PREVIEW: #4 Ferris State Hockey Squares Off With Bemidji State In WCHA Action
UP NEXT IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:
at Bemidji State
Friday & Saturday, Feb. 14-15 – 8:37/8:07 p.m. (ET)
Sanford Center - Bemidji, Minn.
|Friday||8:37 ET||Ferris TV 22/97 (Live)
Lakeland TV 9/22 (Minn.)
|Saturday||8:07 ET||Ferris TV 22/97 (Live)
Lakeland TV 9/22 (Minn.)
The Opening Faceoff: The nationally fourth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team hits the road this weekend as the Bulldogs continue Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) action with a two-game league set against the Bemidji State Beavers in Bemidji, Minn. Friday's game gets underway at 8:37 p.m. (ET) with the finale on Saturday beginning at 8:07 p.m. (ET).
Radio: 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.
Television: Courtesy of Lakeland Public Television in Bemidji, Minn. both of this weekend's games will also be carried live locally via Ferris Television and Charter Cable. The broadcast can be found on Channel 22 on the FSU campus and across Mecosta County on Channel 97.
The LPTV signal immediately reaches approximately 383,500 people over an estimated 7,500 square miles in northern and central Minnesota who view the station either off air (with an antenna ) or via cable. Their viewing area includes Minnesota communities as far south as Little Falls, as far north as the Canadian border, as far west as Fosston and east to Bovey. Within this coverage area are the Red Lake and Leech Lake Indian Reservations and significant portions of the White Earth and Mille Lacs Indian reservation
Online Video: 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.
The Records: Ferris State owns a 20-6-3 overall mark to date this year and remains first in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) standings with a 15-3-2 league record. The Bulldogs presently remain two points ahead of second-place Minnesota State with two games in hand. After a bye week, the Bulldogs returned to action last weekend at home and beat Northern Michigan by a 7-1 count on Friday (Feb. 7) before posting a 2-1 win in the finale on Saturday (Feb. 8) before a sold out crowd of 2,490 fans inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Bemidji State is 8-15-7 overall on the season and owns a 8-10-4 mark in WCHA action heading into the weekend series. The Beavers are presently tied for sixth in the league with 20 points, but only four points away from third place overall. BSU is only 1-4 in its last five outings to date and dropped two road games at Minnesota State last weekend (Feb. 7-8) by scores of 5-2 and 3-2, respectively.
The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 22nd season, 370-384-87 (.492) – (7-4-0 vs. Bemidji State -- 0-1-0 Neutral, 3-1-0 Away and 4-2-0 Home). 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.
Bemidji State - Tom Serratore (Bemidji State, 1987), 13th season, 209-201-56 (.509) - (4-5-0 vs. Ferris State). Serratore, a five-time (2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010) College Hockey America (CHA) Coach of the Year, directed BSU to its first appearance in the NCAA Frozen Four in 2009. Serratore has been named a finalist five times for the Spencer Penrose Award as the ACHA's Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year and was runner up for the national award in 2009. He was a two-year letterwinner at forward for BSU from 1985-87 and a member of the Beavers' 1986 NCAA Division III national championship team.
Series History: Ferris State is 7-4 all-time versus Bemidji State heading into the weekend action and beat the Beavers twice earlier this season in Big Rapids by scores of 5-4 in overtime and 5-3 on Nov. 8-9, respectively. FSU previously ell to the Beavers 3-2 in the most recent matchup prior to this year in 2010 (12/31) at the Mariucci Classic. Overall, FSU is 4-2 at home, 3-1 on the road and 0-1 at neutral sites against BSU. The Bulldogs have tallied 54 goals in the previous 11 games against Bemidji State while allowing only 31 to date. The first meeting between the two schools was in 1999 (11/12) and resulted in an 8-0 Bulldog victory.
Decisive Win: Last Friday's 7-1 triumph was the Bulldogs' most decisive victory since posting an 8-1 home win over Ohio State on Nov. 20, 2009, and it marked the second time in which FSU has scored seven goals this season as the Bulldogs opened the year with a 7-4 win at Colgate on Oct. 5.
Among Best In Nation: Currently, FSU's 20 wins are second in the country and the Bulldogs also have the nation's fourth-best winning percentage (.741) and sixth-longest current win streak at three games. 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 15-3-2 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 fourth nationally this week in both the United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) National Poll and 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 14 consecutive weeks and found among the country's top 10 teams in each of the last 11 polls.
WCHA Player Of Week: For the fifth time this season, Ferris State junior goaltender CJ Motte was recognized as the 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, 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. Motte had 29 saves on Friday 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. He came back with another 29-save outing Saturday before a sellout crowd as the Bulldogs prevailed 2-1 over NMU despite being outshot 30-28. 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.
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.
Mariucci Classic Title Game: Ferris State's setback to Colgate (Jan. 4) snapped the Bulldogs' nation-leading and school record 16-game unbeaten streak, which began following Ferris State's last loss on Oct. 18 at home in Big Rapids. It also represented the first loss of the year for standout junior goaltender CJ Motte, who currently owns an impressive nation-leading 19-4-3 mark in net this campaign. The Raiders, who have handed FSU two of their six losses this season, opened the scoring with a pair of goals in the second period and tallied two power-play goals on the night in claiming the Mariucci Classic Championship in one of the nation's most prestigious events at Mariucci Arena. Ferris State previously won the event in 1992-93 and also made appearances in one of the nation's most prestigious events in 2001-02, 2006-07 and 2010-11.
National Player Of The Month: Ferris State junior goaltender CJ Motte, who backstopped his team to a 3-0-1 record in the month while posting a 1.47 goals-against average and .952 saves percentage, was named the Hockey Commissioners' Association National Division 1 Player of the Month for December. A 6-0, 190-pounder from St. Clair, Michigan, Motte push his nation's best record to 14-0-3 on the season as the Bulldogs ran their nation-leading and school-record tying unbeaten streak to 15 games heading into the New Year. Motte surrendered just six goals in four games, with two of those coming on power-plays, stopped 119 of 125 shots on goal, had eight shutout periods and helped the Bulldogs kill 18 of 20 opponent man-advantage opportunities in the month. He gave up just three goals in the final three games of December and was honored as WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time this season on Dec. 17.
Bulldog Olympian: Ferris State University and the Bulldog men's ice hockey program will be represented in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games as former FSU standout Chris Kunitz of the Pittsburgh Penguins was to the official 25-man team roster for defending gold medal champion Canada. The 2014 Winter Olympics will take place Feb. 8-23 in Sochi, Russia, at the Bolshoy Ice Dome and Shayba Arena. A total of 14 countries will compete for Olympic Gold. In Sochi, Canada will be slotted in Group B along with Austria, Norway and Finland. Previously, Kunitz was a member of Canada's squad that won a silver medal at the 2008 World Championships. A member of the Pittsburgh Penguins and two-time Stanley Cup Champion, Kunitz had tallied 47 points on 23 goals and 24 assists in 44 outings to date this campaign at the time of the announcement. He also had four game-winning goals and 11 power-play markers on the year while establishing a +22 plus/minus efficiency rating. He's currently sixth in the NHL in both points and goal scoring this season along with second in power-play goals and plus/minus rating. An NHL First-Team All-Star last season, Kunitz played for FSU from 1999-03 and led the Bulldogs to a CCHA Championship as a senior in 2002-03.
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 next home series for the Bulldogs is Feb. 21-22when FSU entertains Alaska-Anchorage in league action inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.