Bragging rights will be on the line this weekend (Nov. 19-20) as a pair of West Michigan rivals in the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team and the Western Michigan Broncos square off in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) set at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
Both series' contests will commence at 7:05 p.m. (EST) and tickets may be purchased by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or online at startickets.com. Fans are also encouraged to tune into the broadcast at the game(s) as Dominic Hennig and Dan Kowalski will provide in-depth game analysis of this weekend's exciting series on 1460 AM and 107.7 FM.
Ferris State, which received votes in this week's (Nov. 15) U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) poll after being ranked 20th nationally by the online collegiate hockey media outlet the previous week (Nov. 8), has registered a current 5-5-2 overall record with a 2-4-2-2 CCHA mark this season. The Bulldogs have enjoyed the comforts of home this campaign as evidenced by their 4-1-2 ledger inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
The Bulldogs, who are coached by 19th-year head coach Bob Daniels, presently are ninth nationally in scoring defense (2.17 goals per game) and 14th in penalty-kill percentage (86.4%). Senior goaltender Pat Nagle, a 2010-11 CCHA Preseason Second-Team selection, currently ranks 12th among the national leaders in goals-against average (1.95) and is 13th in save percentage (.930). Senior defenseman and team captain Zach Redmond (4-5=9) along with sophomore left wing Kyle Bonis (4-2=6), senior center Nate Hennig (4-2=6), and junior defenseman Chad Billins (2-4=6) are the Bulldogs' top points leaders this campaign to date.
Western Michigan will enter this weekend's series at Ferris State ranked 16th in the nation as the Broncos have compiled a 6-2-2 record overall and a 2-1-1-0 CCHA mark this season. A familiar face to Bulldog Hockey fans is directing the WMU program in first-year head coach Jeff Blashill, who played at Ferris State from 1994-98 as a goaltender and then served as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs from 1998-2001. Sophomore goaltender Nick Pisellini (6-1-2, 1.85 GAA, .923sv%) has been an integral part in the Broncos' early-season success and currently ranks ninth among the national leaders in goals-against average, tied for 11th in winning percentage (.778), and 21st in save percentage. WMU is listed 10th in scoring defense (2.20), tied for 16th in penalty-kill efficiency (.857), tied for 18th in scoring margin (0.50). Western Michigan, which was idle this past weekend, is 3-1-1 in away encounters to date this season.
This weekend's two-game series represents the only regular-season matchups between the two West Michigan schools for the 2010-11 campaign. Five of the last six series matchups have been decided by two goals or less and this weekend's meetings should be no exception if history repeats itself.
This Friday's series opener against Western Michigan is a designated Meijer Family Night in which fans 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.
Watch the excitement of Bulldog Hockey this season!