Series Notes: #13 FSU Hockey Hosts Alaska

THIS WEEK:

vs. Alaska
Friday (Jan. 13) –7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Saturday (Jan. 14) –7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Ice Arena, Big Rapids, Mich.

Media Information:
Radio Broadcast: Sunny 97.3 FM (Pregame @ 6:30 p.m.)
Radio Announcers: Dominic Hennig (Play-by-Play), Dan Kowalski (Color)
Bulldog Sports Network Audio-Only Webcast
Bulldog Sports Network Pay-Per-View Video Webcast
Live Internet Stats
Live Twitter Scoring Updates
Live CCHA Scoreboard

General Information:
Tickets
Directions

Arena Information:
Ewigleben Ice Arena

The Opening Faceoff:
 The nationally 13th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will be returning to league play this weekend (Jan. 13-14) as they host Alaska in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series. Both tilts have a 7:05 p.m. (EDT) start time and will be played at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.

2011-12 Bulldog Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2011-12 Bulldog home regular-season hockey games can be purchased by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office's normal hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) weekdays. The ticket office will also offer extended hours until 7 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday's throughout the season and be open on hockey home game Saturday's at 12 p.m. (ET).

Single-game tickets may also be purchased by contacting Star Tickets at 1-800-585-3737 or online at Star Tickets website: www.startickets.com. Tickets are also available at all Meijer store locations in West Michigan and at the Student Services Office in the FSU Rankin Student Center.

International Night: FSU Athletics and the office of International Education will be hosting an International Night at Friday's game. There will be 400 rally towels given away to fans and 60 t-shirts. The night will also include Hmong Dancers during the first intermission, an international magician to perform during media timeouts and European soccer goal celebrations when the Bulldogs score!

Media Coverage: A live video and audio webcast will be available for all 2011-12 FSU men's ice hockey home games through Stretch Internet for a charge of $7.95 on FSU's Athletics Website at www. FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Live internet statistics will also be available for all Bulldog home contests with a live audio stream for all home and away games.

The Records: Ferris State is presently 13-8-1 overall and 7-6-1-(0) in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. Ferris State swept previously ninth-ranked Colgate over the weekend to snap a three game losing streak. The Bulldogs outscored the Raiders 7-4 for the weekend. In Friday's contest (Jan. 6), FSU battled to a 4-3 victory. Then, on Saturday (Jan. 7), the Bulldogs won with a score of 3-1. Ferris State, who hasn't played in a conference tilt since Dec. 9-10 when they split a home-and-home series with Notre Dame, currently sits at eighth in the conference with 22 points. Ohio State is at the top spot with 34 points.

Alaska currently holds a 7-10-3 overall record and has a 4-9-3 record in the CCHA. The Nanooks are currently 10th in the conference with 16 points. Alaska played Northern Michigan this past weekend (Jan. 6-7) and came away from the weekend with two points after a 2-2 overtime tie and eventual shootout victory with the conference opponent on Friday. In Saturday's contest, Alaska lost 7-3.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 20th season, 321-357-75 (.476) – (23-28-3 vs. Alaska – 11-21-1 away, 12-7-2 home and 0-1-0 neutral). Daniels has the distinction of being the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State history. He was honored as the 2002-03 CCHA Coach of the Year and the Inside College Hockey (INCH) Coach of the Year, but the crowing highlight of his coaching career was being chosen as the recipient of the 2003 Spencer Penrose Award as the ACHA's Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year. He was among three finalists for both the 2007-08 and 2009-10 CCHA Coach of the Year Awards.

Alaska - Dallas Ferguson (Alaska, 1996), 4th season, 84-96-31 (.467) - (9-5-5 vs. Ferris State). Dallas Ferguson became the eighth head coach of his alma mater on May 15, 2008, following four years of service as an assistant coach for the Blue and Gold. Ferguson has guided the program to new heights in his first three seasons at the helm. After leading the team to a fourth place finish in the CCHA and capturing the league's Coach of the Year award in 2008-09, he took the Nanooks to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history in 2009-10.

The Opponent:

Alaska: Midway through the season, eight of Alaska's top 10 scoeres this season have already achieved or exceeded their point totals from the first half of the 2010-11 season. The point production is led by six-point improvements from senior forward Carlo Finucci (3-11-14) and sophomore forward and leading scorer Colton Beck (9-7-16). Senior goaltender Scott Greenham is the Nanooks' starting goaltender and has compiled a 6-9-3 record with a .906 save percentage and a 2.37 goals against average. Alaska averages 2.2 goals per game and has been outscored 79-68 by opponents this season.

The All-Time Series: Ferris State and Alaska will be facing off for the 60th and 61st times this weekend with the Nanooks holding a 29-27-3 series edge. The Bulldogs hold a 14-8-2 home record and 11-21-1 road mark versus Alaska. Earlier this season, Ferris State played at Alaska where they split the conference series. In the opening contest (Nov. 18), the Nanooks shutout the Bulldogs with a score of 2-0. The following night (Nov. 19), sophomore forward Andy Huff's (Howell) two goal performance helped lift the Bulldogs to a 3-2 victory.

National Rankings: The Bulldogs are currently ranked 13th in the USCHO.com Division I Men's poll. That is a four-place rise for the Ferris State squad, which was ranked 17th last week.

Top Ten Goalies: Freshman goaltender CJ Motte (St. Claire) is currently ranked sixth among NCAA Division I Goaltending Leaders and has compiled a 4-4-1 record. He has allowed only 18 goals, with a 1.98 goals against average, in eight games played. Motte has tallied two shutouts and has made 222 saves, for a .925 save percentage. Senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) is ranked eighth in goaltending leaders, having a 9-4-0 record, with two shutouts. He has 26 goals against and has a 2.00 goals against average and boasts a .927 save percentage.

The Defense: Ferris State is currently fifth in NCAA Division I Team Defense, averaging 2.09 goals per game. Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) leads the defense with thirteen points, coming from one goal and twelve assists. Senior Brett Wysopal has two goals and six assists from the blue line.

Last Weekend: Ferris State earned a non-conference sweep against nationally ninth-ranked Colgate. In Friday's 4-3 battle, senior forward Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) tallied his first career hat trick, which included the game-winning goal. Freshman TJ Schlueter (St. Louis, Mo.) and sophomore Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) each recorded two assists in the victory. Aaron Schmit tallied a power-play goal to contribute to the win.

In Saturday's contest, junior forward Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) tallied a goal and an assist as Matthew Kirzinger earned the game-winning goal. Sophomore Garrett Thompson (Traverse City) scored a short-handed goal to ensure the triumph.

Four Bulldogs registered multi-point weekends. Leading the offense was Johnston, whose three-goal performance on Friday plus his assist on Saturday gave him a four-point weekend. Ouellette, Thompson and Kirzinger all earned one goal and two assists for a three-point weekend total.

No Place Like Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 112-73-25 record (.581) at home since the 2000-01 campaign.  FSU has reached double-figure home win totals in a season on four occasions, which includes 15 victories in the 2002-03 (15-4-1) and 2009-10 (15-3-2) campaigns. Thus far this season, the Bulldogs have compiled a 8-1-1 record when playing at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

Co-Captains: Senior defensemen Chad Billins (Marysville) and Tommy Hill (Portage) are serving as the Bulldogs' team co-captains in the 2011-12 campaign. They are the 40th and 41st individuals in the program's history to sport the captain's 'C' on their jersey.

Lowe's Senior CLASS Award - Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) of the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team has been chosen as a candidate for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in a recent announcement. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, character, community, and competition. The 20 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists in early February and those 10 individuals will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select the finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of classroom, character, community and competition.

CCHA Preseason Polls:  Ferris State was picked to finish ninth in the 2011-12 CCHA Coaches Preseason Poll with 50 points. The Bulldogs received 425 points in the media poll to place tied for seventh among the 11 conference teams. Points were awarded on a 12-11-10-9, etc., basis. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school, in the order they predicted the regular season will end.

TV Exposure:  Ferris State will be making a combined three national and regional appearances on television this season. The Bulldogs made their TV debut on Comcast Television, which showcased FSU at Michigan (10/27).  The network will also feature FSU's home matchup against Notre Dame at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids (2/11). FS Detroit (FSD) will feature the Ferris State at Western Michigan game (2/24). Ferris Television plans to televise all remaining home contests on a tape-delay basis with live internet coverage the rest of the season.

On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics' official web site can be found at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com. The site features information on all of FSU's varsity athletics programs including rosters, statistics, yearbooks and more.