February 13, 2013

PREVIEW: Final CCHA Regular-Season Home Series This Weekend For Bulldog Hockey

THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:

vs. Bowling Green State
Friday & Saturday, Feb. 15-16 - 7:05/5:06 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 Bowling Green State University Falcons in their last Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) regular-season home series on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16, at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. The puck is set to drop at 7:05 p.m. (ET) on Friday and 5:06 p.m. (ET) on Saturday.  Saturday's game is already officially SOLD OUT and limited tickets remain for Friday's opener.  

Media Coverage: Saturday's contest will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Detroit.  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. Links will be available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.

The Records: Ferris State is currently 14-12-4 overall and 12-10-2-1 in the CCHA this season. The Bulldogs split a league road series against Northern Michigan last weekend in Marquette.  FSU posted a 3-1 victory over the Wildcats on Friday (Feb. 8) before falling by a score of 3-0 on Saturday (Feb. 9). The Bulldogs currently are in fourth place in the CCHA standings with 39 points and are eight points out of first place.

Bowling Green State currently holds an overall record of 11-14-5 along with a 8-11-3-1 mark in the CCHA. They are presently in seventh place in the CCHA standings after splitting a home-and-home series last weekend against the Michigan State Spartans. The Falcons beat the Spartans in Bowling Green by a score of 2-1 on Friday (Feb. 8) before dropping Saturday (Feb. 9) night's game by a score of 3-1 in East Lansing.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 21st season, 348-374-83 (.484) – (33-21-6 vs. BGSU – 17-12-3 away, 18-9-3 home and 0-0-0 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.

Bowling Green State - Chris Bergeron (Miami, 1993), 3rd season, 35-66-14 (.365) - (2-7-0 vs. Ferris State). After being named the Falcons' seventh head coach in program history on April 12, 2010, Bergeron doubled the team's 2009-10 win total in just one season. Bergeron spent seven years playing professionally after he graduated from Miami (Ohio) before joining the RedHawks coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2007. He helped collect a cumulative record of 226-139-37 overall while at Miami. Last season, Bergeron led the Falcons to two CCHA Tournament victories, advancing them to their first semifinal appearance at Joe Louis Arena in 11 years.

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 recorded its first weekend sweep of the season as the Bulldogs beat Bowling Green State by scores of 4-3 and 3-1 earlier this year on Nov. 16-17 in Ohio .... FSU has won seven of the nine matchups between the two teams over the last two seasons, including all six regular-season meetings to date.  However, the Falcons pulled out a win over Ferris State in last season's best-of-three CCHA Tournament second round playoff series at the Ewigleben Ice Arena to move on to Joe Louis Arena ..... Ferris State and Bowling Green State will face off for the 130th and 131st times this weekend in a series that dates back to 1978. The Falcons hold a 54-54-20 record with a 32-26-5 home edge. However, the Bulldogs are 12-3 in the past 15 outings and won five of seven matchups with the Falcons a season ago in addition to the two victories this year.

More Series History:  Both of BGSU's wins last year in the CCHA Tournament Second Round series came in overtime by scores of 3-2 (March 9) and 4-3 (March 11) in the deciding game after FSU had posted a 7-4 victory the second night (March 10). Despite the setback in the CCHA Tournament a year ago, the Bulldogs responded by winning the NCAA Midwest Regional and advancing to the Frozen Four only a couple weeks later ..... The Bulldogs have prevailed in 17 of the last 19 meetings to date, which includes a 9-2 road mark ....... Senior captain Kyle Bonis had three goals and two assists in last season's series with Bowling Green State . . . A February victory against the Falcons helped the Bulldogs officially clinch a share of the CCHA egular-season title in 2011-12 . . . The Bulldogs were 9-1-0 in the previous 10 outings against BGSU prior to dropping a best-of-three CCHA Playoff series last year.  The lone loss in the previous 10-game stretch had been a 3-1 loss on Feb. 14, 2009 . . . Ferris State swept four regular-season meetings versus BGSU last season before dropping the playoff series.  The Bulldogs topped the Falcons on the road by scores of 4-0 and 5-3 in November (4-5) before beating Bowling Green State twice in Big Rapids with scores of 5-1 and 4-1 (Feb. 17-18).

Earlier This Year: The Bulldogs recorded their first sweep of the season over the Falcons in Bowling Green earlier this year. FSU beat the Falcons by a score of 4-3 in overtime on Friday (Nov. 16). Junior center Cory Kane notched the first goal of the evening in unassisted fashion in the second period only two minutes before freshman center Kenny Babinski scored his second collegiate goal. The Bulldogs took the 3-0 advantage when senior wing Kyle Bonis scored FSU's third lamplighter of the evening in the third period. However, Bowling Green came back with three goals in the span of five minutes, forcing the contest into sudden-death overtime.  Junior wing Garrett Thompson scored the game winner only 14 seconds into overtime. Sophomore Bulldog goaltender CJ Motte made 33 saves on the night. The Falcons held a 36-27 edge in shots for the night.

The Bulldogs completed the weekend sweep with a 3-1 victory on Saturday (Nov. 17). Junior wing Andy Huff scored the first goal of the evening late in the first period. Senior wing Kyle Bonis then gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage late in the second period for his second goal of the weekend. The Falcons were able to notch their lone goal of the evening early in the third period, however, senior wing Travis Ouellette sealed the 3-1 victory when he scored on the Falcons' empty net with only 30 seconds remaining in regulation. Sophomore Bulldog goaltender CJ Motte made 29 saves. The Falcons led the shots by a 30-15 margin.   

Did You Know?: 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 and fans are encouraged to wear red as part of a "Red Out" effort.  Ferris State will honor five seniors prior to their final regular-season home games, including forwards Eric Alexander, Kyle Bonis, Matt Kirzinger and Travis Ouellette along with goaltender Rob Granett.

Quick Notes:  Ferris State's 3-1 victory over Notre Dame in South Bend on Jan. 25 came in the 800th career game on the bench for FSU head coach Bob Daniels ..... This weekend will mark the final two meetings in CCHA regular-season action between the Bulldogs and Falcons although both teams will remain conference foes beginning next season in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) .... 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 .... This Saturday's sellout will mark FSU's fifth of the year and the 11th time the Bulldogs have sold out since late last season.  

National Attention: Ferris State is not ranked this week in the USCHO.com Division I National Poll, but is listed 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 recent stretch.

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.

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.

Northern Michigan Review:  The Bulldogs posted a 3-1 victory over the Northern Michigan Wildcats inside the Berry Events Center in Marquette last Friday (Feb. 8). Freshman defenseman Brandon Anselmini scored the first goal of the evening midway through the opening period. Senior wing Kyle Bonis gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead with his 15th goal of the year in the second frame. The score stood until the Wildcats notched their lone goal of the evening early in the final period. Senior center Travis Ouellette then closed the 3-1 triumph when he scored the final goal on the Wildcats' empty net late in the third. CJ Motte made 23 saves on the night in earning the win.

The Bulldogs dropped last Saturday's (Feb.9) series' finale to Northern Michigan by a score of 3-0 inside the Berry Events Center. After a scoreless first period, the Wildcats struck with their first goal of the evening early in the second period. NMU closed 40 minutes of action with a 2-0 lead over FSU when the Wildcats found the back of the net again with less than 30 seconds remaining in the second stanza. The Wildcats' third goal of the evening came late in the final frame on the power-play. Sophomore Bulldog goaltender CJ Motte registered 30 saves on the night. The Wildcats held a significant 33-19 edge in shots, with FSU's game-high of 10 coming in the second period.  

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 17 of their 29 goals this season inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  Nine of Bonis' team-high 15 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 nine 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.

Important Fact:  Bulldog junior Garrett Thompson has registered 19 points in his last 20 outings after totaling only three points in the initial 10 contests of the season.  Eight of his 10 goals this year have also came during the 20-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.

Did You Know?:  Ferris State currently ranks third in the nation in combined special teams at 56.6%. In addition, the Bulldogs' power play is currently 14th the country (21.3%) and on the penalty kill the Bulldogs are at 84.6%.  FSU allowed only two goals on 26 opponent power play tries during the seven games in the month of January.

Ferris State Notebook

Junior wing Garrett Thompson and senior wing Kyle Bonis both have compiled a team-high 22 points.  Thompson has 10 goals and 12 assists this season while Bonis has a team-high 15 goals and seven helpers.  

Sophomore CJ Motte has been the goalie of record in 28 of the Bulldogs' 30 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.

Ferris State's home attendance is up this season over the championship campaign of a year ago.  The Bulldogs averaged 1,874 fans in their first 12 home contests in 2011-12 as compared to this year's current 14-game average of 2,087 fans.  Overall, the Bulldogs have drawn 29,212 fans at home this season versus 22,484 a season ago in the initial 14 home contests.

Senior Kyle Bonis is currently tied for fifth nationally this year with seven power-play goals to date.  Meanwhile, Cory Kane ranks tied for sixth in the country with two short-handed goals on the year.  Also, CJ Motte is tied for eighth in the country with three shutouts to date.  He's 19th in the nation in save percentage (.927) and 20th in goals against average (2.13).

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 348 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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