at Alaska Nanooks
Friday & Saturday (Oct. 30-31) -- 11:05 p.m. (EDT)
Carlson Center (4,595 capacity) - Fairbanks, Alaska
The Opening Faceoff: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will open Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) play this weekend (Oct. 30-31) as the Bulldogs take on the nationally 16th-ranked Alaska Nanooks in a two-game league series at Fairbanks, Alaska. The two-game set represents the only regular-season meetings between the two teams for the 2009-10 season.
Media Coverage: 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 weekend's series at Alaska will be featured on B2 Networks.
The Records: Ferris State is off to its best start since the 2002-03 season as the Bulldogs are currently 5-1-0 overall and 0-0-0-(0) in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. FSU registered its second consecutive non-league home series sweep this past weekend (Oct. 23-24) as the Bulldogs recorded a 5-4 overtime and a 4-1 triumph over Robert Morris at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris State is listed among other teams receiving votes in this week's (10/26) U.S. College Hockey Online/CBS College Sports Poll with 20 points while the Bulldogs earned a point in the 15th annual USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll. Ferris State compiled a 12-19-7 overall record last season, which included a ninth-place 9-14-5-(2) CCHA ledger. The Bulldogs registered a 6-8-4 mark in away outings a season ago.
Alaska is currently ranked 13th nationally by Inside College Hockey.com this week (Oct. 26) and 16th in the U.S. College Hockey Online/CBS College Sports Poll. UA is also listed among others receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll with 49 total. The Nanooks are presently 3-0-1 overall and 0-0-0-(0) in the CCHA this season. Alaska, which was idle last weekend, skated to a 1-1 overtime tie against Rensselaer (Oct. 17) before winning in a shootout to claim the Brice Alaska Goal Rush Tournament title at UA's Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. Alaska began this season winning its first three contests with the most recent being a 4-2 decision over Robert Morris (Oct. 16) in its Brice Alaska Goal Rush opening contest. UA finished with a 17-16-6 overall mark for the 2008-09 season, which included a fourth-place 13-10-5-(3) CCHA ledger (34 pts.).
The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 18th season, 274-322-63 (.464) - (19-24-3 vs. Alaska - 8-18-1 Away, 11-6-2 Home, 0-0-0 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.
Alaska: Dallas Ferguson (Alaska, 1996), 2nd season, 20-16-7 (.547) - (4-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Ferguson, the eighth head coach in Alaska's history, was honored as the recipient of the 2008-09 CCHA Coach of the Year Award. Prior to his current position, Ferguson spent the previous four seasons as a Nanooks' assistant coach. A four-year (1992-96) letterwinner at Alaska, he presently ranks 21st on the program's career scoring charts.
Scouting Alaska: The Nanooks are currently led in scoring by senior center Dion Knelsen (2-2=4) and sophomore defenseman Joe Sova (2-2=4). UA currently leads the nation in both scoring defense (1.00 gpg.) and penalty killing (100%) while the Nanooks are tied for third in scoring margin (2.00 gpg.), 20th in scoring offense (3.00 gpg.), 27th in power play efficiency (16.7%), and 52nd in penalty minutes (7.5 avg.). Sophomore Scott Greenham (2-0-1, 0.98 GAA, .953sv%), who earned CCHA Goaltender of the Week honors two weeks ago (10/11), presently ranks second nationally in goals-against average and is fourth in save percentage.
The All-Time Series: Alaska presently holds a 25-23-2 edge over Ferris State in the all-time series which originated in the 1984-85 season. The Bulldogs are 8-18-1 on the road, 13-7-2 at home, and 2-0-0 at neutral sites versus the Nanooks. Alaska swept all four meetings between the teams last season, winning 3-2 and 2-0 in Big Rapids (11/21-22) before recording 2-1 and 3-2 overtime decisions (2/20-21) at Fairbanks. FSU is 2-10-0 in its last 12 encounters at Alaska with the Bulldogs' last win on the Nanooks' ice occurring with a 5-1 win on Nov. 2, 2002. Thirteen of last 16 matchups have been decided by two goals or less. Ferris State is 3-5-0 all-time in October encounters, which includes a 0-4-0 road mark.
Notable Start: Ferris State's 5-1-0 start this season represents the program's best since the 2002-03 campaign when the Bulldogs reeled off eight straight victories after dropping their season-opening contest. FSU would go on to produce a school-record 31-10-1 overall record which featured the program's first-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship title and the Bulldogs' first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Redmond Nets CCHA Weekly Honor: Junior defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) has been selected this week's CCHA Defenseman of the Week for his performance in last weekend's (10/23-24) non-league home series sweep of Robert Morris. Redmond tallied a pair of assists with one in each game to go with a plus four efficiency rating. The Bulldog defenseman was plus three in the opener and also posted a combined two blocked shots in the series. The 2008-09 FSU Most Valuable Player also garnered CCHA Defenseman of the Week recognition last season (10/27).
Closing In On A Milestone: Junior goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) needs 10 saves to register his 1,000 career stop and has presently amassed 990 saves in 41 career appearances to date while averaging 24.1 stops an outing. Nagle, a 2007-08 CCHA All-Rookie Honorable Mention Team pick, is 177 saves away from moving into a 14th-place tie with Dave Swierpel (1975-77; 1,167 career saves) among the Bulldogs' all-time saves leaders.
Shooting Gallery: Ferris State has outshot its opponent in all six of its contests this season and is averaging 42.8 goals a game (257 total) to the opposition's 23.7 goals an outing (142 total). In the their two-game series against Robert Morris last weekend (10/23-24), the Bulldogs registered a 99 to 47 shots on goal advantage.
Effective Penalty-Kill Unit: The Bulldogs are operating at 94.3% (33-35) in penalty killing this season thru their first six contests. FSU has allowed a power-play tally apiece at Canisius in the season opener (10/9)???and against Robert Morris in last weekend's series opener (10/23). A season ago, Ferris State was at 76.6% (36-47) efficiency in penalty-kill situations for its initial six encounters.
A Comparison: The Bulldogs have registered 62 points with 22 goals and 40 assists in their initial six contests this season after totaling 53 points on 20 goals and 33 assists last season following their first six appearances. Defensively, FSU has held its opponent to 24 points (9-15=24) this campaign compared to 53 points (20-33=53) a season ago.
CCHA Openers: Ferris State is 10-16-4 (.400) in CCHA openers since the 1979-80 season, which includes a current 5-9-2 (.375) away mark following last season's 1-1 overtime deadlock at Western Michigan (10/24). FSU is 1-0-0 against Alaska in league opening matchups as a result of posting a 7-2 home decision in the 1995-96 season conference opener (10/27/95). The Bulldogs are 1-2-2 (.400) in their past five league-opening decisions with the lone win a 2-1 decision at Western Michigan (10/20/06).
Scoring Leaders: FSU's top two goal scorers this season, senior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) and senior right wing Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) have combined for 27.3% (6-22) of the team's goal-scoring output to date this season.
Looking Ahead: Ferris State returns home next weekend, Nov. 7-8, for a two-game CCHA series against the Bowling Green State Falcons at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The series opener on Friday (Nov. 7) gets underway at 7:05 p.m. (EST) while Saturday's (Nov. 8) contest will begin at 5:05 p.m. (EST).
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-center 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.
New Uniforms: 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) 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. A shootout win will be worth two points and a shootout loss one 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 first half of the 2009-10 season - vs. Bowling Green State (11/6), Ohio State (11/20), and Nebraska-Omaha (12/4). Three more league tilts are tentatively slated to air in the second half of this season - Northern Michigan (2/5), Michigan State (2/19), and Western Michigan (2/26).
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.
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.