Ferris State Hockey Announces Two-Year Scheduling Agreement With Wisconsin; Badgers To Visit Big Rapids In 2015-16

Ferris State Hockey Announces Two-Year Scheduling Agreement With Wisconsin; Badgers To Visit Big Rapids In 2015-16

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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey program will square off against one of college hockey's all-time winningest programs four times over the next two seasons as the Bulldogs have announced a home-and-home scheduling agreement with the University of Wisconsin of the Big Ten Conference.

The Bulldogs and the Badgers will play a pair of contests during both the upcoming 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns. FSU will visit the Kohl Center in Madison (Wis.) to face the Badgers this coming year over the Thanksgiving holiday on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 28-29.

Wisconsin will then pay a return visit to Big Rapids to battle the Bulldogs inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena for the first-time ever the following year on Oct. 23-24, 2015.

"We're excited to face Wisconsin in Madison this coming year and having them return to Big Rapids the following year for the first time will be fun for our fans," said FSU head coach Bob Daniels. "It certainly will be yet another challenge, but we've prided ourselves on facing some of the top teams in the country on a yearly basis and this will be another such foe."

Season ticket packages for the 2014-15 are currently on sale and must be purchased by this Thursday, Aug. 28, at 5 p.m. (ET) with single-game ticket sales beginning soon. For more information on tickets, please call (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

The Bulldogs will open defense of their Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Regular-Season Championship as they begin the 2014-15 campaign and the program's 40th anniversary season in early October. The home opener is set for Saturday, Oct. 4, when FSU hosts the University of Michigan in Big Rapids.

This coming season, the Bulldogs will play at least six contests versus Big Ten Conference members, including the two games versus Wisconsin. FSU's season opener against Michigan on Oct. 4 will take place in Big Rapids and the Bulldogs will also visit Michigan State for a two-game series' on Oct. 31-Nov. 1. Additionally, the Bulldogs will take part in the 50th anniversary of the Great Lakes Invitational on Dec. 28-29 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit and face MSU the first night while potentially meeting Michigan yet again the following day.

FSU and Wisconsin have faced each other four times in series' history with each squad winning twice. All four previous matchups have taken place in Madison with the last a 5-3 Bulldog victory to capture the Badger Hockey Showdown Championship in 2005 (Jan. 1).

Both Ferris State and Wisconsin advanced to the NCAA Tournament this past season and took part in the Midwest Regional in Cincinnati, Ohio. UW fell in its opening game by a 5-2 score to eventual regional champion North Dakota, which pulled out a 2-1 double-overtime win over the Bulldogs the following night to deny FSU its second Frozen Four appearance in three seasons.

The Badgers, who are guided by alum and former National Hockey League (NHL) player Mike Eaves, are now a member of the Big Ten Conference in hockey. They've made 24 NCAA Tournament appearances, advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four 12 times and won six national titles, ranking fourth-best in college hockey history. Prior to joining the newly-formed Big Ten Conference in hockey a year ago, they captured three Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Regular-Season Championships and won the conference tournament 11 times. The program has captured more than 1,100 all-time wins.

"Wisconsin is certainly one of the storied programs in college hockey history, but we've had some great battles with them in the past," Daniels said. "The fact we will play these types of non-conference games against high-quality opponents will help us as we move thru our conference season."

During the 2013-14 season, the Badgers compiled a 24-11-2 overall record and defeated Ohio State 5-4 in overtime in the Big Ten Championship game to reach the NCAA Tournament.

In 2013-14, Ferris State won the WCHA Regular-Season Championship in its debut season, 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 during the regular-season and finished sixth in the final national rankings.

Ferris State was the lone team from the state of Michigan to reach the NCAA Tournament last season 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.