Hockey Notes: #6 FSU at #19 Northern Michigan

Game Day Central 

THIS WEEK:

vs. Northern Michigan
Friday (Feb. 3) – 7:35 p.m. (EDT)
Saturday (Feb. 4) – 7:35 p.m. (EDT)
Barry Events Center — Marquette, Mich.

Live Game Statistics:
http://livestats.prestosports.com/ferrisstate/

Radio Broadcast:  Both games will be carried live on the Bulldog Sports Network and will be broadcast on Sunny 97.3 FM.  Visit this link to access the audio:
http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/ferris.portal


The Opening Faceoff:
 The nationally sixth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will be go on the road weekend as they face the nationally 19th-ranked Northern Michigan Wildcats in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series this weekend (Feb. 3-4). Both tilts have a 7:35 p.m. (EDT) start time and will be played at the Barry Events Center.

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.

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 17-8-3 overall and 11-6-3-(1) in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. For the first time all season, the Bulldogs own sole possession of first place in the CCHA with 37 points. Miami, Western Michigan and Ohio State are all tied for the second place spot with 36 points each. Lake Superior State is sitting in the fifth place spot with 35 points. The Bulldogs are currently on an eight-game unbeaten streak (6-0-2). Last weekend, Ferris State won 2-1 against Michigan State before skating to a 2-1 victory the following night to sweep the Spartans.

Northern Michigan currently holds a 12-9-5 overall record and a 7-8-5-(2) record in the CCHA. The Wildcats are currently ninth in the conference with 28 points. Over the weekend, NMU took on Miami (Ohio). In Friday's contest, NMU won 2-1 before being shutout 6-0 the following evening. In the second half of the season the Wildcats are 3-2-2, playing only two games at home.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 20th season, 325-357-77 (.476) – (14-36-8 vs. Northern Michigan – 4-15-5 Home, 9-20-2 away and 1-1-1 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.

Northern Michigan – Walt Kyle  (Northern Michigan, 1981), 10th season, 176-157-39 - Kyle guided the 'Cats to the NCAA Tournament during the 2009-10 season and to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Championship Tournament at Joe Louis Arena in seven of his nine years. He was the head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team, which placed fourth at the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in British Columbia, Canada. The 'Cats lost in the CCHA Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2009-10. NMU finished 20-13-8 and 13-9-6-3 in the conference. NMU has won the third-place game at the CCHA Championship three times (02-03, 07-08, 08-09) under coach Kyle. NMU has three 22 win seasons (02-03, 04-05, 05-06), a 21-win season (03-04) and two 20-win seasons (07-08, 09-10) in the Walt Kyle era.

The Opponent:

Northern Michigan's top two point scorers are senior forwards Tyler Gron, who boasts a 12-16-28 scoring line, and Justin Florek, who has scored 14 goals and has eight assists for a 22 point total. Gron is tied for 25th in the nation in scoring. Florek is tied for fourth in power-play goals with eight. The defense is led by junior defenseman Kyle Follmer, who has three goals and 16 assists thus far in the season. Sophomore Jared Coreau and senior Reid Ellingson split time between the pipes. Coming in at 13th in the country, Coreau holds an 8-4-2 record with a .930 save percentage and a 2.18 goals against average. Ellingson has a 4-5-3 record while boasting a .911 save percentage and 2.78 goals against average. NMU averages 2.77 goals per game with 72 goals so far in the season.

The All-Time Series: Northern Michigan holds the 44-20-3 all-time series advantage. The Bulldogs are 11-26-0 when in Marquette. Last season, the Bulldogs went 0-2 against the Wildcats with both games on the road. The Bulldogs lost 2-1 in overtime before skating to a 3-1 loss.

National Rankings: FSU is currently listed sixth nationally this week's U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) poll with 716 points, including one first place vote. The team is also now in the seventh spot with 317 points in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Division I poll and are ranked 13th in the Inside College Hockey.com (INCH) rankings.

The sixth-place national ranking in the USCHO poll matches the program's highest of the year as FSU was also ranked in the same position for the October 24, November 14 and November 28 polls. The U.S. College Hockey Online Poll consists of 50 voters encompassing 28 coaches from the NCAA Division I conferences along with 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll is published weekly by the Associated Press. FSU previously was ranked 10th last week in the USCHO poll.

The historic 2002-03 Bulldog hockey team, which registered a school-record 31-10-1 overall mark and the program's first-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship and NCAA Tournament berth, earned a season-high fourth place national ranking by USCHO late in that memorable season on March 10, 2003.

The Goaltending: Freshman goaltender CJ Motte (St. Claire) is currently ranked ninth among NCAA Division I Goaltending Leaders as he has compiled a 4-4-2 record. He has allowed only 21 goals, with a 2.07 goals against average, in nine games played. Motte has tallied two shutouts and has made 253 saves for a .923 save percentage. Senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) is ranked 19th in goaltending leaders, having a 13-4-1 record, with two shutouts. He has 40 goals against and has a 2.21 goals against average and boasts a .921 save percentage.

The Defense: Ferris State is currently tied for seventh in NCAA Division I Team Defense, averaging 2.25 goals per game. Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) leads the defense with 19 points, coming from four goals and 15 assists. Sophomore Scott Czarnowczan has one goal and ten assists from the blue line.

Last Weekend: Six different players scored goals last weekend as the Bulldogs swept the visiting Michigan State Spartans. The conference sweep marked the first time Ferris State had swept the Spartans in a weekend series or in back-to-back games since 1990.

The Bulldogs have a 6-0-2 unbeaten streak, which is the longest streak so far this season. In the 2009-10 season, Ferris State had a t10-game unbeaten streak that included eight wins and two ties.

In last Friday's 2-1 win, FSU's Chad Billins and rookie forward TJ Schlueter scored the two Bulldog goals. The goal extended Billins' point-streak to four games. The game also snapped senior Jordie Johnston's seven game point-streak.

Derek Graham tallied a goal and had an assist in Saturday's 4-3 victory. Graham has had a hot hand since making the transition from defenseman to forward as he is on a current six-game point streak that includes three multi-point games.

Both of this weekend's games were played in front of a sold out Ewigleben Ice Arena, which has a capacity of 2,493 fans. It marked the first back-to-back sellouts of the season.

Hot Hands: Senior defenseman Chad Billins is on a current five-game point streak that includes three goals and three assists. Junior forward Derek Graham  (Schoolcraft) is on a six-game point streak with two goals and seven assists.

Senior forward Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) saw his seven-game point streak snapped in Friday's 2-1 win over Michigan State. He has tallied a point in every other outing in January, including Saturday's 4-3 win over MSU. He boasted a 8-3-11 scoring line for the month of January. Junior Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) also saw a six-game point streak snapped on Friday, but he too got back on the board in Saturday's contest. He has had three goals and seven assists in the second half of the season.

Player of the Week: Ferris State University men's ice hockey senior forward Derek Graham (Schoolcraft) has been chosen as this week's (Jan. 30) Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Postgame Offensive Player of the Week, which was announced by the league office. Graham registered multi-point games in each of the nationally-ranked Bulldogs' games as they swept Michigan State this past weekend (Jan. 27-28) before back-to-back sellout crowds at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. The 5-9, 170-pound forward is currently on a six-game point streak, which includes three multi-point outings. In Friday's 2-1 win over MSU, Graham tallied an assist on each of the Bulldogs' goals. He finished with a plus-one efficiency rating that night. Then, in Saturday's 4-3 victory, Graham scored the Bulldogs' first goal of the game on a power-play. He then notched the first assist on the game-winning power-play goal in the third period.

No Place Like Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 115-73-26 record (.581) at home since the 2000-01 campaign. Previous to this season, FSU had 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 11-1-2 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 Finalist - Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) of the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team has been chosen as one of the top 10 finalists 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. 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.

Hobey Baker: Senior goalie Taylor Nelson and senior defender Chad BIllins are both currently on a list of 77 college hockey players who are up for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award. Go to www.hobeybakeraward.com and vote for you Bulldogs to make it to the next phase!

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 showcase 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 will televise all remaining home contests this season with the exception of the Notre Dame game being carried by Comcast.

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.

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