February 7, 2014

PREVIEW: #4/5 Bulldogs Host Northern Michigan In WCHA Home Series This Weekend

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UP NEXT IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:

vs. Northern Michigan
Friday & Saturday, Feb. 7-8 – 7:07 p.m. (ET)
Ewigleben Ice Arena - Big Rapids, Mich.
 
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Complete Game Notes (PDF)

The Opening Faceoff:
The nationally fourth/fifth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team returns to home ice this weekend as the Bulldogs resume Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) action with a two-game league set against the Northern Michigan Wildcats in Big Rapids, Mich. Both games get underway at 7:07 p.m. (ET).  FSU is currently in first place in the WCHA standings with 28 league points. Saturday's game is SOLD OUT with limited tickets left for Friday's opener.

Media Coverage: Both games will be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Dominic Hennig and Dan Kowalski calling the play-by-play action. Pregame coverage begins a half-hour prior to puck drop. The online broadcast is accessible at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. All links, including live video along with live internet statistics, will be available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.

Broadcast Coverage: A live HD video and audio pay-per-view webcast will be made available for all 2013-14 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) regular-season league games along with non-league home matchups thru a new conference agreement with WCHATV & America One.  Links will be available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

Home Ticket Information: Single-game tickets for all FSU home contests this season are currently on sale and can be bought online at StarTickets.com, by calling 1-800-585-3737 or purchased in person at the FSU Athletics Ticket Office. The ticket office will be open inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) along with extended hours on Wednesday until 7 p.m. (ET). Fans can save and avoid potential lines by purchasing in advance. For more ticket information, fans can visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com or call (231) 591-2888.

The Records: Ferris State owns a 18-6-3 overall mark to date this year and is first in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) standings with a 13-3-2 league record. The Bulldogs presently remain two points ahead of second-place Minnesota State with two games in hand. Ferris State was idle last weekend and most recently split a two-game WCHA road series at Michigan Tech two weeks ago (Jan. 24-25). FSU fell in game one by a 3-2 score before winning the finale 3-0.

Northern Michigan is 11-13-2 overall on the season and owns a 9-8-1 mark in WCHA action heading into the weekend series. The Wildcats are in eighth place in the league standings with 19 points to date and coming off a league home split with second-place Minnesota State last weekend (Jan. 31-Feb. 1). NMU won the opener 5-2 before a 5-1 loss in the finale last Saturday.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 22nd season, 368-384-87 (.491) – (17-37-10 vs. Northern Michigan – 4-15-5 Home, 12-21-4 away and 1-1-1 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 two years ago.

Northern Michigan - Walt Kyle (Northern Michigan, 1981), 12th season, 219-199-51 - Kyle guided the 'Cats to the NCAA Tournament during the 2009-10 season and to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Championship Tournament at Joe Louis Arena in seven of his first nine years. He was the head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team, which placed fourth at the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in British Columbia, Canada. The 'Cats lost in the CCHA Tournament Championship, but advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2009-10. NMU has won the third-place game at the CCHA Championship three times (02-03, 07-08, 08-09) under Kyle. NMU also has three 22 win seasons (02-03, 04-05, 05-06), a 21-win season (03-04) and two 20-win seasons (07-08, 09-10) in the Walt Kyle era..

Series History: Northern Michigan holds a 45-23-5 all-time series advantage .... Earlier this year (Nov. 29-30), the Bulldogs traveled to Marquette and beat NMU 4-1 in the opener before a 1-1 overtime tie in the finale .... The Bulldogs traveled to the Berry Events Center last season and split a pair of games as FSU won the opener 3-1 (2/8/13) before falling 3-0 in the finale (2/9/13) ..... FSU came up with a victory and a tie versus the Wildcats in a battle of nationally-ranked teams two years ago.  The Bulldogs tied the opener 5-5 in overtime (2/3/12) before falling in the shootout, but came back to record a 3-1 triumph in the finale (2/4/12) ..... The series' earlier this year represented the fourth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs had traveled to NMU. Three years ago (2010-11), the Bulldogs went 0-2 against the Wildcats with both games on the road. The Bulldogs lost 2-1 in overtime before skating to a 3-1 loss ..... Overall, Northern Michigan has recorded a 5-3-3 mark in the last 11 matchups against FSU.

Among Best In Nation:
Currently, FSU's 18 wins are second in the country and the Bulldogs also have the nation's fourth-best winning percentage (.722). Ferris State held the nation's longest unbeaten streak earlier this year at 16 games (13-0-3) prior to its setback to Colgate in the championship game of the Mariucci Classic (Jan. 4). Ferris State is first in the WCHA standings with a 13-3-2 league record and hadn't dropped a league game in its debut season in the conference prior to its mid-January series at Minnesota State.

National Rankings: Ferris State moved to fifth nationally this week in the United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) National Poll and fourth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll. The Bulldogs have been ranked as high as second in the nation three times this season, including prior to the Minnesota State series. Ferris State was ranked for 37 consecutive weeks dating between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons at one stretch and was ranked first in the nation during the memorable 2011-12 season. The number two national ranking this year represented 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 has currently been ranked among the nation's top 20 teams in the USCHO poll for 13 consecutive weeks and found among the country's top 10 teams in each of the last 10 polls.

Saturday Sellout:
Saturday's series' finale this weekend is sold out. Currently, limited tickets remain for Friday's opener in both the single-game and group sales categories with the "Dawg Pound" student section already sold out for both games in what will represent the 44th and 45th consecutive sellouts of the Ferris State student section. The sellout of the weekend series' finale on Saturday against Northern Michigan came a week in advance and will mark the Bulldogs' third sellout at home since the New Year as FSU previously sold out its two most recent home contests against Michigan Tech on back-to-back nights (Jan. 10-11).

Vote For Hobey Baker Award:
Voting is currently underway to help determine the 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner and Bulldog fans can cast their vote for FSU goaltender CJ Motte and senior forward Garrett Thompson. The annual award is given to college hockey's top player and fan balloting takes place online at www.hobeybakeraward.com. The first phase of fan balloting runs through March 9. Phase two of fan balloting begins on March 20 from the list of Top 10 Hobey Baker finalists. The 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three finalists on April 11 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Philadelphia.

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

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