January 31, 2013

PREVIEW: FSU Squares Off With #6 Western Michigan This Weekend

THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:

vs. Western Michigan
Friday & Saturday, Feb. 1-2 - 7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Ice Arena


Complete Game Notes
(PDF)


The Opening Faceoff:
The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will host the nationally sixth-ranked Western Michigan Broncos in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2, at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. The puck is set to drop at 7:05 p.m. (ET) both nights.  

Media Coverage: Both games will also be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Dominic Hennig calling the play-by-play action and Dan Kowalski offering color commentary with the online broadcast accessible at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. A live pay-per-view video webcast will also be available in addition to live internet statistics. All links will be made available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.

The Records: Ferris State is currently 13-10-3 overall and 11-8-1 in the CCHA this season. The Bulldogs split on the road last weekend (Jan. 25-26) against the nationally seventh-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Ind.  FSU posted a 3-1 victory on Friday before dropping Saturday's game by a score of 5-2. The Bulldogs are currently tied for fourth place with Alaska in the CCHA standings with 34 points and are only five points out of first place. Ferris State has won six of its last eight outings overall, including four of its last five decisions.

Western Michigan currently holds an overall record of 16-6-4 along with a 12-4-2 mark in the CCHA and are in solo possession of first place in the CCHA standings. The Broncos picked up all six points possible last weekend (Jan. 25-26) when they swept the Michigan Wolverines by a 3-2 score on Friday along with a 5-1 triumph on Saturday in Kalamazoo.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 21st season, 347-372-82 (.484) – (22-33-4 vs. WMU – 10-23-2 away, 12-9-2 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 Spencer Penrose Award winner as the American Collegiate Hockey Association's (ACHA) Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year in both 2003 and 2012 in addition to claiming CCHA Coach of the Year honors both times. He was among three finalists for both the 2007-08 and 2009-10 CCHA Coach of the Year Awards. Daniels led the Bulldogs to their first-ever appearance at the Frozen Four and second-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship title last season.

Western Michigan - Andy Murray (Brandon University, 1972), 2nd season - Murray was announced as the sixth head coach in the history of the Western Michigan men's ice hockey program on July 26, 2011. Murray came to WMU with an extensive resume earned at the highest level of professional hockey. He is one of only 39 coaches in NHL history to reach 300 wins. Murray has 10 years of NHL head coaching experience, spending six seasons at the helm of the Los Angeles Kings and four with the St. Louis Blues. Murray is the Kings' All-Time franchise leader in wins with 215 and led Los Angeles to three 90-point seasons in his tenure. In his first season with the Broncos, he led them to their second CCHA Tournament Championship and also coached Western to its second-straight and fifth overall NCAA Tournament appearance a year ago.

Historic Season: Ferris State won its second CCHA regular-season championship and finished as the national runner-up a year ago.  The Bulldogs claimed the NCAA Midwest Regional title with two victories in Green Bay, Wis., and then topped Union (N.Y.) in the program's first-ever Frozen Four national semifinal game at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  FSU suffered a 4-1 loss to Boston College in the national championship game on April 7 in Tampa to finish the most historic campaign in school history with a 26-12-1 overall record.

All-Time Series Notes: Ferris State holds a 51-73-12 all-time series record against Western Michigan. This includes a 30-27-6 home advantage and a 20-42-6 road mark ... Earlier this year (Dec. 7-8), the Broncos swept the Bulldogs at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo by scores of 4-2 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday ....... Western Michigan also posted a 3-0-1 mark against the Bulldogs last season with two wins in Big Rapids and another at home ...... Last season, the Broncos swept the Bulldogs in a home-and-home series in early December (12/2-3) by scores of 4-2 in Big rapids and 3-0 in Kalamazoo. On the final weekend of regular-season action, the two teams tied 1-1 in Kalamazoo (2/24) before Western Michigan recorded a 3-0 win in Big Rapids (2/25).

Did You Know?:  Ferris State currently ranks first in the nation in combined special teams at 57.1%. In addition, the Bulldogs' power play is currently ninth in the country (21.9%) and on the penalty kill the Bulldogs are at 85% and allowed only two goals on 26 opponent power play tries during the seven games in the month of January.

Quick Notes: Last Friday's 3-1 victory over Notre Dame in South Bend came in the 800th career game on the bench for FSU head coach Bob Daniels ....... Junior wing Garrett Thompson recorded three points against Western Michigan earlier this season by scoring one goal and notching an assist on Friday (Dec. 7) and scoring the lone Bulldog goal of the night on Saturday (Dec. 8). Sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley recorded two points on two assists for the weekend ..... This weekend will mark the final two meetings in CCHA regular-season action between the two national powers before FSU departs for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and Western Michigan moves to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) next campaign .... FSU sophomore center Dominic Panetta scored two consecutive game-winning goals against Michigan State (Jan. 19) & Notre Dame (Jan. 25), which also happened to be his first two goals of his collegiate career.  

National Attention: Ferris State is not ranked this week in the USCHO.com Division I National Poll, but is listed first among teams receiving votes.  FSU has also been listed among others receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll most of the season.  Ferris State was ranked for 37 consecutive weeks dating back to early last season prior to the last four weeks.

CCHA Goaltender Of Month: Ferris State sophomore CJ Motte was named the Gongshow Goaltender of the Month in the CCHA for January. Motte appeared in six games for Ferris State during the month of January, posting a 5-1-0 record with one shutout. His 1.34 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage were tops in the league for January, as he allowed just eight goals and made 148 saves on the month.

Hobey Baker Nominee: Ferris State men's ice hockey fans can vote now for Bulldog senior left wing Kyle Bonis, who was announced as one of 77 nominees for the 2013 Hobey Baker Award. Awarded annually to college hockey's top player, the Hobey Baker's highly popular fan-voting phase is available on the Hobey Baker website: www.hobeybakeraward.com.

Notre Dame Review: The Bulldogs split a pair of road games last weekend against Notre Dame inside the Compton Family Ice Arena (Jan. 25-26). The Bulldogs posted a 3-1 win on Friday after recovering from an early 1-0 deficit as the Fighting Irish held led after the opening period. Senior wing Kyle Bonis netted his 12th goal of the season on the power-play early in the second period to tie up the contest 1-1 before sophomore forward Dominic Panetta scored his second goal in as many games, which also proved to be his second-straight game winner. The score stood for the remainder of the contest until Bonis scored his team-leading 13th goal of the campaign on the Fighting Irish's empty net with 34.3 seconds left on the clock. Sophomore goaltender CJ Motte was in net for the entire 60 minutes and made 32 saves in the victory.  Notre Dame outshot FSU by a count of 33-25 for the night.   

The Bulldogs dropped Saturday's game by a score of 5-2 after holding the lead for a short time. Notre Dame struck first again and led 1-0 after one period. The Bulldogs recovered quickly when senior center Travis Ouellette scored his eighth goal of the season on the power-play only 19 seconds into the second frame before junior center Cory Kane registered his seventh goal of the year to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage for their only lead of the night. However, the Fighting Irish struck back with two goals in the following five minutes to put the score at 3-2 in their advantage. Then, only 57 seconds into the final frame, Notre Dame scored again before sealing the 5-2 victory with just under three minutes remaining in the contest. Freshman goaltender Charles Williams made 24 saves in his second collegiate start for FSU and played the entire 60 minutes for the Bulldogs. Notre Dame led the shots by a count of 29-24.

Point Production: Three Bulldogs recorded two points apiece against Notre Dame (Jan. 25-26). Kyle Bonis scored two goals on Friday night while Travis Ouellette earned an assist on Friday before scoring a goal on Saturday and Jason Binkley registered an assist in both games.

Shutting Out UM & MSU: With FSU's 3-0 shutout over Michigan State on Jan. 5, Bulldog sophomore goaltender CJ Motte became the first netminder in school history to post shutouts over both MSU and Michigan at any point in a career.  He accomplished the feat by shutting out both schools this season as the Bulldogs were a 5-0 winner over the Wolverines on Nov. 30 in Big Rapids.  Overall, Ferris State has now posted four shutout victories all-time against both Michigan and Michigan State.  The only other Bulldog netminder to post two shutouts against either team was Pat Nagle, who shutout the Spartans twice in 2010, but did not shutout Michigan.

Home Sweet Home: Ferris State's senior trio of Kyle Bonis, Eric Alexander and Travis Ouellette have combined to score 16 of their 26 goals this season inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  Eight of Bonis' team-high 13 goals have came on home ice while Alexander has notched four of his five goals in Big Rapids and Ouellette has tallied four of his eight overall at home.

Hat Trick For Thompson: Junior wing Garrett Thompson's hat trick on Jan. 5 against Michigan State came nearly a year to the day in which a Bulldog player last recorded three goals in a contest.  A year ago, senior Jordie Johnson notched a hat trick in non-league play versus Colgate (1/6/12) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in a 4-3 Bulldog victory.

Northern Lights Award Winner: Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels was honored following FSU's 3-1 Bulldog victory over Ohio State (Jan. 12) as this year's community Northern Lights Award recipient for sports and recreation. The community award was presented by members of the Northern Lights Committee on the ice before a crowd of 2,325 fans inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. The Northern Lights Award series is in its 12th year and is presented by the Mecosta County Medical Center Foundation in an effort to recognize community members who made significant contributions in seven different areas that make up the acronym "Mecosta": Management, Business and industry, Environment, Civics, Outdoor Activities and sports, Social services and health, Training and education along with Arts and entertainment.

CCHA Preseason Polls: Ferris State was chosen to finish in the top half of the CCHA again this year in the league's annual preseason polls. The Bulldogs, who advanced to the national championship game at the 2012 Frozen Four, were tabbed to finish fourth by the media and fifth by the coaches from around the conference in 2012-13.  Ferris State received three first-place votes from the media and 626 total points.  The coaches gave FSU 67 points in the voting format.  FSU hopes to build off last season's success this coming year, returning 18 letterwinners, including three of their top five scorers.

Buy Tickets Online:  Fans can purchase tickets in advance 24 hours a day, seven days a week thru Star Tickets by calling 1-800-585-3737 or by visiting StarTickets.com. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office's normal operating hours are Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) along with extended hours on Wednesday's until 7 p.m. (ET).  Please call 231-591-2888 for more information.

Tickets On Sale: Currently, only general reserved tickets remain available for the Western Michigan series and potential sellout crowds are expected. Tickets for the premium contest are $17 in advance or $19 if bought on gameday.  Tickets are also on sale for the Bulldogs' final regular-season home series' against Bowling Green State (Feb. 15-16) and fans can "Buy One, Get One Free" for the BGSU series while supplies last.  The BGSU series will represent the final two CCHA regular-season contests for the Bulldogs and the Saturday game will begin at 5:05 p.m. (ET) as part of Fox Sports Detroit's "Hockey Day In Michigan" broadcast live from the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  It will also be FSU's annual "Senior Night" game.

Important Fact: Bulldog junior Garrett Thompson has registered 17 points in his last 16 outings after totaling only three points in the initial 10 contests of the season.  Seven of his nine goals this year have also came during the 16-game stretch.

Senior CLASS Award:  Ferris State senior wing Kyle Bonis is among 20 candidates for this year's prestigious Senior CLASS Award, which honors men's ice hockey student-athletes who excel both on and off the ice. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

Ferris State Notebook

Junior wing Garrett Thompson and senior forward Kyle Bonis both have currently compiled a team-leading 20 points this year.  Thompson has nine goals and 11 assists this season while Bonis has a team-high 13 goals and seven helpers.  

FSU's current 11-8-1 mark in CCHA action is comparable to a year ago when the Bulldogs held a 11-6-3 mark thru 20 league games before going on to win the program's second CCHA regular-season championship.

The Bulldogs held a 5-5-1 mark against nationally-ranked opponents in the first half of the 2011-12 season, but have currently played only six games versus ranked foes this season to date, including last Friday's 3-1 win over #7 Notre Dame.

Sophomore CJ Motte has been the goalie of record in 24 of the Bulldogs' 26 contests to date this year.  Last season, he split time with All-America goaltender Taylor Nelson in the beginning of the campaign as Nelson was credited as the wining or losing goalie in 10 games during the first half with Motte charged in the other eight outings before Nelson became the primary goaltender in the stretch run.

The Bulldogs started 6-1-1 at home inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena last season.  This year, Ferris State is currently 7-3-2 overall to date in home contests following its most recent win over Michigan State (Jan. 19).

Ferris State's home attendance is up this season over the championship campaign of a year ago.  The Bulldogs averaged 1,760 fans in their first 12 home contests in 2011-12 as compared to this year's current 12-game average of 2,046 fans.  Overall, the Bulldogs have drawn 24,553 fans at home this season versus 21,123 a season ago in the initial 11 home contests

FSU senior wing Kyle Bonis, has 20 points this campaign on a team-high 13 goals and seven assists.  He finished the memorable 2011-12 campaign with 30 points on 19 goals and 11 assists, ranking third on the squad.

Senior Kyle Bonis is currently tied for second nationally this year with seven power-play goals to date.  Meanwhile, Cory Kane ranks tied for fifth in the country with two short-handed goals on the year.  Also, CJ Motte is tied for fifth in the country with three shutouts to date.  He's 15th in the nation in save percentage (.929) and 20th in goals against average (2.12).

CCHA Player Of Week: Ferris State junior forward Andy Huff picked up the CCHA Postgame® Offensive Player of the Week honor from the CCHA following FSU's series versus Mercyhurst (Oct. 19-20) earlier this year.  Meanwhile, senior Kyle Bonis claimed the same distinction after the Bulldogs' sweep against Bowling Green State (Nov. 16-17). FSU sophomore defenseman Simon Denis picked up the Gladiator Defenseman of the Week honor on Jan. 2 while freshman defenseman Brandon Anselmini was the Gongshow Rookie of the Week in the CCHA the same week.  Sophomore CJ Motte claimed Warrior Goaltender Of the Week recognition after FSU's sweep over Michigan State (Jan. 18-19).  

Team Captain: Senior left wing Kyle Bonis is serving as the Bulldogs' team captain in the 2012-13 campaign. He is the 42nd individual in the program's history to sport the captain's 'C' on his jersey.  Senior center Travis Ouellette and junior defenseman Scott Czarnowczan are serving as the Bulldogs' assistant captains.

TV Exposure: Ferris State has received increased regular-season television exposure this season. The preseason nationally-ranked Bulldogs' televised contests have included games on Fox Sports Detroit, Comcast and CBS College Sports Network.  In all, FSU will have been featured at least six times this season, including contests on three different networks. The slate is highlighted by a Feb. 16 home game versus Bowling Green State at the Ewigleben Ice Arena, which will be part of Fox Sports Detroit's "Hockey Day In Michigan" coverage.

Televised Contests: FSU's other major televised contests included games on Dec. 15 at Michigan State (Comcast), Jan. 18 at MSU (FSD), Jan. 25 at Notre Dame (CBS) along with upcoming matchups March 1 at Michigan (CBS) and March 2 at Michigan (FSD).  A majority of FSU home contests will also be televised locally by Ferris Television and carried live on the Bulldog Sports Network at FerrisStateBulldogs.com along with tape-delay coverage locally via Charter Cable.  Additional television coverage from regional stations is also expected both at home and on the road.

Fixture Behind The Bench: Head coach Bob Daniels, who was named the National Coach of the Year for the second time in 2011-12, is midst his 21st year behind the Bulldogs' bench in 2012-13 and now owns a school-record 347 career victories.

Tremendous Run: The Bulldogs claimed the school's second CCHA regular-season championship in the last 10 years in 2011-12, won the NCAA Division I Midwest Regional title and reached the national championship game at the NCAA Frozen Four.

First Trip To Frozen Four: Ferris State's best season in school history came to a close in the national championship game at the 2012 Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., with a 26-12-5 overall record. It included a first-ever trip to the Frozen Four and a national runner-up finish. The title game appearance marked the first time in school history any Bulldog team had ever competed in a national championship game.

Successful Stretch: FSU won or tied 19 of its final 23 games of the season and had a nation leading 15-game unbeaten streak in 2011-12 along with a number one national ranking in both polls for two weeks in February. FSU's 26 wins were the second-most in school history.

Not Any Easier: The Bulldogs are following up the school's most memorable campaign in history with a 34-game schedule in 2012-13 that includes four games apiece versus league in-state rivals Michigan, Michigan State and Western Michigan; at least 15 games against teams that were included in last year's 16-team NCAA Tournament field; and 20 contests involving teams that were featured in last season's final Top 20 national rankings.

Special Holiday Trip: Ferris State's holiday trip to the Florida College Hockey Classic in Estero featured a rematch of last year's NCAA Division I Midwest Regional Championship game as the Bulldogs took on Cornell in the opener on Dec. 28. Returning NCAA Tournament qualifiers Maine and Minnesota-Duluth were the other two teams in the tournament.

Nice Anniversary Season: FSU's 35th season of Division I hockey began on Oct. 12-13 as the Bulldogs ventured to New York to square off for the second consecutive year against Rensselaer, which is guided by Bulldog alum and former assistant coach Seth Appert.  He directed RPI to its first-ever win over the Bulldogs in the season opener.

Banner Raising Part Of Homestand: FSU celebrated its historic national runner-up finish from a year ago by hoisting new banners inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena versus Mercyhurst (Oct. 19-20) before hosting Alaska to open league play (Oct. 26-27).  Ferris State completed a stretch of seven of nine league contests on the road prior to the holiday break.

Preseason All-CCHA: A pair of Ferris State University men's ice hockey players earned 2012-13 All-CCHA Preseason Honorable Mention accolades. Bulldog senior forward Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) along with junior defenseman Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) were among the student-athletes receiving preseason recognition as the ninth annual preseason all-conference teams were announced by the league office.

Bonis, who was named to the 2012 Frozen Four All-Tournament Team as the Bulldogs reached the national championship game, placed third among FSU's scoring leaders a season ago with 30 points.  He had a squad second-best 19 goals and added 11 assists in playing all 43 contests.  Bonis' totals included three game-winning goals and four power-play markers.  Meanwhile, Czarnowczan registered two goals and 19 assists for 21 points on the blueline.  He also appeared in 43 games and finished with a team second-best 77 blocks.  He was the recipient of the team's Plus/Minus Award for finishing with a squad-leading +17 figure for the season.

Back In The Mix: A total of 18 letterwinners returned for the Bulldogs in 2012-13 off of last year's national finalist team.  While the Bulldogs lost eight players, including two All-Americans in goaltender Taylor Nelson and defenseman Chad Billins, FSU did ink a talented recruiting class featuring eight newcomers and all have seen action this season.

Worth Noting: Ferris State was highly-successful at home last season as the Bulldogs won their initial five contests inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena and posted a 6-1-1 mark prior to the holiday break.  FSU finished with a 15-4-2 home record in 2011-12.

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

2012-13 Bulldog Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2012-13 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 Wednesdays 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.

Purchase In Advance: This season, fans can help the Bulldogs "Celebrate The Legacy" and catch the final year of CCHA action by purchasing tickets in advance for any home contest during the 2012-13 campaign. Fans will be able to save on single-game tickets by purchasing in advance rather than waiting until gameday.  The Bulldogs sold out four of their final five home contests inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena last year.  FSU will become a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) after the 2012-13 season.

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