Weekly Game Notes 35-36: Western Michigan vs. Ferris State

Weekly Game Notes 35-36: Western Michigan vs. Ferris State

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vs. Western Michigan Broncos

Friday (Feb. 26) -- 7:05 p.m. (EST) 
Ewigleben Ice Arena (2,493 capacity) - Big Rapids, Michigan
Saturday (Feb. 27) -- 7:35 p.m. (EST) 
Lawson Ice Arena (3,667 capacity) - Kalamazoo, 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); Bronco Insider (Saturday Game Only)   

The Opening Faceoff: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team, which is presently ranked 14th in the nation, will wrap up the regular-season portion of its 2009-10 schedule this weekend (Feb. 26-27) with a home-and-home series against the Western Michigan Broncos in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) action.  The Bulldogs entertain WMU this Friday (Feb. 26) in their regular-season home finale at Big Rapids before hooking up again with the Broncos on Saturday (Feb. 27) in Kalamazoo.   

Bulldog Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for this Friday's (Feb. 26) final 2009-10 Bulldog regular season home game versus Western Michigan 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 versus Western Michigan 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. 27) contest at Western Michigan is available through the Bronco Insider on WMU Athletics website at Bronco Insider

Meijer Family Hockey Night: This Friday's (Feb. 26) matchup against Western Michigan will represent the final Meijer Family Hockey Night for the 2009-10 season.  Meijer Family Hockey Night features four game tickets, four sodas and two bags of popcorn for $32. Meijer Family Hockey Night coupons are available at the Big Rapids Meijer and can be redeemed at the FSU Athletics Ticket Office 24 hours prior to the 7:05 p.m. (EST) start time.

Bulldog Hockey Promotions: The FSU Athletics promotional events for this Friday's (Feb. 26) regular-season home finale contest include Reed City Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Lakes Night which includes transportation, dinner, and a ticket to the game.  The FSU Optometry and Pharmacy Departments will also be recognized while FSU students are encouraged to wear their Bulldog jerseys.  The local Big Brothers and Big Sisters groups will also be acknowledged during the contest.    

The Records: Ferris State is 19-11-4 overall and 13-9-4-3 in the CCHA to date after splitting a home-and-home league series against 12th-ranked Michigan State last weekend (Feb. 19-20) in a battle for second place in the CCHA. The Bulldogs skated to a 4-1 triumph over the Spartans last Friday (Feb. 19) at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich., before suffering a 3-2 loss in Saturday's (Feb. 20) series finale at MSU's Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich.  For the second straight week (Feb. 21), Ferris State is ranked 14th nationally 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.). 

Western Michigan is 8-18-6 overall and 4-17-5-1 in CCHA action after registering a 0-1-1 record in its two-game league set against Ohio State last weekend (Feb. 19-20) at WMU's Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich.  The Broncos dropped a 3-1 decision to the Buckeyes in last Friday's (Feb. 19) matchup before falling 1-0 in a shootout on Saturday (Feb. 20) following a 3-3 overtime tie.  The Broncos compiled a 14-20-7 overall record last season, which included a seventh-place tying 9-13-6-2 mark (26 pts.) in the CCHA.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 18th season, 288-332-67 (.468) - (31-26-4 vs. Western Michigan - 18-10-2 Home, 12-15-2 Away, 1-1-0 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.

Western Michigan - Jim Culhane (Western Michigan, 1987), 11th season, 158-220-46 (.427) - (16-24-2 vs. Ferris State). Culhane, who played at WMU from 1983-87, is the first former Bronco varsity player to serve as the program's head coach.  He went on to play five professional seasons, including a stint with the NHL's Hartford Whalers in 1989-90. 

Scouting Western Michigan: The Broncos, who have nine skaters with double-digit points totals, are led in scoring by sophomore right wing Greg Squires (4-19=23) along with sophomore right wing J.J. Crew (8-11=19) and junior center Max Campbell (6-13=19).  Senior Riley Gill (7-15-5, 2.79 GAA, .922sv%), who's WMU's primary goaltender, ranks eighth nationally in save percentage and is 39th in goals-against average.  On the national level, WMU is 53rd in scoring offense (2.25), 30th in scoring defense (2.91), and 46th in scoring margin (-0.66).

The All-Time Series: Ferris State and Western Michigan will face one another for the 124th and 125th times this weekend in series which the Broncos lead 66-49-8 over the Bulldogs.  FSU is 29-25-4 at home, 19-37-4 on the road, and 1-4-0 at neutral sites versus Western Michigan.  Ferris State swept a home-and-home series against WMU earlier this season (Dec. 11-12), winning 3-0 on the road and prevailing 4-3 at home.  The Bulldogs are 6-1-2 in their last nine matchups versus the Broncos and are midst a current three-game winning streak.  Six of those outings have been determined by two goals or less with three being overtime encounters.  Ferris State has produced a 10-21-1 record all-time in February matchups - 5-9-0 at home and 5-12-1 on the road.      

Chupp Named A Lowe's 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 19 victories this season (19-11-4) this season is one shy of equalling 1980-81 squad's 20 victories total (20-14-2 overall) for sixth place in the program's annals.

Home Cooking: The Bulldogs' current 13-3-1 record at Ewigleben Ice Arena this season ties for the third most home victories in a single season.  The record-setting 2002-03 squad compiled a 13-4-1 home ledger.  The 1980-81 team produced a 14-4-0 mark at home while the 1979-80 squad was 16-5-0 in home encounters.

Regular-Season Finale Series: Ferris State is 24-32-4 (.433) all-time in its final two regular-season appearances, which includes a 9-12-1 ledger (.432) since the 1998-99 campaign.  The Bulldogs were swept by Michigan in last season's (2/27-28) regular-season finale series, losing 6-1 at home (2/27) and 4-0 on the road (2/28).

Four Score: Ferris State's top four points leaders this season - senior Blair Riley (17-16=33), senior Casey Haines (9-17=26), junior Zach Redmond (6-19=25) senior Cody Chupp (7-17=24), and have combined to account for 37.2% (108-290) of the team's points production and 37.5% (39-104) of the Bulldogs' goal scoring this season.  Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) alone has totaled 11.4% (33-290) of the Bulldogs' points production this campaign.

Dry Spell Ends: Freshman left wing Kyle Bonis' (Lindsay, Ontario) second-period goal against Michigan State in last Friday's  (2/19) 4-1 victory was his first since Ferris State's 5-1 season-opening triumph at Canisius (10/9).  Prior to his second tally this season, Bonis had went 16 games without netting a lamplighter.

Senior Night 2010: The Bulldogs will pay tribute to their six senior student-athletes prior to this Friday's (2/26) regular-season home finale.  Forwards Cody Chupp, Blair Riley, Casey Haines (Indiana, Pa.), and Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) along with defenseman Matt Case (Plymouth, Minn.) and goaltender Jordan Barber (Caledonia) will be recognized in the annual pre-game ceremony.  The six have registered a combined 63-68-19 overall record, which includes a 44-51-15 league mark, during their respective Bulldog careers.

Fitting The Bill: Sophomore defenseman Chad Billins' (Marysville) 11 points (3-8=11) in 34 games this season matches his 11 points (2-9=11) in 27 outings a season ago.  Billins turned in his fourth multi-point game effort this season at Michigan State (2/20) with a goal and an assist.  His short-handed tally marked the first one in 61 career contests.

Hobey Baker Award Candidate: Senior left wing Blair Riley 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. 

Just For Menke: Junior left wing-center Justin Menke's (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) eight goals (8-7=15) this season in 32 games ties his career single-season high, matching his eight lamplighters (8-13=21) in 39 outings for the 2007-08 campaign.  Menke has registered at least a point in six of his last eight contests with a combined seven points (3-4=7) during that stretch.

Identical: Senior right wing Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) has compiled identical numbers in goals and assists to date this season with 10 apiece (10-10=20) in both statistical categories for 34 games.  Last season in 37 outings, Lewicki also netted 10 goals and assists apiece for a career season-high 20 points (10-10=20).  He has presently racked up double-figure points totals in all four (2006-10) of his seasons at Ferris State. 

Looking Ahead: Ferris State has already clinched home ice for the opening round of the 2010 CCHA Playoffs (March 5-7), but also has an opportunity to secure a first-round playoff bye by placing among the league's top four teams in the final regular-season standings.  The best two-of-three quarterfinal round will be conducted from March 12-14 at the site of the top four seeded teams.   

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.

CCHA Playoff Tiebreaker: The tiebreaking criteria for the CCHA Playoff seeding is as follows: (1.) Conference wins; (2.) Best regular-sason winning percentage against the other team(s) tied for position; (3.) Total goals for and against each team in contests between (among) teams tied for position in regular-season play; (4.) Best winning percentage of the teams tied for position against the remaining highest-ranked CCHA teams; and (5.) Coin toss.   

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.