Weekly Game Notes-CCHA Playoffs Second Round: Nebraska-Omaha at Ferris State

Weekly Game Notes-CCHA Playoffs Second Round: Nebraska-Omaha at Ferris State

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CCHA Playoffs Second-Round Series
vs. #18 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday-If Necessary (March 12-14) -- 7:05 p.m. (ET) 
Ewigleben Ice Arena (2,493 capacity) - Big Rapids, Michigan

 Live Game Statistics: Friday; Saturday & Sunday (If Necessary)
Video Radio Broadcast: WWBR Big Country 100.9 FM with Dominic Hennig calling the action. 
TV Television: None 
Video Live Video Webcast: B2 Networks 

The Opening Faceoff: The nationally-ranked 2009-10 Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will begin their quest for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's (CCHA) Mason Cup as league tournament champions this weekend (March 12-14) in a best-of-three second-round playoff series against nationally-ranked Nebraska-Omaha in Big Rapids, Mich.  The puck will drop for the opening two games at 7:05 p.m. (EST) and Sunday's tilt, if necessary, will also begin at 7:05 p.m. (EDT).  Ferris State enters the series as the league tourney's third seed while the Mavericks are seeded sixth.   

Bulldog Hockey CCHA Playoff Tickets: Tickets for this weekend's (March 12-14) CCHA Playoff Second-Round series at Ferris State 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 ticket prices for this weekend's league playoffs series are as follows: $13 for adults, $11 for senior citizens, $9 for youth grades kindergarten thru 12th, $9 for groups of 20-39 individuals, $6 for Ferris State students with valid ID, $6 for groups of 40 or more individuals.  Group rates apply to businesses, organizations, BRAJHA teams, youth groups, churches, etc.  Tickets may also be purchased by contacting Star Tickets at 1-800-585-3737 or online at Star Tickets website: www.startickets.com.

The Radio Broadcast: All of Ferris State's CCHA Playoff Second-Round series contests versus Nebraska-Omaha this weekend 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.   

The Records: Ferris State is 19-11-6 overall this season and finished with a third-place 13-9-6-4 CCHA regular-season mark.  The Bulldogs were idle last weekend (March 5-6) as a result of receiving a league playoff first-round bye.  Ferris skated to a pair of overtime ties against Western Michigan in its league regular-season finale home-and-home series (Feb. 26-27).  The Bulldogs won a 2-0 shootout after registering a 2-2 overtime tie versus Western Michigan in the series opener (Feb. 26) at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.  Ferris then lost 1-0 in a shootout to the Broncos following a 1-1 overtime tie in the series finale (Feb. 27) at WMU's Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich.  FSU is ranked 13th nationally this week (March 8) in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and U.S. College Hockey Online.com polls while the Bulldogs are listed 14th in the nation by 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.). 

Nebraska-Omaha is 20-14-6 overall and posted a sixth-place 13-12-3-2 CCHA record this season.  The Mavericks swept a league playoff opening-round series last weekend (March 5-6) with a pair of 6-1 victories over Bowling Green State in a best-of-three series at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb.  UNO, which is 7-2-1 in its last 10 contests to date, is ranked 18th in this week’s (March 8) U.S. College Hockey Online.com poll and is 19th in the Inside College Hockey.com’s poll.  The Mavericks are listed among others receiving votes in the latest (March 8) USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.  Nebraska-Omaha will be joining the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), starting in the 2010-11 season. 

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 18th season, 288-332-69 (.468) - (11-16-3 vs. Nebraska-Omaha - 7-6-3 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, 20-14-6 (.575); Career: 281-128-37 (.673) – (0-2-0 vs. Ferris State at UNO and 3-3-0 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: The Mavericks have 12 skaters with double-figure points, led by senior defenseman Eddie Del Grosso (7-23=30) along with junior forward Rich Purslow (14-13=27) and sophomore forward John Kemp (7-20=27).  Del Gross is 88th among the national leaders in assists (0.57 avg.) while Kemp is tied for 89th-place honors (0.57 avg.).  Freshman goaltender John Faulkner (13-9-4, 2.59 GAA, .905sv%) and senior netminder Jeremie Dupont (7-5-2, 2.71 GAA, .893sv%) have both received action in goal this season.  Faulkner ranks 27th on the national statistical leaders list in goals-against average and is 48th in saves percentage.  Nationally, the Mavericks rank 12th in penalty-kill success (84.8%), 20th in scoring defense (2.75 gpg.), 21st in both scoring margin (0.28) and power-play efficiency (19.7%), 26th in penalty minutes (15.0), and 27th in scoring offense (3.02 gpg.).    

The All-Time Series: Nebraska-Omaha holds a 16-11-3 lead over Ferris State in their all-time series which debuted in the 1999-00 season.  FSU is 7-6-3 at home and 4-10-0 on the road against UNO.  The Bulldogs prevailed in both regular-season matchups this campaign, winning 2-0 and 3-1 at Big Rapids.  Thirteen of the last 15 meetings have been decided by two goals or more with FSU compiling a 5-8-0 record, which includes a 4-2-0 home ledger.  A season ago ( Dec. 4-5), the Bulldogs suffered a pair of road losses (3-0 and 5-2) to the Mavericks in the opening round of the best-of-three 2009 CCHA Playoff series at Omaha.  Ferris State is averaging 2.87 goals per game (86 total) to Nebraska-Omaha's 3.03 average (91 total) for a 0.16 goals differential.  FSU has compiled a 6-5-1 record in its last 12 encounters with UNO.  Ferris State has registered a 1-2-0 record in March contests against the Mavericks, which includes a 1-0-0 home mark.      

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. 

What A Season!: Ferris State’s 19 victories (19-11-6) this season is one shy of equalling the 1980-81 squad’s wins total (20-14-2) for the sixth-most decisions in the program’s history. 

Notable League Finish: Ferris State’s third-place regular-season finish in the CCHA (13-9-6-4 CCHA – 49 league points) represents the program’s highest placing since the 2002-03 CCHA regular-season championship season in which the Bulldogs compiled a first-place 22-5-1 conference ledger (45 league points).  The 1979-80 (11-9-0 CCHA), 1980-81 (13-9-0 CCHA), and 1990-91 (15-12-5 CCHA) FSU teams all registered third-place showings in the CCHA regular-season standings. 

Home Cooking: The Bulldogs’ current 13-3-2 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. 

March Producers: Senior center-right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) has currently recorded a team-high eight career points (3-5=8) in 10 March contests.  Senior forwards Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) and Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) have chalked up five career points apiece in games played this month.  Lewicki (3-2=5) and Riley (2-3-5) have both made 11 career appearances 

Academic Honors: Aaron Lewicki has been designated as Ferris State’s CCHA Scholar-Athlete for the 2009-10 season.  Lewicki, a finance major, earned the honor for the third consecutive season.  The faculty athletic representative at each school, in consultation with the head coach, selected the institution’s Scholar-Athlete of the the Year.  Each school’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year serves as the school’s nominee for CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year.  Lewicki is also a two-time (2007-08 and 2008-09) recipient of the Bulldog hockey team’s Scholar-Athlete Award and the squad’s FSU President’s Award for having the highest cumulative grade point average.

Scoring Leaders: The Bulldogs’ top five points leaders this season – Blair Riley (17-17=34), senior center Casey Haines (10-17=27), Cody Chupp (8-19=27), junior defenseman Zach Redmond (6-19=25), and Aaron Lewicki (10-10=20) have combined to account for 44.6% (133-298) of the team’s points and 38.3% (41-107) of the squad’s goals.

Identical Tens: Aaron Lewicki has currently posted 10 goals and assists apiece for a team fourth-most 20 points in 36 contests this season.  Lewicki’s scoring output is identical to his 20 points total (10-10=20) in 37 games for the 2008-09 campaign.  The FSU forward has presently netted at least a point in 15 outings this season.

Young Guns: Ferris State’s 10 underclassmen (six sophomores and four freshmen) have combined to register 27.9% (83-298) of the team’s points production and 28.0% (30-107) of the Bulldogs’ goal-scoring output this season.

Just For Menke: Junior left wing-center Justin Menke’s (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) eight goals (8-7=15) this season in 34 games ties a 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 10 contests with a combined seven points (3-4=7) during that stretch.  He produced four points (3-1=4)???in his initial 16 outings this season and has totaled 11 points (5-6=11) in the proceeding 18 encounters.
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. 

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 will advance to the four-team 2010 CCHA Championships next Friday (March 19) at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena if the Bulldogs prevail in this weekend's (March 12-14) best-of-three league quarterfinal-round series.  The top four remaining teams will be reseeded with one playing four and two going up against three in the semifinal round.  Game times are 4:35 p.m. and 8:05 p.m. (EDT), respectively.  The 2010 CCHA Mason Cup Championship contest will be conducted Saturday (March 20) at 7:35 p.m. (EDT) and is preceeded by the third-place outing at 3:35 p.m. (EDT).  

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.

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.