February 11, 2014

Ferris State Hockey #4 This Week In Division 1 College Hockey Polls

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Big Rapids, Mich. - For the 11th consecutive week, the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team can be found ranked among the nation's top 10 teams as the Bulldogs are now listed fourth in both of college hockey's major polls announced this week.

The Bulldogs climbed one spot to fourth in the United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) poll and remained fourth this week in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine National poll following a Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) weekend home sweep over Northern Michigan on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 7-8) in Big Rapids. 

FSU has been ranked as high as second in the nation three times this season and currently found among the nation's top 20 teams in the USCHO poll for 14 consecutive weeks. Ferris State was ranked for 37-straight 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. 

Ironically, the top four teams in both of this week's rankings were all among the final four participants in the NCAA Tournament two seasons ago. Boston College holds down the top spot in both polls with Minnesota State second and Union third.  

The same four teams also rank at the top of the Pairwise and RPI rankings, which help determine the NCAA Tournament field at the end of the season. FSU and Union are both tied for third behind top-ranked BC and Minnesota in the current Pairwise system. Ferris State is the lone WCHA member school found in either of the national polls this week.

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. 

Meanwhile, 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.  

FSU capped a weekend home sweep of visiting Northern Michigan and recorded its third-straight victory as the Bulldogs skated to a 2-1 triumph before a sold out crowd on Saturday (Feb. 8) night in WCHA play at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena. The Bulldogs, who posted a decisive 7-1 win in Friday night's series opener in Big Rapids, built a 2-0 lead against the Wildcats and held on for the win. The victory was FSU's 20th of the season as the Bulldogs improved to 20-6-3 overall and remained on top of the league standings with a 15-3-2 conference record. FSU has now won its last three games in a row.

Ferris State held onto a two-point lead over second place Minnesota State in the WCHA standings with the weekend sweep. FSU also owns two games in hand over Minnesota State with eight games left on the regular-season schedule. The Bulldogs' current three-game win streak is tied for the sixth-longest active stretch in the nation while FSU's 20 wins trail only national-leader Boston College's 21 victories to date.

Ferris State hits the road this weekend for a two-game league series at Bemidji State on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 14-15) in Bemidji, Minn. The opening game gets underway on Friday at 8:37 p.m. (ET) with the finale on Saturday at 8:07 p.m. (ET).

The Bulldogs and Beavers battled each other earlier this season in Big Rapids on Nov. 8-9 with Ferris State earning wins both nights. FSU captured an exciting win in game one with a 5-4 overtime victory on a goal from junior defenseman Jason Binkley and followed with a 5-3 win in the finale. The two wins came in the Bulldogs' first-ever WCHA home series and helped fuel the Bulldogs to a school-record and then nation-leading 16-game unbeaten streak.

Ferris State will then return home on Feb. 21-22 to host Alaska-Anchorage inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena with both games set for 7:07 p.m. (ET) starts. 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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