A pair of senior defensemen - Tommy Hill (Portage/Northern) and Chad Billins (Marysville) have been named captains for the 2011-12 Ferris State University men's ice hockey team in a recent announcement made by Bulldog head coach Bob Daniels.
With their appointments, Hill and Billins represent the 40th and 41st student-athletes in Ferris State's men's ice hockey history to wear the honored captain's 'C' on their game jersey.
"Chad (Billins) and Tommy (Hill) epitomize the standards that we hold for Bulldog Hockey Players," said Daniels, who will begin his 20th year at Ferris State this 2011-12 season. "Both players work hard not only on the ice, but in the classroom, the weightroom, and hte community. We look forward to their service to the program."
Hill received the 2010-11 team's Blue Line Competitive Award as a result of being the Bulldogs' top competitor on a daily basis from off-ice conditioning, practice, and games as voted on by his teammates. The 6-5, 215-pound skater appeared in five games for the 2010-11 campaign.
As a sophomore in 2009-10, Hill was a co-recipient of the squad's Steve Banonis Memorial Most Improved Player Award after blocking 16 opponent shots in a career season-high 21 appearances.
A 2009-10 FSU Dean's Academic Award honoree, Hill has currently totaled 24 blocked shots in 37 career contests.
Billins, who was tabbed as FSU's Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Scholar-Athlete of the Year representative for the 2010-11 season, turned in his most productive campaign with career highs in points (16), goals (five), assists (11), game-winning goals (three), and power-play lamplighters (three) for 39 2010-11 outings. The 5-10, 175-pound blueliner concluded 2010-11 ranking tied for fifth in team overall scoring and second among Bulldog defensemen in points. He chalked up a team fourth-most tying 11 helpers in 2010-11 and had produced at least a point in 14 contests, which included a pair of two-point efforts in the season opener at Alabama-Huntsville (Oct. 7) with two goals and two assists at Bowling Green State (Jan. 7). Billins was also recognized as the CCHA's Defenseman of the Week twice (Oct. 11 and Nov. 29) this past season.
Billins, a 2009-10 FSU Dean's Academic Award winner, received votes for 2010-11 CCHA All-Conference Team accolades.
For his FSU career, Billins has compiled 38 points on 10 goals and 28 assists in 106 games to date. He has tallied four power-play goals, one short-handed marker, and three game-winning lamplighters to go along with 124 blocked shots, which included 53 deflections for the 2010-11 campaign.
Both Hill and Billins helped Ferris State post an 18-16-5 overall record for the 2010-11 season, which included a fifth-place 12-12-4-3 CCHA mark (43 league points). The 18 wins generated by the Bulldogs represented a tie for the eighth-most single-season victories in the program's history.
Prior to Hill and Billins, the last time Ferris State featured co-captains was in the 1999-00 season when defensemen Jim Dube and Gary Ricciardi were bestowed with the noteworthy honor.