at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Saturday & Sunday (Jan. 9-10) -- Saturday @ 7:05 p.m. (EST) and Sunday @ 4:05 p.m. (EST)
Joyce Center (2,713 capacity) - South Bend, Indiana
The Opening Faceoff: The nationally-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team resumes Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) action this weekend (Jan. 9-10) as the Bulldogs square off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at UND's Joyce Center in South Bend, Ind. This Saturday's (Jan. 9) weekend series opener will get underway at 7:05 p.m. (EST) while Sunday's (Jan. 10) matchup is slated for a 4:05 p.m. (EST) opening faceoff. The two-game league set will represent the only meetings between the two teams during the 2009-10 regular season.
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. Those fans wishing to attend one of the Bulldogs' remaining seven regular-season home games at a savings may do so through the "Home Stretch Special" ticket package.
The Radio Broadcast: Both of this weekend's CCHA contests at Notre Dame 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 is available for both games of this weekend's series at Notre Dame on the Fighting Irish Athletics Website at http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=nd&media=153860.
The Records: Ferris State currently has posted a 14-4-2 overall record with a 8-2-2-2 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) mark this season following a third-place showing at the 21st annual and final Badger Hockey Showdown (1/2-3) held at Wisconsin's Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. Ferris State registered a 5-1 win over Merrimack last Sunday (1/3) in the tourney's third-place game after suffering a 6-1 loss to nationally-ranked Yale in Saturday's (1/2) opening game which snapped the Bulldogs' 10-game (8-0-2) unbeaten streak. This week (1/4), Ferris State is ranked 11th for the second straight time by U.S. College Hockey Online while the Bulldogs are listed 12th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and 13th in Inside College Hockey.com's poll. FSU concluded the 2008-09 season at 12-19-7 overall while compiling a ninth-place 9-14-5-2 CCHA mark (25 pts.).
Notre Dame improved to 9-8-5 overall and is 5-5-4-2 in the CCHA to date after claiming the second annual Shillelagh Tournament (1/2-3) title with a 2-1 five-round shootout win over nationally-ranked North Dakota Sunday (1/3) at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The Fighting Irish skated to a 3-3 overtime tie with the Fighting Sioux to force a shootout for tourney champion honors. UND, which is 5-2-3 in its last 10 outings, registered a 5-2 victory over Colgate in Saturday's (1/2) opening round action in the holiday tourney. The Irish are listed among other teams receiving votes this week (1/4) in all three collegiate hockey national polls. Notre Dame concluded its 2008-09 season at 31-6-3 overall, which included a first-place 21-4-3 CCHA regular-season mark and a CCHA Tournament Championship title. The Irish made their third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance last season, falling to Bemidji (Minn.) State (5-1) in its 2009 Midwest Regional opener (3/28/) at Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 18th season, 283-325-65 (.467) - (26-20-5 vs. Notre Dame - 17-12-4 Away, 7-8-1 Home, 2-0-0 Neutral). 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.
Notre Dame - Jeff Jackson (Michigan State, 1978), 5th season, 112-56-19 (.649); Career: 294-108-44 (.709) - (8-4-1 vs. Ferris State). Jackson, who was named the 2007 Spencer Penrose Award recipient as the NCAA Division I's National Coach of the Year, also has been selected as the CCHA's Coach of the Year (1990-91, 2006-07). He posted a 17-1-3 mark against FSU in his six seasons (1990-96) as head coach at Lake Superior State.
Scouting Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish feature seven players with double-figure points totals, led by sophomore forward Billy Maday (7-12=19) along with junior forwards Calle Ridderwall (12-4=16) and Ben Ryan (4-11=15). Ridderwall is listed 30th among the national leaders in goals per game. Freshman Mike Johnson (6-5-3, 1.81 GAA, .935sv%) and junior Brad Phillips (2-3-2, 2.26 GAA, .919sv%) have been Notre Dame's primary two goaltenders this campaign. Johnson ranks fourth nationally in both goals-against average and save percentage. The Irish's penalty-kill unit ranks third in the nation (89.6%) while ND is fourth in scoring defense (2.00 gpg.) and 20th in penalty minutes (15.4 pg.).
The All-Time Series: Ferris State's two-game series at Notre Dame will represent the 66th and 67th meetings between the two teams with the Bulldogs having a 37-22-6 lead. FSU is 22-12-4 on the road, 13-10-2 at home, and 2-0-0 at neutral sites versus the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame swept last season's two-game set (12/5-6) in Big Rapids, winning 3-1 and 1-0 as the Irish were the nation's top-ranked team at the time. The Bulldogs are 2-2-1 (.500) in their last five appearances at Notre Dame and are averaging 2.60 goals per outing during that span. Twenty one of the last 32 meetings between the teams have been decided by two goals or less with FSU registering a 9-9-3 (.500) ledger in those outings. Ferris State owns an 8-1-2 mark in January matchups against the Irish, which includes a 3-0-0 road record.
Impressive Start: Ferris State's 14-4-2 record (.750) this season represents one of the program's best starts as the 1979-80 and 2002-03 team's began their respective seasons with 15-5-0 (.750) records. The program record-setting 2002-03 team would go on to post a school-best 31-10-1 overall record as the Bulldog squad also claimed its first-ever CCHA regular-season championship title and made the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Streak Ends: Ferris State's 10-game (8-0-2) unbeaten streak came to an end with a 6-1 loss to nationally-ranked Yale last Saturday (1/2) in the opening game of the 21st annual Badger Hockey Showdown in Madison, Wis. The string represented the Bulldogs' longest since the 2002-03 campaign when FSU won 12 straight outings (2/1-3/21).
Getting His Points: Senior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) has a current and career-best eight-game point streak while racking up a combined 14 points (7-7=14) in that span. Riley, who has recorded an assist in his last five outings to date, previous career high was a six-game points streak with a combined six points (3-3=6) during that period.
New Year League Openers: The Bulldogs have compiled an 8-8-2 (.500) record in their first two CCHA-opening contests of a new year since the 2000-01 season. FSU sports a 6-4-0 (.600) mark in away encounters and is 2-3-2 (.429) in home matchups during that span. Ferris is 3-6-1 (.350) in its last 10 such outings.
Productive Line: FSU's top forward line of seniors Blair Riley (15-9=24), Casey Haines (5-12=17), and Cody Chupp (6-13=19) have currently accounted for 31.4% (60-191) of the team's points production this campaign.
INCH Salutes The Bulldogs: Inside College Hockey.com (INCH) has listed Ferris State as its surprise team in the online services' 2009-10 CCHA Midseason Report. Blair Riley was chosen as the league's surprise individual while the senior foward along with junior defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) were both named to the INCH's First Half All-CCHA Team.
Among An Elite Group: FSU has made College Hockey News' Midseason Rankings as the Bulldogs are listed 10th within the top 10 rankings. Yale and Wisconsin were ranked eighth and fourth, respectively. Miami (Ohio) is ranked first and joins Ferris as the only CCHA teams.
Mighty Casey: Senior center Casey Haines' (Indiana, Pa.) 17 points (5-12=17) in 20 games this season represents a career season high, eclipsing his 16 points (6-10=16) in 38 outings for the 2008-09 season. Haines has accumulated 33 points (11-22=33) in his last 58 contests to date after chalking up a combined 13 points (7-6=13) in his previous 64 appearances in the collegiate ranks.
First One: Sophomore defenseman Aaron Schmit (Grafton, Wis.) tallied his first collegiate goal in Sunday's (1/3) game against Merrimack at the Badger Hockey Showdown in Madison, Wis. Schmit netted a second-period lamplighter in the 5-1 win over the Warriors and has presently generated two points (1-1=2) in four outings this season after not registering a point in 24 contests a season ago.
No Place Like Home: Ferris State's 11-0-0 home start this season matches 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. FSU has outscored its opponent by 28 goals (48-20) at home to date.
Riley Earns All-Tourney Kudos: Blair Riley was named to the 2009 Badger Hockey Showdown's All-Tournament Team after totaling a combined three points on a goal and two assists in the Bulldogs' two tourney appearances. Riley assisted on FSU's lone goal in the 6-1 loss to nationally-ranked Yale (1/2) before tallying a goal with a helper in a 5-1 win over Merrimack in the tournament's third-place game. He also accounted for the game winner with a late opening-period lamplighter.
A Comparison: The 2009-10 Bulldogs are averaging 3.40 goals per game (68 total)???in their initial 20 outings this season compared to 4.65 goals a game (93) in the record-setting 2002-03 campaign. Defensively, Ferris is allowing 1.90 goals a contest (38 total) this season and gave up 2.15 goals per outing (43 total) thru its first 15 encounters in 2002-03. On the power play, FSU is operating at 22.4% (28-125)???efficiency this campaign and was at 25.3%???(23-91) in 2002-03. The Bulldogs have an 89.8%???(97-108) success rate in penalty killing this season and were at 86.2%???(75-87) efficiency at this time in the 2002-03 season.
Looking Ahead: Ferris State will host the nationally number-one ranked Miami (Ohio) RedHawks next weekend, Jan. 15-16, in a key CCHA series at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The series opener on Friday (Jan. 15) will begin at 7:05 p.m. (EST) and conclude on Saturday (Jan. 16) with a scheduled 5:05 p.m. (EST) starting time. The Bulldogs won a pair of overtime shootouts against the RedHawks earlier this season (Nov. 13-14) in Oxford, Ohio.
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 right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) was recently 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.
Preseason Kudos: Junior defenseman Zach Redmond has been 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 and a shootout win will be worth one point apiece. A loss in either the regulation or overtime period 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 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.