PREVIEW: Ferris State Hockey Starts WCHA Action At Home Against Northern Michigan This Week

FSU Hockey
Ferris State vs. Northern Michigan
Friday - Saturday, Oct. 13-14
Television:  WCHA.TV (PPV)
Radio:  97.3 FM WDEE
Stats:  Click Here
Tickets:  Buy Online  |  231-591-2888
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Game Notes (PDF)
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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University opens Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play at home this weekend (Oct. 13-14) as the Bulldogs host the Northern Michigan Wildcats inside FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena. The puck drops both nights at 7:07 p.m. (ET).

Tickets for this weekend's home action are on sale now and can be purchased thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office or online at StarTickets.com. Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for additional information or call (231) 591-2888.

The Bulldog Sports Network and flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM will carry both games live on local radio and online with Harrison Watt and Scott Vander Sloot on the call starting with the Johnson Automotive Pregame Show a half-hour prior to puck drop each day. Live video coverage will also be provided on a pay-per-view basis thru WCHA.TV in conjunction with Ferris State Television.

Dawgs top #20 Broncos in Home Opener
A diving goal by freshman forward Coale Norris sealed what was Ferris State's first victory over their former conference foe Western Michigan since March 4, 2011. Ferris State had two point nights from senior forwards Drew Dorantes and Mitch Maloney as the Bulldogs bounced back from an opening night loss at Western Michigan. In goal, junior goaltender Darren Smith made 37 stops on 39 shots to preserve the 3-2 Bulldog lead, including several on a late Bronco power play. A night after the Broncos scored four times on the power play, Ferris State held the Broncos scoreless on eight of nine power play attempts in the winning effort. With the win, Ferris State sets up to take on the Northern Michigan Wildcats in conference play.

Dawgs return to WCHA play vs. Wildcats
After meeting six times, during which Ferris State held a 4-2-0 edge, from December 2015-October 2016, the Dogs and Cats link up for their first meeting in 51 weeks. Ferris State took a loss on Friday (Oct. 21, 2016) but rebounded with a shootout win following a 2-2 tie to cap the weekend. Despite their early season struggles, Ferris State found the back of the net with regularity over the series, as the nation's hottest goaltender in the second half of the season Atte Tolvanen finished the weekend with an .892 save percentage in net. 

All-Time History vs. Northern Michigan
Ferris State sports a 30-54-6 all-time record vs. Northern Michigan through 90 prior meetings. The Bulldogs recently have gone back-and-forth with the Wildcats, and the two met in the first round of the WCHA playoffs at Ewigleben Ice Arena where Ferris State came away with a first round sweep. The last meeting was an Oct. 22 2-2 tie, that the Bulldogs ended up gaining an extra point in with a Craig Pefley shootout winner.

More Puppy Power: The Freshmen impress on opening weekend
While Norris netted a game-winning goal in just his second collegiate outing, the freshmen that played on opening weekend had a strong showing, to open the 2017-18 season. Seeing power play, penalty kill and regular even strength shifts, forward Lucas Finner had an assist in each game, including on the Norris game-winner in Saturday's game. Finner was also well over 50 percent int he face-off circle. Marshall Moise also played in both contests and saw first line duties in the second game as well as special teams time on ice.

Smith Backstops Freshman Year-Like Start
College Hockey news named Darren Smith to the All-NCAA Rookie Team following his 2015-16 freshmen campaign in which the Barrie, Ontario native backstopped the Bulldogs to a Broadmoor Trophy. Smith tied for the team record in shutouts by a freshman, and has the only NCAA Tournament victory by a freshman in program history. His sophomore season, despite some solid stretches, did not yield those same results. In his first start of the 2017-18 season, Smith rounded into the form that Bulldog fans had seen in his inaugural season on campus, making 37 stops on 39 shots. Ferris State took a late five-minute major, and Smith allowed a puck to squeak through just ten seconds into the power play. Smith responded with glove stops, sprawling pad saves as time wound down, before time expired. 

Spreading the Wealth
Ferris State's victory over Western Michigan came with some scoring by committee. Seven different Bulldogs got on the score sheet for Ferris State's three goals. Senior forwards Mitch Maloney and Drew Dorantes each had a goal and an assist on the night, but some other characters popped up over the course of the weekend. Senior defenseman Tyler Dorantes netted his second collegiate goal in the season opener at Western  Michigan, and also added an assist on Maloney's Saturday night goal. Freshman forward Lucas Finner earned an assist in each of Ferris State's two games, while fellow freshman Coale Norris earned his first collegiate and first game-winning goal on Saturday night. Junior forwards and Pennsylvania natives Corey Mackin and Trevor Recktenwald each chipped in an assist for the Bulldogs.

Month-Long Road Trip lies Beyond NMU
Ferris State will hit the road for six games between Oct. 20-Nov. 3, with four of the non-conference variety. The Bulldogs first hit the road to take on the Mercyhurst Lakers, whom they haven't seen in five years to the day on Oct. 20. Ferris State had a win and a tie (7-3, 3-3) in a home weekend series agains the Lakers on Oct. 19-20, 2012. The Bulldogs return to conference play when they head out to Bemidji State to spend the final weekend of October in Minnesota for the second consecutive year, when they take on defending MacNaughton Cup Champion Bemidji State on Oct. 27-28, whom Ferris State split with last season in Bemidji. Ferris State wraps up their road trip with a Nov. 2-3 date with the University of Michigan Wolverines and two-time WCHA Coach of the Year from Michigan Tech, Mel Pearson. The trip to Yost represents Ferris State's second to last non-conference weekend of the season.

Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)