Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team has achieved its highest ranking this season in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll as the Bulldogs are listed fifth in the country.
The poll is conducted on a weekly basis in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the six NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences along with composite votes from officers of the AHCA and USA Hockey Magazine, the most widely distributed hockey magazine in the world. FSU moved up two spots in the poll this week and also received a first-place vote.
Along with the program's fifth-place ranking in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, FSU is also listed sixth this week in the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) poll with 760 points and one first place vote. It marks the second consecutive week in which the Bulldogs have been sixth in the USCHO poll and the fifth time this season. The USCHO 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.
The squad is also currently ranked eighth in the Inside College Hockey.com (INCH) rankings, which is a five-spot climb.
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 same team also achieved a school-best fourth place ranking in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll the same week in addition to a second-place ranking in the Inside College Hockey.com poll, which is believed to be the program's highest-ever national ranking.
Besides the national rankings, Ferris State is also currently tied for fourth nationally in the PairWise Rankings. The PairWise ranking is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I Tournament. Therefore, if the tournament were to start tomorrow, the Bulldogs would be seeded among the top four schools of the 16 selected teams that make the field.
The Bulldogs presently lead the CCHA with 41 points in the standings this season and FSU's 18 wins to date are tied for the second-most in the country behind Minnnesota's 19 victories. FSU also holds the nation's longest current unbeaten streak at 10 games with a 7-0-3 mark to date since the New Year began.
This weekend, the Bulldogs will square off against ninth-ranked Notre Dame in a CCHA home-and-home series. The two teams will hit the ice on Friday (Feb. 10) night at the Compton Family Ice Center in South Bend (Ind.) before the series finale moves to FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena on Saturday (Feb. 11) in Big Rapids. Both contests begin at 7:05 p.m. (ET).
Fans are encouraged to wear white as part of a "Whiteout" for Saturday night's home hockey game against the Fighting Irish, which will be televised live from Big Rapids on Comcast throughout the region. The first 800 fans will receive Bulldog Hockey Thunderstix.
Also, on Saturday, the FSU Alumni Association will hold its annual "Tailgate On Ice" from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the sports complex. The cost for the event is $15 per person and includes a game ticket, tailgating and parking. Season ticket holders can attend for only $5. For more information on the tailgate event, please call Amy Packard by phone at (231) 591-2345 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets for all 2011-12 Bulldog home regular-season games can be purchased in advance 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 for hockey 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.
All of this weekend's action will be broadcasted live on the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM. An online stream is available at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.