The 2011 New Year has arrived and with its presence the second half of the 2010-11 season is now underway for the nationally 20th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team as the Bulldogs tighten up the laces on their skates and tape up their sticks in hopes of securing a top five placing in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) standings along with gaining a first-round league playoff bye and a second straight CCHA Championships appearance.
The first leg of Ferris State's second-half journey will commence this weekend (Jan. 7-8) as the Bulldogs take to the road for a two-game CCHA series against the Bowling Green State Falcons in Bowling Green, Ohio. Both outings start at 7:05 p.m. (EST) and fans can tune into Friday night broadcast on 1460 AM and 107.7 FM and Saturday on Big Country 100.9 FM with Dominic Hennig calling the action and Dan Kowalski providing game analysis. A live video webcast is also available for Bulldog fans through America One and a live audio webcast via UStream. This Saturday's (Jan. 8) weekend series finale will be televised live on the Buckeye Cable Sports Network (BCSN).
Ferris State enters this weekend's CCHA series at 9-8-4 overall and has compiled a fourth-place tying 6-6-3-2 conference ledger (23 league points). The Bulldogs, who are ranked 20th nationally this week (Jan. 3) by U.S. College Hockey Online, participated in the 20th annual Mariucci Classic this past weekend (Dec. 31-Jan. 1) at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. Ferris State dropped a 3-2 decision to Bemidji State in the tourney opener (Dec. 31) before skating to a 2-2 overtime draw against nationally 19th-ranked host Minnesota in the finale (Jan. 1).
The Bulldogs, who have generated a 3-4-1 mark on the road this season, have produced a 2-3-1 record in their last six outings to date.
FSU, under 19th-year head coach Bob Daniels, is third nationally in scoring defense (2.05 gpg.) and tied for sixth in penalty-kill efficiency (87.4%). The Bulldogs are listed eighth in combined special teams (55.1), 22nd in scoring margin (0.24), 30th in penalty minutes (13.6), 38th in power-play percentage (15.5%), and 50th in scoring offense (2.29). This weekend's league games have an added significance for Daniels, who's won victory shy of attaining his 300th career coaching win.
Bowling Green State stands at 7-13-2 overall and presently holds down the 11th-place position in the CCHA standings with a 2-10-2-0 mark (eight league points) this campaign under first-year head coach Chris Bergeron. The Falcons split a pair of non-league games at the 18th annual Toyota UConn Hockey Classic (Dec. 29-30) in Storrs, Conn., dropping a 4-2 decision to Princeton in the holiday tournament opener (Dec. 29) before claiming a 3-2 overtime victory over Holy Cross in the third-place game (Dec. 30). BGSU has compiled a 3-7-0 home ledger to date this season. The Falcons are ranked 16th nationally in penalty minutes (15.9), 34th in scoring defense (3.05), 45th in penalty-kill efficiency (79.1%), 53rd in scoring offense (2.18), and 54th in power-play efficiency (11.8%).
This weekend's two-game set will represent the 109th and 110th meetings between Ferris State and Bowling Green State as the Falcons have a 52-45-11 lead in the series. FSU swept last season's (Nov. 6-7) series in Big Rapids, Mich., as the Bulldogs prevailed 5-1 and 3-2 over the Falcons. Ferris State has presently won eight of the last 12 matchups against BGSU while 15 of the last 18 contests have been decided by two goals or less with the Bulldogs posting a 9-4-2 record in those encounters.
Don't miss out on exciting Bulldog Hockey this season!