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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will head into the holiday break as one of the nation's top two teams as the Bulldogs climbed to second nationally this week in both major college hockey polls.
The Bulldogs, who have a nation-leading and school-record tying 15-game unbeaten streak (12-0-3), are currently second in both the United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine National Polls released on Monday. FSU moved up two spots from fourth a week ago in both listings.
This week's number two national ranking represents the Bulldogs' highest placing in the poll since finishing second overall in the final 2011-12 USCHO.com Division I poll announced after FSU's historic appearance in the national championship game at the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four.
Ferris State is listed right behind Minnesota in both national polls. The Gophers attained 32 first-place votes and 978 total points in leading the USCHO listing with the Bulldogs right behind with 914 points. FSU also had 12 first-place votes.
In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine listing, Minnesota tallied 28 first-place mentions and 503 total points while the Bulldogs compiled 442 points and picked up two first-place votes.
Ferris State moved past Big Ten member Michigan in both rankings as the Wolverines are third in both polls followed by St. Cloud State and Providence in the top five of both polls. FSU and Michigan battled to a 2-2 overtime tie this past Wednesday night at Yost Ice Arena before the Bulldogs kept their unbeaten streak intact with an impressive 2-0 win over fellow Big Ten member Michigan State on Saturday evening in East Lansing.
In addition to the top 10 rankings in both polls, the Bulldogs also are listed third in the national RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) and PairWise rankings, which help determine the NCAA field at the end of the year.
Ferris State is one of three WCHA league members found in the USCHO national top 20 along with 18th-ranked Lake Superior State and 20th-ranked Minnesota State. FSU is the lone WCHA member school found in this week's USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll with Lake Superior State earning votes.
The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey. FSU previously was ranked as high as number one in the country in the poll during the memorable 2011-12 season in which Ferris State eventually reached the NCAA Frozen Four and the national championship game.
The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll is conducted 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, as well as composite votes from officers of the AHCA and USA Hockey.
The Bulldogs claimed Saturday's victory over the Spartans in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game played before 5,737 fans and televised live regionally by Comcast to match the school-record of 15 consecutive games without a loss previously set in 1990-91 and later matched by FSU's historic Frozen Four squad two seasons ago in 2011-12. FSU is 12-0-3 in its last 15 outings and has not lost since Oct. 18.
In addition, with the win, Ferris State became the nation's first collegiate team to reach 14 victories this year as the Bulldogs are now 14-2-3 overall this season. They also own an impressive 10-0-2 mark in their debut season in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) with a first-place lead at the break. FSU has captured 22 of a possible 24 points to date in league action this season.
The Bulldogs also feature the nation's winningest goaltender in junior CJ Motte, who increased his nation-leading mark to 14-0-3 in net this season with the tie against Michigan and the shutout win over MSU. His 17-game unbeaten start is a school-record and the longest streak in the country.
Ferris State will return to action on Jan. 3-4 as the Bulldogs take part in the prestigious Mariucci Classic hosted by top-ranked Minnesota. FSU will square off against RPI in the opening contest on Friday, Jan. 3, at Minneapolis. The contest begins at 5 p.m. (ET). FSU will then face either host Minnesota or Colgate the following night on Saturday, Jan. 4, at a time to be announced.
FSU will resume conference play at home on Jan. 10-11 versus Michigan Tech inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Both contests will begin at 7:07 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids and will mark Ferris State's first home games since mid-November.
Single-game tickets for all 2013-14 home contests are on sale now and can be purchased online at StarTickets.com, by calling 1-800-585-3737 or in person at the FSU Athletics Ticket office located inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex. For more information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.