Ferris State Hockey Moves Back To Second In Nation This Week

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Big Rapids, Mich. - After a weekend home sweep over Michigan Tech to remain unbeaten in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) action, the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team has moved back up to second overall in both major Division I college hockey polls.

The Bulldogs, who were previously third in both polls last week, climbed one spot back into second in both the United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine National Polls released on Monday. Ferris State was previously listed second in both polls over the holiday break prior to a setback in the Mariucci Classic Championship game.

FSU's number two national ranking this season 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.

This week, Ferris State trails Big Ten leader Minnesota in both polls. The Golden Gophers received 48 first-place votes and 997 total points in the USCHO listing to go with 33 first-place votes and 509 total points in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine listing.

The Bulldogs earned one national first-place vote in both polls and compiled 935 total points in the USCHO poll along with 464 points in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine ranking to move past previous number two St. Cloud State in both major listings. St. Cloud State is third in the USCHO poll this week with Boston College fourth and the two teams traded positions in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.

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.  

Ferris State is the lone WCHA member school found in either of the national polls this week.

FSU wrapped up a weekend home sweep of visiting Michigan Tech in WCHA action as the Bulldogs skated to a 3-2 triumph on Saturday (Jan. 11) evening before a sellout crowd of 2,529 fans inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Ferris State scored the first two goals of the night and received a 44-save performance in net from junior goaltender CJ Motte in topping the Huskies to remain unbeaten in WCHA play this season. The first-place Bulldogs moved to 12-0-2 in conference action with the triumph and have now captured 26 of a possible 28 league points to date this year.

The Bulldogs resumed WCHA play and opened the weekend series by beating the Huskies 1-0 on Friday night before a sellout crowd in the first contest between the two teams since 1995. Senior forward Garrett Thompson scored on a slapshot 8:25 into the third period to break the scoreless tie and account for the only goal of the night in the opener.

Friday's contest marked FSU's first home game since Nov. 23 and the victory came in the squad's first league tilt since early December. Motte registered his third shutout victory of the campaign in the win.

The Bulldogs ran their overall record to 17-3-3 on the season with the two weekend wins versus Michigan Tech as the two teams met on back-to-back nights for the first time since 1985. They will square off against each other again in two weeks on Jan. 24-25 in Houghton.

FSU has currently recorded 15 wins and three ties in its last 19 contests overall to date this season. Motte ranks as the nation's winningest goaltender with a nation-leading 17-1-3 record to date this season.

Ferris State hits the road for its next four outings as the Bulldogs visit Minnesota State for a key WCHA road series this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 17-18) in Mankato, Minn. Friday's opener gets underway at 8:37 p.m. (ET) with the finale set for Saturday night at 8:07 p.m. (ET).

The Bulldogs are 4-4-2 all-time against Minnesota State heading into this weekend's series, which will mark the first time the two teams have played each other since 1998.  Ferris Staet was a 3-1 winner at home in the last matchup against the Mavericks on Nov. 7, 1998. Overall, the Bulldogs are 4-1-1 at home and 0-3-1 on the road against Minnesota State to date.

The next home series for the Bulldogs is not until Feb. 7-8 when FSU entertains Northern Michigan in league action inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Advance tickets are on sale now and can be purchased thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office, online at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737.

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