Scoring: The Bulldogs are averaging 3.00 goals per game (30 total) in their last 10 regular-season tournament appearances while the opposition has scored 2.80 goals a contest (28 total) during that span.  FSU has a 16.9% (12-71) success rate on the power play and is at 84.1% (58-69) efficiency in penalty killing.  The Bulldogs generated a 35.7% (5-14) power-play efficiency rate at last season's (1/2-3) Vermont Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup.  

Impressive Start: Ferris State's 13-3-2 record (.778) this season represents the program's second-best ever only to the 1979-80 team's 14-4-0 start.  The record-setting 2002-03 team started out with a 13-5-0 mark en route to registering a school-best 31-10-1 overall record.  The 2002-03 Bulldog squad also claimed its first-ever CCHA regular-season championship title and made the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Among An Elite Group: FSU has made College Hockey News' Midseason Rankings as the Bulldogs are listed in 10th place within the current top 10 2009-10 season rankings.  Yale and Wisconsin were ranked eighth and fourth, respectively.  Miami (Ohio) is ranked first and joins Ferris as the only CCHA teams.

Hot Streak: Ferris State's current 10-game (8-0-2) unbeaten streak (11/6-12/12) is the program's longest since the 2002-03 campaign when the Bulldogs won 12 straight (2/1-3/21).  In its current unbeaten streak (11/6-12/121), the 2009-10 Ferris State squad has outscored its opponent 37-16 (+21 goals) in that stretch.  FSU has produced a 16-8 second-period scoring advantage and holds an 11-5 lead in the third period.  The Bulldogs are operating at 25.4% (18-71) on the power-play and 94.5% (52-55) efficiency in penalty-kill situations.  Senior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) has totaled a squad-high 15 points (10-5=15) in those 10 contests while senior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) has 11 points (4-7=11)???and sophomore defenseman Brett Wysopal (LaGrange Park, Ill.) has recorded 10 points (2-8=10).  Sophomore goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) sports a 6-0-1 record in net to go with a 1.56 goals-against average (10 goals allowed) and a .944 save percentage (168 saves) in seven appearances.

Close Encounters: Eight of Ferris State's last 12 outings have been decided by two goals or less with the Bulldogs posting a 4-2-2 record in those contests.  Overall this season, 11 games have been determined by two goals or less with FSU registering a 6-3-2 ledger in those encounters.

Looking Ahead: Ferris State returns to CCHA action on Jan. 9-10 with a two-game road series against the nationally-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish at UND's Joyce Center in Notre Dame, Ind.  The two teams square off for the first time this season on Saturday (Jan. 9) at 7:05 p.m. (EST) before wrapping up the two-game set on Sunday (Jan. 10) with a 4:05 p.m. (EST) opening faceoff.  

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 CCHA 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 second half of the 2009-10 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.

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