April 7, 2012

Bulldogs To Play For National Title Tonight!

Gameday Central
FSU Frozen Four Central
Friday Press Conference - Coach Daniels (PDF)
Friday Press Conference - Players (PDF)
Friday Locker Room Quotes (PDF)
Printable Game Notes Update (PDF)
NCAA.com Preview Of Game

The Frozen Four:
The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will take part in the national championship game for the first time in school history on Saturday (April 7) night against the Boston College Eagles in the title game at the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla. The puck drop is set for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Broadcast Information: Saturday's national championship game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 and online at ESPN3.com. It will also be broadcast on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network with Dom Hennig and Danny Kowalski calling the action. Fans can listen to the live radio broadcast at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Westwood One will also have a live radio broadcast on more than 135 stations across the country.

Ferris State vs. Boston College: Ferris State is 0-1-1 all-time versus Boston College. The last meeting was at the Wells Fargo Denver Cup in Denver, Colorado. The game resulted in a 3-3 overtime tie.

Frozen Four Victory: The Bulldogs advanced to the national championship game with a 3-1 triumph over Union College in the national semifinals on Thursday (April 5) evening at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The win was FSU's first ever over the Dutchmen in five tries and the Bulldogs also improved to 8-0 this season versus ECAC schools with the triumph.

Difference In Lineups: Ferris State enters Saturday's first-ever championship game with no NHL draft picks unlike Boston College, which totes nine players who have been drafted. The 2012 Frozen Four berth marks the first-trip ever to the Frozen Four for the Bulldogs. On the opposite side, this year's Frozen Four appearance represents BC's 23rd overall. Similarities include both schools being their conference's regular season champion and both teams also have a shade of maroon/crimson as one of their official school colors.

Season Record: With Thursday's win over Union, the 2011-12 Ferris State Bulldogs now are tied for the second-most wins in school history with a 26-11-5 record to date this year. The 2002-03 team holds the school's top spot with a 31-10-1 record. The 1979-80 squad under Rick Duffett compiled a 26-11-1 overall record, which marked the Bulldogs first campaign as a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).

Regular-Season Champs: Ferris State claimed the CCHA Regular-Season Championship this season with a first-place 16-7-5 league record. The Bulldogs accumulated 54 league points and outdistanced Michigan and Western Michigan by four points in the title chase. Both UM and WMU posted 50 league points in finishing second to the Bulldogs. Ferris State was able to raise the CCHA Regular Season Trophy for the first time since 2002-03 and only the second time in program history.

Midwest Regional Champs: The Bulldogs secured a berth in the Frozen Four by winning the Midwest Regional crown for the first time on March 23-24 at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis. FSU, seeded second, beat third-seeded Denver by a 2-1 score on Friday (March 23) before topping fourth-seeded Cornell by the same score on Saturday (March 24).

National Coach Of The Year: Ferris State Hockey head coach Bob Daniels was chosen this week as the recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award as the Division I Men's Ice Hockey flexxCOACH/AHCA National Coach of the Year for the second time in school history. He also won the award in the 2002-03 campaign.

First For The School: Ferris State University's appearance on Saturday night in the national championship game will represent the first time a Bulldog team in a team sport has ever taken part in a national title contest. FSU previously has finished as the national runner-up in both wrestling and women's golf, but never won a national title in a team sport or played in a national championship game where the title was determined between two teams on one night.

Two Bulldog All-Americans: Ferris State University had two players named to the 2011-12 CCM Hockey All-America Team announced on Friday night at the Frozen Four. The pair featured a first-team honoree in senior goaltender Taylor Nelson and a second-team pick in senior defenseman Chad Billins. It marks the second-straight year in which the Bulldogs have had two All-America picks following goaltender Pat Nagle's first-team honor last year along with defenseman Zach Redmond's secondteam selection. Nelson and Billins are the eighth and ninth All-Americans in Bulldog history.

Good Streak For FSU: Ferris State has won or tied 19 of its last 22 contests since the New Year began. The Bulldogs had a then nation-leading 15-game unbeaten streak prior to a loss versus Western Michigan in the regular-season finale. They have currently won three-straight games in the NCAA Tournament.

Nearly Identical Scores: Thursday's win over Union was nearly the thirdstraight Bulldog game in the NCAA Tournament decided by a single goal. FSU posted identical 2-1 wins over Denver and Cornell in the regional round and led Union by the same score until an empty-net goal late in the Frozen Four semifinal.

Goals By Period: The Bulldogs' 53 third-period goals are 12 more than their 41 second-period goals and 25 more than their 28 first-period goals to date this season. FSU has outscored the opponents 53-31 in the third this year.

Good Mark With Few Goals: The Bulldogs improved to 20-1-2 in games when they allow two goals or less this campaign after a 3-1 win over Union in the semifinals. FSU also helped its mark to 17-5-1 win games when they have not allowed a first-period goal.

Two Goals For Schmidt: Ferris State senior forward Aaron Schmidt notched two goals in Thursday's semifinal win, including the empty-netter late in the third period. His first goal came off an assist from junior Kyle Bonis and took multiple replay reviews to determine who actually scored the goal. Both players confirmed off the ice that Schmidt's stick was the last to touch the puck.

Game Winner For Bonis: While FSU's Kyle Bonis did not get credit for the first goal of the contest, he did score the eventual game-winner for the Bulldogs on Thursday night for his 19th goal of the year. It was also his eighth multi-point game of the season, tying him with senior Jordie Johnston for the team lead.

Second NCAA Berth: The Bulldogs are midst their second-ever NCAA bid. In the 2002-03 season, the Bulldogs defeated North Dakota 5-3 in their regional opener before bowing out in the regional championship game with a 7-4 loss to Minnesota in the West Regional at St. Paul, Minn. After two wins in the Midwest Regional along with the win over Union, FSU now owns a 4-1 all-time mark in NCAA Tourney action heading into the national title game. FSU made its only other appearance in '02-03 after winning the CCHA for the first time, which was the Bulldogs' lone league crown until this season.

The Defense: Ferris State entered the Fronze Four ranked tied for fifth in NCAA Division I Team Defense, allowing only 2.17 goals per game. Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) leads the defense and is third in scoring among the team with 29 points coming from seven goals and 22 assists. Sophomore Scott Czarnowczan has two goals and 18 assists from the blueline. Before the final regular-season weekend series against Western Michigan, the defensive pair had been on a hot streak with Billins tallying at least a point in each of the previous 12 games, including a 1-1 OT tie with the Broncos. Czarnowczan had tallied one point in each of his seven previous games.

The Offense: Jordie Johnston currently leads the offensive production for the Bulldogs with 20 goals and 16 assists on the year. The Bulldogs ranked 21st among the national leaders in team offense, averaging 2.93 goals per game, heading into the Frozen Four.

Goaltending: Senior goaltender Taylor Nelson has compiled a 21-6-3 record, including three shutouts, and was ranked ninth among NCAA Division I Goaltending Leaders going into the Frozen Four. His 21 wins to date this campaign now mark the second-most ever in one season for a Bulldog netminder and trail only Mike Brown's school-record mark of 30 wins set in 2002-03.

Scholar-Athlete Of The Year: The combination of athletic and academic success achieved by Ferris State University men's ice hockey student-athlete Chad Billins for the 2011-12 season has earned the Bulldog senior the honor of being designated as the CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Billins had been one of 11 student-athletes representing their respective CCHA teams to earn team recognition before claiming the league's top overall honor.

All-Conference First and Second Team: Senior defenseman Chad Billins and senior goalie Taylor Nelson were among six individuals to receive All-CCHA First Team accolades in the 2011-12 season. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs' leading scorer, Jordie Johnston, was named to the All-CCHA Second Team this campaign.

Conference Finalists: Senior co-captain Chad Billins, who was a 2011-12 All-CCHA First-Team selection, was up for both the league's RBC Player of The Year honor and was a finalist for Best Offensive Defenseman. Billins tied for first among league defensemen with 18 assists and led the Bulldogs in conference scoring with 25 points overall. Sophomore defender Scott Czarnowczan was a finalist for the Best Defensive Defenseman Award. Czarnowczan led the squad with a plus-16 rating and 65 blocked shots in league action. He is second among team defensemen in scoring with two goals and 18 assists.

Coach of the Year: In his 20th year behind the Bulldog bench, FSU head coach Bob Daniels was named this year's CCHA Coach of the Year. Daniels was previously honored as CCHA Coach of the Year after the 2002-03 season. This season, Daniels has guided the team to a 26-11-5 overall mark and a 16-7-5 record in the league as they earned the CCHA Regular-Season Title for the first time since 2002-03 and only the second time in program history.

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.

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.

Elite 89 Winner: Ferris State University senior Tommy Hill was has been recognized as winner of the NCAA's Elite 89 Award for holding the highest grade point average of any player competing at the Frozen Four. He was honored both on Wednesday night at the Frozen Four team reception along with Thursday night at the first intermission of the second semifinal game.

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, video and more.

No. 1 National Ranking: On Feb. 14, all three major Division I Hockey polls announced Ferris State as their number one team in the country. In the USCHO.com poll, it marked only the 19th different program to hold the top spot since it's 1997-98 inception. It was also the highest ranking in program history. That same week the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll also had the Bulldogs in the top spot.

Lowe's Senior CLASS Award - Senior defenseman Chad Billins of the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team was chosen as a finalist for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. 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.

Famulak Recieves Praise: Ferris State Associate Head Coach Drew Famulak has been honored as the 2012 Terry Flanagan Award recipient as chosen by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA). The honor goes to only one assistant coach across the country each year and recognizes them for their entire body of work. He will receive the award at the annual convention in April in Naples, Fla.

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