Team Video Center
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey program, which has won two conference regular-season championships and advanced deep into the NCAA Tournament in two of the last three years, recently added to its incoming recruiting class with the official announcement of three incoming student-athletes for the 2014-15 campaign.
The three recent additions include a pair of Michigan natives in forwards Mitch Maloney (Macomb) and Drew Dorantes (Waterford) along with defenseman Austin Kosack (Oakville, Ontario). They join three others who previously were announced as part of the Bulldogs' fall signing class to form this coming year's six-member freshman class.
The previous signees included forwards Tyler Andrew (Washington, Pa.) and Andrew Mayer (Troy) along with defenseman Tyler Dorantes (Waterford), the brother of Drew Dorantes.
Both Maloney and Kosack, along with all three fall signees, played this past season in the highly-competitive United States Hockey League (USHL), continuing a strong pipeline. The Bulldogs had a total of 16 players from the nation's top junior hockey league on their 2013-14 roster as they won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's (WCHA) MacNaughton Cup Regular-Season Championship and reached the NCAA Elite Eight.
"These three individuals join our previous signees to form yet another impressive recruiting class," said FSU head coach Bob Daniels, a two-time National Coach of the Year and this past season's national runner-up for the award. "We're excited about the potential they bring to our program and we believe they'll play a vital role in our continued success over the next four years."
Maloney joined the USHL's Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in late December of this past campaign. The Macomb native had previously spent a year and a half in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) competing for Port Huron after playing youth hockey in the storied Honeybaked AAU program in Michigan. He compiled 14 points on seven goals and seven assists for Cedar Rapids this season, which included a game-winner, after ranking among the NAHL's top goal scorers prior to the mid-season call up. The 6-0 Maloney netted 18 goals and 11 assists for 29 total points in 31 games for Port Huron prior to moving to Cedar Rapids after posting 20 points on 10 goals and 10 helpers in 53 outings for the Fighting Falcons in 2012-13. Overall, he totaled 49 points in 84 career contests at the NAHL level, including 28 goals in regular-season action.
Meanwhile, Kosack joins the Bulldog program after helping lead the Indiana Ice to the USHL Clark Cup Championship this past year and earning All-USHL Eastern Conference First Team recognition. He registered 29 points in 57 contests for the Ice, which included 26 assists and three goals in regular-season play. One of the league's top defenseman, he then recorded six assists in 12 playoff contests. Previously, he spent two years in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), appearing in 94 regular-season and eight playoff contests for the Burlington Cougars and the Milton Icehawks with six goals and 62 assists for 68 total points. The 5-11 Kosack played minor midget triple A hockey for the Oakville Rangers where he competed in the 2010-11 OHL Cup. This past season, Kosack led the Ice and tied for first overall in the USHL with a +40 plus/minus rating. One of Kosack's Indiana teammates was fellow incoming freshman Tyler Andrew.
Finally, the 5-10 Dorantes joins the Bulldog program after two impressive seasons with the Powell River Kings in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). This past season, he tallied 57 points on 29 goals and 28 assists in 53 games, ranking among the league's top 10 players in goals and game-winners along with the top 25 scoring leaders overall. It came on the heels of a strong 2012-13 campaign in which he netted 33 points on 14 goals and 19 assists in 49 regular-season games before also totaling two points with a goal and an assist in five playoff outings. Before joining Powell, he competed for two seasons in the USHL with the Tri-City Storm, recording 13 assists and six goals for 19 points in 86 games between the 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns. He also played in more than 100 games in the Compuware U18 program in Michigan before climbing to the junior hockey ranks. His brother, Tyler Dorantes, is also a fellow Bulldog incoming product who spent this past year with the USHL's Des Moines Buccaneers and Green Bay Gamblers.
The additions of Maloney, Kosack and Dorantes combined with the previous fall signees will help offset the loss of five seniors who played key roles for the Bulldogs this past year in captain Scott Czarnowczan, Garrett Thompson, Cory Kane, Andy Huff and Justin DeMartino. Together, FSU's five-member senior class compiled the most wins (89) of any four-year class in school history.
"This group of incoming players will help us offset the loss of a class that meant so much to our program," said FSU associate head coach Drew Famulak, who serves as the program's recruiting coordinator. "Our success on the ice and the enviroment we've created within our program have helped us continue to land top talent and find individuals who want to compete for championships."
This past season, the Bulldogs won the WCHA Regular-Season Championship in their debut campaign, reached the WCHA Final Five Championship game and came within a single victory of reaching the NCAA Frozen Four for the second time in three years.
Along the way, FSU set a school-record with a nation-leading 16-game unbeaten streak that stretched from late October to early January and the Bulldogs' 29 total wins led the country and ranked as the second-best seasonal mark in school history. The Bulldogs were ranked as high as second in the nation and boasted the nation's Premier Player of the Year and one of the top 10 Hobey Baker Award finalists in goaltender CJ Motte.
Ferris State was the lone team from the state of Michigan to reach the NCAA Tournament this campaign and one of only two schools from the WCHA along with Minnesota State. The Bulldogs led the WCHA race for the McNaughton Cup from wire-to-wire and became only the third program ever to win both the former CCHA along with the WCHA.
The Bulldogs will open defense of their WCHA Regular-Season Championship as they begin the 2014-15 campaign in early October.