*Two nationally-ranked teams.
*Two top Central Collegiate Hockey Association teams.
*Top two teams in the state of Michigan.
*Two of the nation's top defensive units.
*Two of the nation's top goaltenders.
*Both series games televised to national and regional audiences.
Are you ready Bulldog Hockey Fans! This weekend's (Jan. 14-15) CCHA home-and-home series between the nationally 19th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team and the 7th-ranked Michigan Wolverines promises to be an exciting one for the reasons stated above and many more.
For those of you Bulldog Hockey fans who haven't purchased their tickets to this Saturday's (Jan. 15) home series finale against Michigan there's still time. Tickets may be purchased by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or by ordering online at www.startickets.com. Opening faceoff is at 7:08 p.m. (EST) inside FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich., in a game which will be aired live by Comcast Television. Ferris State hockey fans are also encouraged to wear white in support of the Bulldogs as part of the game's "White Out" promotion.
The action gets underway this Friday (Jan. 14) at UM's Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich., as Michigan hosts Ferris State in the series opener. The puck will drop at 7:38 p.m. (EST) for the contest which will the CBS College Sports Network will televise live.
Ferris State is presently 11-8-4 overall with a third-place 8-6-3-2 mark in the CCHA following a two-game league road series sweep of Bowling Green State last weekend (Jan. 7-8). The Bulldogs, under 19th-year head coach Bob Daniels, are feature the nation's top defense as FSU is ranked first nationally in scoring defense (1.96 goals allowed per game) and is listed third in penalty-kill efficiency (88.4%). Leading the way for Ferris State are a pair of seniors, defenseman Zach Redmond and goaltender Pat Nagle. Redmond, who was tabbed as this week's CCHA Defenseman of the Week, leads the Bulldogs with 16 points on six goals and 10 assists while Nagle has posted an 11-6-4 mark with a 1.76 goals-against average and a .930 saves percentage this season. The Ferris netminder ranks third among the nation's best in goals-against average and is eighth in save percentage.
The Bulldogs come into this weekend ranked 19th in the nation by U.S. College Hockey Online after moving up one place in this week's poll. FSU is listed among other teams receiving votes in both the Inside College Hockey.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
Michigan, which is ranked seventh this week (Jan. 10) in all three national polls, is currently 13-6-4 overall and 10-4-1-0 (second place) in the CCHA this campaign. Head coach Red Berenson's squad, which is ranked 10th nationally in scoring margin (1.04) and 11th in scoring offense (3.48), is paced by senior forwards Carl Hagelin (12-15=27) and Louie Caporusso (7-12=19). Hagelin ranks 39th among the national leaders in points per game (1.17) and is tied for 39th in goals per game (0.52). In goal, seniors Shawn Hunwick (6-4-4, 2.58 GAA, .912sv%) and Bryan Hogan (7-2-0, 2.11 GAA, .923sv%) are two of the top netminders in the country. Nationally, Hogan is listed 15th in goals-against average and 16th in saves percentage while Hunwick is 35th in goals-against average and 37th in saves percentage. The pair have helped the Wolverines secure a 15th-place national ranking in scoring defense (2.43 goals allowed per game).
Close games between the two in-state teams is common as FSU and UM faced off earlier this season (Oct. 29-30) in a CCHA home-and-home series. Ferris State claimed a 2-0 shootout victory over the Wolverines in the series opener at Big Rapids after skating to a 2-2 overtime tie. UM would hold on for a 3-2 win over the Bulldogs in the series finale at Ann Arbor.
Both of this weekend's contests can be heard live on 1460 AM and 107.7 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.
Don't miss out on exciting Bulldog Hockey this season!