Weekly Game Notes 33-34: Michigan State vs. Ferris State

Weekly Game Notes 33-34: Michigan State vs. Ferris State

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vs. #12 Michigan State Spartans 

Friday (Feb. 19) -- 7:05 p.m. (EST) 
Ewigleben Ice Arena (2,493 capacity) - Big Rapids, Michigan
Saturday (Feb. 20) -- 5:05 p.m. (EST) 
Munn Ice Arena (6,470 capacity) - East Lansing, Michigan

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

The Opening Faceoff: The nationally 14th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will square off against the 12th-ranked Michigan State Spartans this weekend (Feb. 19-20) in a pivotal Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) home-and-home series.  The action gets underway this Friday (Feb. 19) night as the Bulldogs host the Spartans in Big Rapids before venturing to East Lansing this Saturday (Feb. 20) in the two-game set finale.  The in-state series features the two teams presently tied for second place in the CCHA standings.   

Bulldog Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for the final 2009-10 Bulldog regular season home game versus Western Michigan next Friday (Feb. 26) 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.

The Radio Broadcast: Both of this weekend's CCHA games against Michigan State 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 Saturday's (Feb. 20) contest at Michigan State is available through the Big Ten Network for a $2.99 charge.  The game can be accessed on the Big Ten Network's Website at www.bigtennetwork.com

Bulldog Hockey Promotions: This Friday's (Feb. 19) promotional events feature Trade with the FSU Pro Shop (15% off with trade) for the community while Ferris State students are encouraged to wear their Ferris State hockey jersey.  A special highlight will be the unveiling of the Bulldog Mascot.  The second annual Tailgate On Ice, sponsored by the FSU Alumni Association, will be held prior to the game from 5-7 p.m. (EST) in the Ewigleben Ice Arena Multi-Purpose Room.   

The Records: Ferris State is 18-10-4 overall and tied for second place in the CCHA standings with a 12-8-4-3 CCHA mark to date this season after posting a 1-1-0 record in a two-game league set against Lake Superior State last weekend (Feb. 12-13) at LSSU's Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.  FSU suffered a 4-3 loss to the Lakers in last Friday's (Feb. 12) series opener before rallying to claim a 2-1 victory in Saturday's (Feb. 13) rematch which snapped a five-game winless string.  The Bulldogs are listed 14th nationally this week in all three national polls - USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine, U.S. College Hockey Online.com, and Inside College Hockey.com.  Ferris State concluded the 2008-09 season at 12-19-7 overall while compiling a ninth-place 9-14-5-2 CCHA mark (25 pts.). 

Michigan State, which was idle this past weekend (Feb. 12-13), is currently 17-10-5 overall and tied for second place in the CCHA at 12-7-5-2.  The Spartans posted a 0-1-1 mark against Alaska two weeks ago (Feb. 5-6) in a league series at UA's Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.  MSU dropped a 2-0 decision in the series opener (Feb. 5) versus the Nanooks before winning a 2-1 shootout following a 1-1 overtime tie in the series finale (Feb. 6).  Michigan State, which is 2-3-2 in its last seven outings, are ranked eighth nationally this week (Feb. 15) by Inside College Hockey.com while the Spartans are listed 12th in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and U.S. College Hockey Online.com polls.  MSU was was 10-23-5 overall with a 10th-place tying 7-17-4-3 CCHA mark (21 pts.) a season ago.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 18th season, 287-331-67 (.468) - (10-34-8 vs. Michigan State - 2-14-5 Home, 7-19-2 Away, 1-1-1 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.

Michigan State - Rick Comley (Lake Superior State, 1972), 5th season, 71-84-30 (.465) - (5-3-5 vs. Ferris State).  8th season, 169-118-34 (.579); Career: 37th season, 766-593-105 (.559) - (10-3-3 vs. Ferris State at MSU and 47-16-5 vs. FSU in career).  Comley, who spent 26 seasons (1976-2002) as the first head coach at Northern Michigan, is one of three coaches to win NCAA titles at two institutions (1991 at Northern Michigan and 2007 at Michigan State), a part of three National Championship teams, and is among the top five coaches all-time in collegiate victories.  He's a two-time (1980 and 1991) recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award as the Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year while also earning Coach of the Year plaudits in both the CCHA (1980 and 1981) and Western Collegiate Hockey Association (1989 and 1991).  

Scouting Michigan State: Junior forward Corey Tropp (20-19=39), who's tied for 11th in points per game (1.22 avg.) and is in a 13th-place tie in goals per game (0.62) among the national statistical leaders, presently leads 11 Spartans in double-digit points this season.  Junior foward Derek Grant (10-17=27) and junior defenseman Jeff Petry (4-21=25) are also among MSU's leading point getters.  Sophomore Drew Palmisano (13-8-4, 2.22 GAA, .925sv%) is the Spartans' primary goaltender and ranks fifth nationally in save percentage.  MSU is ranked 10th in scoring defense (2.41 gpg.), 18th in penalty killing (83.6%), and 19th in scoring offense (3.12 gpg.) nationally.

The All-Time Series: Ferris State's matchup against Michigan State this weekend represents the 106th and 107th meetings between the two schools as the Spartans have a current 65-25-15 lead.  The Bulldogs are 10-26-8 at home, 14-38-6 on the road, and 1-1-1 at neutral sites against MSU.  Last season (Feb. 6-7), Ferris State opened the series (Feb. 6) by skating to a 2-2 overtime tie at Michigan State before winning 2-1 in a shootout as Derek Graham tallied the decisive lamplighter.  The Bulldogs then were dealt a 1-0 home loss by the Spartans in the finale (Feb. 7) behind MSU netminder Jeff Lerg's 32 saves.  Ferris State is 2-11-3 in its last 16 encounters against Michigan State, which consists of a 1-5-1 home mark and a 1-6-2 road ledger.  Twelve of the last 15 matchups have been decided by two goals or less with the Bulldogs notching a 2-7-3 record in those outings.  FSU sports a 6-12-3 all-time mark in February contests - 3-5-2 at home and 3-7-1 in away encounters.   

Chupp Named A Finalist: Senior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) has been named one of 10 national finalists for the 2009-10 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in men's ice hockey.  Voting is now underway and you can cast your vote for Cody Chupp at www.seniorCLASSaward.com.  Voting will conclude March 16 and the Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced at the 2010 NCAA Men's Frozen Four in April at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.  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 is an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA. 

Successful Season: Ferris State's 18 victories to date this season (18-10-4) ties for the seventh most single-season victories in the program's history.  The 2009-10 team's seasons wins total equals the victories earned by 1983-84 (18-20-3 overall) and 2007-08 (18-16-5 overall) teams.  The Bulldogs are two wins shy of matching the 1980-81 squad's 20 victories total (20-14-2 overall) for sixth place in the program's annals.

Hobey Baker Award Candidate: Senior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) is a 2009-10 season candidate for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award which is awarded annually to college hockey's top player.  Riley is among 70 candidates for the Award and the popular fan-voting phase is currently open at the Hobey Baker website - www.hobeybaker.com.  Click on the Vote for Hobey Baker icon and follow the prompts to make a selection from this year's outstanding group of college hockey players.  Riley leads the Bulldogs in points (26) and goals (16) this season to date while also presently tying for second-place honors among the CCHA's top points producers in overall scoring. 

Zack On The Attack: Junior defenseman Zach Redmond's (Traverse City) 24 points (6-18=24) in 32 games this season equals his career single-season best of 24 points (3-21=24) in 38 contests for the 2008-09 season.  Redmond, FSU's 2008-09 Most Valuable Player, has totaled 67 career points (15-52=67) in 107 contests and is presently five points shy of tying Keith Sergott (1992-96; 72 career points) for 12th place in career points among FSU defensemen.  He's one helper shy of tying Clark Davies (1986-90; 54 career assists) for 12th place on the Bulldogs' blueline leaders list.

Just For Men: Junior left wing-center Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) has
recorded four points in his last six outings and has a combined four points (1-3=4) in that stretch, which had included a three-game (1/29-2/5) points streak.

Four Score: Ferris State's top three points leaders - Blair Riley (17-15=32), senior Casey Haines (9-17=26), senior Cody Chupp (7-17=24), and Zach Redmond (6-18=24) have combined to account for 38.8% (106-273) of the team's points production and 39.8% (39-98) of the Bulldogs' goal scoring this season.

Mighty Mike: Junior left wing Mike Embach (Orland Park, Ill.) has totaled a career season-best 15 points (6-9=15) in 26 outing this campaign, which eclipses his 13 points (9-4=13) in 34 contests a season ago.  Embach is midst a two-game scoring streak with a point apiece in last weekend's (Feb. 12-13) series at Lake Superior State and has recorded a combined five points (1-4=5) in his last six games.  The FSU forward has posted a combined 10 points (5-5=10) in previous 20 contests this season.

Nine Is Fine: Junior goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) earned his career season-high ninth victory of this season in a 2-1 league decision at Lake Superior State last Saturday (Feb. 13).  Nagle presently sports a 9-7-1 record in 18 appearances this season which exceeds his previous best 8-7-0 mark in 16 games for the 2007-08 campaign.

League Friendly: Senior right wing-center Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) has recorded a combined 38 points (19-19=38) in 69 contests since the start of last season.  In league play alone, Lewicki has compiled 28 points (13-15=28) in 52 CCHA encounters which accounts for 73.7%of his points production to date.

Backstopping To The Top: Pat Nagle moved into a tie for 11th place on Ferris State's all-time winningest netminders following a 2-1 triumph at Lake Superior State last Saturday (Feb. 13).  Nagle has currently assembled a 24-25-4 career mark beween the pipes in 56 appearances to tie Phil Osaer (24-22-6; 1998-01).  Nagle is now three victories away from moving into a 10th-place tie with Jeff Blashill (27-36-5; 1994-98) on the school's all-time wins leaders charts.  Mike Brown (2001-05), a 2002-03 American Hockey Coaches Association All-America First-Team selection, holds the top spot among the program's winningest netminders with 63 career victories (63-57-7) in 130 contests.

Identical: Senior right wing Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) has compiled identical numbers in goals and assists to date this season with nine apiece (9-9=18) in both statistical categories for 32 games.  Last season in 37 outings, Lewicki netted 10 goals and assists apiece for a career season-high 20 points (10-10=20).  He has racked up double-figure points totals in all four (2006-10) of his seasons. 

Looking Ahead: Ferris State concludes its 2009-10 regular season next weekend, Feb. 26-27, with a home-and-home CCHA series versus the Western Michigan Broncos.  The Bulldogs host WMU next Friday (Feb. 26) at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich., with the puck dropping at 7:05 p.m. (EST).  The weekend league set concludes on Saturday (Feb. 27) with Ferris State visiting the Broncos in a 7:35 p.m. (EST) matchup at WMU's Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, 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.

2010 Frozen Four : Tickets for the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Frozen Four scheduled for April 8 and 10, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., are available for purchase by visiting www.NCAA.com/frozenfour, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1 (800) 745-3000.   Each all-session ticket includes the two semifinal games on Thursday, April 8, and the national championship game on Saturday, April 10. Tickets are available in four price ranges - $40, $79, $119 and $189.  For more information on the 2010 NCAA Men's Frozen Four, visit www.NCAA.com/frozenfour.

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. 

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, and more.