The nationally-ranked 2010-11 Ferris State University men's ice hockey program will pay tribute to its eight senior student-athletes this Saturday (Feb. 19) evening in a special ceremony prior to the Bulldogs' regular-season home finale contest against the nationally-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Big Rapids, Mich.
A 7:05 p.m. (EST) opening faceoff is scheduled for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) weekend home finale contest at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena.
The eight senior student-athletes to be acknowledged in the annual pre-game ceremony are left wing Mike Embach (Orland Park, Ill.), left wing Mike Fillinger (Grand Ledge), center Nate Hennig (Macomb), center Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan), goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield), right wing Todd Pococke (Saginaw), defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City), and defenseman Scott Wietecha (Wolverine Lake).
Mike Embach has been a consistent offensive performer for the Bulldogs with double-digit points in each of his last three seasons, which includes a team second-most 16 points on seven goals and nine assists in 32 outings this campaign. A productive specialty teams player, Embach has netted a nation-leading four short-handed goals this season and is one shy of tying the program's all-time single-season record. For his career, Embach has tallied 26 goals with 30 assists for 56 points in 125 contests and has posted a plus 10 efficiency rating. The two FSU Dean's Academic Award recipient has also recorded eight power-play goals, two game-winning markers, and 18 blocked shots during his Ferris State career. He was selected a co-recipient of FSU's Steve Banonis Memorial Most Improved Player Award following the 2008-09 season.
Mike Fillinger is making the most of his final season at Ferris State with a team sixth-best 12 points on seven goals and five assists in 28 outings. His season's points output is one shy of matching his career season-high 13 points (9-4=13) established in 31 2007-08 season games. As a freshman in 2007-08, the two-time FSU Dean's Academic Award honoree was tabbed as the CCHA Rookie of the Week (Jan. 2) after being named to the Toyota UConn Hockey Classic All-Tournament Team in helping Ferris State capture the holiday tournament championship title. He has currently compiled 30 career points with 19 goals and 11 assists in 101 contests while netting four power-play markers, three short-handed and game-winning lamplighters apiece, and 30 blocked shots.
Nate Hennig has turned in his most productive season as a Bulldog this campaign with career season highs in points (12), goals (six), assists (six), blocked shots (six), game-winning goals (one), and games played (28). His squad sixth-best tying points total this season to date doubles last season's six points (1-5=6) in 21 encounters. The Bulldog skater started out this season by tallying a goal apiece in his first four appearances. A recipient of the FSU Dean's Academic Award, Hennig has currently racked up eight goals and 12 assists for 20 career points in 63 outings.
Justin Menke, a 2007-08 CCHA All-Rookie Honorable Mention selection, has compiled five points (all assists) in 17 contests this season despite being hampered by injuries. Menke has accumulated double-digit points in each of his three prior campaigns, highlighted by a career season-best 21 points on eight goals with 13 assists in 39 outings for the 2007-08 campaign in which he led all Bulldog freshmen skaters in scoring. For his career, Menke has chalked up 63 points with 21 goals and 42 assists in 130 contests while producing 10 power-play lamplighters, two short-handed markers, three game-winning tallies, and 49 blocked shots. A two-time FSU Dean's Academic Award recipient, Menke was profiled in Inside College Hockey.com's 2009-10 Player Preview.
Pat Nagle, a 2010-11 candidate for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the nation's best collegiate player, has etched his name in Ferris State's annals as one of the top goaltenders. A 2010-11 CCHA Preseason Second-Team honoree, Nagle is presently tied for first in save percentage (.916) on the Bulldogs' career leaders chart while ranking second in both victories (43) and goals-against average (2.30), fourth in saves (2,261) and winning percentage (.527), fifth in games played (94), minutes played (5,376), and shutouts (five). Nationally, the CCHA Goaltender of the Week (Nov. 8) selection is listed third in goals-against average (1.90), 10th in save percentage (.925), and 24th in winning percentage (.600) while posting a career-best 16-10-4 record this campaign as a 30-game starter. As a freshman in 2007-08, Nagle was afforded CCHA All-Rookie Honorable Mention Team laurels.
Todd Pococke has generated four points on two goals and assists apiece in 27 contests this season while posting a plus six efficiency rating. He has also claimed personal season highs in game-winning goals (two) and blocked shots (14) this campaign. Pococke, who registered a career season-high and team 12th-most 12 points on five goals and seven assists in 35 contests last season, has accumulated 19 points on nine goals and 10 helpers in 101 career contests. The Bulldog forward has also notched two power-play lamplighters, four game-winning goals, and 28 blocked shots for his career.
Zach Redmond, a 2010-11 Hobey Baker Memorial Award candidate, currently leads the Bulldogs in scoring this season with 20 points on a career season-best seven goals and 13 assists in 26 outings. The 2010-11 team captain received preseason All-America Third-Team accolades by Inside College Hockey.com and was a first-team CCHA Preseason All-Conference selection going into this campaign. Redmond has earned CCHA Defenseman of the Week recognition five times during his FSU career, including once (Jan. 10) this season. The 2009-10 All-CCHA Second-Team member has made his mark among the program's all-time scoring leaders by presently ranking tied for 24th place in assists (68) and 37th in points with 90 total (22-68=90) in 141 games. The FSU Dean's Academic Award winner was chosen as the 2008-09 team's Most Valuable Player following a squad second-most 24 points (3-21=24), which would be three shy of his career season-best 27 points (6-21=27) a season ago.
Scott Wietecha has been a mainstay on Ferris State's blueline these past four seasons and has totaled 46 career points on 12 goals and 24 assists in 119 outings to date. Wietecha, who earned CCHA Defenseman of the Week Award kudos this season (Feb. 14) for the second time in his Bulldog career, has produced nine points with two goals and seven assists in 32 games this campaign. A FSU Dean's Academic Award winner, Wietecha has recorded 27 of his 75 career blocked shots to date in the 2010-11 season. A double-digit points producer in his previous three seasons, Wietecha received Ferris State's Plus/Minus Award in 2007-08 with a squad-best 16 efficiency rating while tallying a season-high 15 points (4-11=15) in 36 contests.
This eight-member senior class has played an integral role this 2010-11 season in leading Ferris State to a current 16-12-4 overall record and a fifth-place 11-10-3-2 mark (38 league points) in the CCHA standings. This group has registered a combined 67-60-22 mark to date in their respective Ferris State careers.