A matchup of two nationally-ranked Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) teams will take place this weekend (Dec. 10-11) as the 18th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team faces the 14th-ranked Alaska Nanooks in a two-game set at Big Rapids, Mich. The series also represents a converging of the nation's top two defensive units.
The puck will drop for both contests at 7:05 p.m. (EST) inside FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena. Tickets for each outing are available by contacting the Ferris State Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or fans can order online thru Startickets at this link - http://www.startickets.com/event.php?event=1772.
This weekend's series against Alaska can be heard live on 1460 AM and 107.7 FM as Dominic Hennig calls the action and Dan Kowalski provides game analysis. A live video webcast will also be available through America One.
Ferris State will go into its final 2010 CCHA series with an 8-6-3 overall record, which includes a fourth-place tying 5-5-3-2 mark (20 league points). The nationally-ranked Bulldogs, who produced a 1-0 overtime victory at Michigan State this past Saturday (Dec. 4) in a FS Detroit televised contest, are ranked 18th nationally this week (Dec. 6) by both Inside College Hockey.com and U.S. College Hockey Online. Ferris State sports a 5-2-3 home ledger while the Bulldogs are 3-4-0 on the road and 0-0-0 at neutral sites this season to date.
Ferris State, which is coached by 19th-year head coach Bob Daniels, leads the nation in scoring defense (1. 88 gpg.) while the Bulldogs tied for fifth in both penalty-kill efficiency (89.3%) and combined special teams (55.6%), 22nd in scoring margin (0.29), 26th in penalty minutes (14.1), 39th in power-play efficiency (14.5%), and 52nd in scoring offense (2.18).
Alaska, which was idle last weekend (Dec. 3-4), is 8-5-3 overall with a fourth-place tying 5-4-3-2 CCHA mark this season to date. The Nanooks, who are 2-2-2 in away encounters this campaign, are ranked 14th nationally this week (Dec. 6) in all three major college hockey polls - Inside College Hockey.com, U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO), and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine. Among the current national statisical leaders, Alaska is second in scoring defense (2.06), 16th in combined special teams (52.7%), tied for 16th in penalty-kill efficiency (85.7%), tied for 19th in scoring margin (0.31), 34th in power-play efficiency (15.9%), tied for 34th in penalty minutes (13.0), and tied for 46th in scoring offense (2.38),
The series against Alaska will also feature two of the nation's top goaltenders as senior goaltender Pat Nagle (8-5-3, 1.70 GAA, .933sv%), a 2010-11 CCHA Preseason All-Conference Second-Team selection, is listed third nationally in goals-against average, fifth in save percentage, and tied for 25th in winning percentage (.594). For Alaska, Scott Greenham (8-5-3, 1.91 GAA, .928sv%) has played exclusively in net and leads the nation in minutes played with a 972:48 total to date in 16 appearances. The Nanook netminder currently ranks eighth in both goals-against average and saves percentage while tying for 25th in winning percentage (.594).
This weekend's two-game set will represent the 54th and 55th meetings in a series which Alaska has a 27-23-2 advantage. Ferris State is 13-7-2 at home versus the Nanooks. The Bulldogs are 2-1-0 all-time in December encounters, but have never hosted Alaska in December. Ferris State and Alaska will meet up again in early February (4-5) when the Bulldogs venture to Fairbanks for a two-game league series.
Both games this weekend are designated Meijer Family Nights in which fans can receive four game tickets, four sodas and two bags of popcorn all for only $32. Meijer Bulldog Hockey Night coupons are presently available at the Big Rapids Meijer and the coupon can be redeemed at the Ferris State University Athletics Ticket Office 24 hours prior to each game's starting time.
This Saturday's (Dec. 11) series finale versus Alaska represents the annual Toys For Tots' Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are encouraged to bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal (preferably new or in good used condition) to throw onto the ice following Ferris State's first goal. Those items collected will go directly to benefit needy children in the local area for the Christmas Holiday.
Watch the excitement of Bulldog Hockey this season!