Big Rapids, Mich. - For the fifth time this season, Ferris State University junior goaltender CJ Motte has been recognized as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Defensive Player of the Week.
Motte, who yielded just one even-strength goal while backstopping the Bulldogs to a home-ice sweep over league rival Northern Michigan last weekend, has been named the WCHA Men's Defensive Player of the Week for Feb. 11, 2014.
A 6-0, 190-pound junior from St. Clair, Michigan, Motte turned aside 58 of 60 shots on goal for a .967 series save percentage, posted four shutout periods, and blanked the Wildcats on eight of their nine power-play opportunities.
In a 7-1 Ferris State victory at Ewigleben Sports Arena in Big Rapids last Friday (Feb. 7) evening, Motte had 29 saves while surrending only a first period power-play goal. He also earned his third assist of the season on his team's sixth tally in the third period.
Then last Saturday (Feb. 8) night, Motte came back with another 29-save outing before a sellout crowd of 2,490 as the Bulldogs prevailed 2-1 over NMU despite being outshot 30-28. The two wins allowed No. 4 Ferris State (20-6-3) to remain in sole possession of first place in the WCHA standings and move up to third overall in the national Pairwise rankings.
Motte, who tops all league goaltenders with a 19-4-3 overall record and .788 winning percentage this season, is also second in overall save percentage at .927 and fourth in overall goals-against average at 2.25.
He previously claimed WCHA Defensive Player of Week honors three-straight weeks in the first half of the campaign and four times in a five-week span during the Bulldogs' school-record and then nation-leading 16-game unbeaten streak.
Along with Motte, Bulldog senior Cory Kane was among the nominees for the WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honor with freshman Jared VanWormer listed on this week's potential Rookie of the Week nominees.
The Bulldogs improved to 20-6-3 overall and remained on top of the league standings with a 15-3-2 conference record by virtue of the two wins last weekend. FSU also held onto a two-point lead over second place Minnesota State in the WCHA standings with the weekend sweep and currently owns two games in hand over the Mavericks 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. FSU also been one of the country's top three teams on home ice this year with a 10-1-1 mark inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
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.