PREVIEW: Ferris State Hockey Faces Lake Superior State In The Soo This Weekend

FSU Hockey
Ferris State at Lake Superior State
Friday & Saturday (Jan. 12-13) - 7:07 pm ET
Television:  WCHA.TV (PPV)
Radio:  97.3 FM WDEE
Stats:  Click Here
Tickets:  Info  |  231-591-2888
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Game Notes (PDF)
Team Video Center


Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team hits the road for another Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) weekend series at Lake Superior State on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 12-13) nights in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

The Bulldogs and Lakers will square off in the league two-game set with both games starting at 7:07 p.m. (ET).

Both games will be aired live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network along with live video coverage at WCHA.TV. Pregame action begins a half-hour prior to puck drop each night and the broadcasts can also be found online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

Bulldog Alum Billins Named to US Olympic Men's Hockey Team
The captain of Ferris State's 2012 Frozen Four Team will represent his country at the 23rd Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea next month, as the Marysville, Michigan native will don the red, white and blue for the United States of America. Billins was an integral part of the 2012-13 American Hockey League Calder Cup Championship team with the Grand Rapids Griffins, tallying 10 goals and 27 assists in 76 regular season games, adding two goals and 12 assists in 24 playoff games for 14 playoff points. As a Bulldog, Billins finished with 17 goals and 50 assists for 67 points in 149 games played from 2008 to 2012. Billins has also played overseas in the KHL with CSKA Moskva, and most recently with Linkoping HC in the SHL, where he has 16 points in 31 games this season. Billins becomes the second former Bulldog hockey player to represent the USA at the Olympics (Jason Blake) and the fifth overall to compete at the Olympics. Chris Kunitz, a four-time Stanley Cup Champion won gold with team Canada in 2014. Bob Nardella (Italy, 1998, 2006), Norm Krumpschmid (Austria, 1998) were the other Ferris State hockey Olympians.

Bulldogs Swept by #19 Bowling Green At Home
Ferris State fell 6-3 after leading 3-2 headed into the third period on Saturday. Despite a stronger effort, the Bulldogs were unable to solve the Falcon defense and fell 3-0 Sunday. Darren Smith made 23 stops on 25 shots faced for a .923 save percentage in his outing against the Falcons on Sunday. Freshman forward Coale Norris picked up two points in the series.

Conference Penalty Kill Strong
Despite a slow start on the kill, Ferris State has been far more effective in conference play killing penalties this season at 86.4 percent, good for third in the league. The Bulldogs traditionally have been a strong, and consistently have gotten better over the course of the season. Ferris State has 70 kills in 81 chances, and has allowed the third least power play goals on the season amongst WCHA teams in conference competition.

Norris Switches Positions With Encouraging Result
Freshman forward Coale Norris has shown glimmers of a future Bulldog star, and the Oxford, Mich. native has a new spot. Having not played center since before his junior career with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies, Norris moved up the middle and earned a pair of assists to lead the Bulldogs in point-scoring for the weekend. He finished with four shots on goal, a blocked shot, and 17 won faceoffs on the weekend. Norris leads Ferris State freshmen in points with nine on four goals and five assists. Norris also leads Ferris State in game-winning goals this season with two, and has a 58.8 percent success rating in the faceoff circle.

Mackin Ends First Half on a High Note
Junior forward and Bulldog Captain Corey Mackin finished the first half of the year on a strong stretch after a slow start to the year. Mackin leads the Bulldogs in points this season, and from Nov. 11 to date, Mackin has 11 points on five goals and six assists in 13 games for Ferris State, and has a game-winning goal to go with a team-high +10 rating. Mackin also has a shorthanded goal and has a 3.18 shots on goal per game average to lead the team. Mackin snagged a power play goal as well in the series opener with BGSU on Sunday.

The Yooper's Least Favorite Dog: Drew Dorantes
Senior forward Drew Dorantes was having a solid season in points, but all but one had come on assists headed into the weekend at Michigan Tech. Dorantes bookended the Bulldog goal scoring on Friday, including the game-winning goal on the power play at 14:52 of the third period for his third goal of the season, and the 4-3 final score. Dorantes has been in on eight game-winning goals vs. upper peninsula teams with six goals and two assists.

Moise Nets First Goal
Ferris State freshman forward Marshall Moise became the final freshman skater to score his first collegiate goal on Saturday vs. BGSU. Moise was left alone in front of the Falcon cage, and fellow freshman forward Coale Norris centered a saucer pass onto Moise's tape, who ripped it low blocker past Eric Dop for his first goal as a Bulldog.

Meet The Lakers
The Lakers opened 2016-17 with a ton of promise and a 6-1-1 start, scoring five or more goals in five of their first eight contests. Since then, the Lakers are 10-32-10. Without several key cogs and their starting goaltender from a year ago, the Lakers are uncharacteristically struggling to score goals (57th of 60 nationally in team offense). Where they had noted gamestealer Gordon Defiel a year ago, Nick Kossoff and Mareks Mitens have been spotty, Kossoff has had a few phenomenal outings, including forcing a 3-3 tie at #1 Denver after making 63 stops as the Lakers were outshot 66-17 in the game. Mitens has just one win on the season and an .885 save percentage to go with a 3.94 goals against average. The Lakers have the 58th nationally ranked team defense as well, as they've struggled to put pucks in the net and keep them out of their own. 2016-17 stars that left included Mitch Hults, who left for the Anaheim Ducks system after a 34-point sophomore campaign, while sniper Luke Morgan transferred to the University of Michigan in
the offseason. Freshman defenseman from 2016-17 Kristofers Bindulis also signed a professional deal with the Washington Capitals. JT Henke had a 30 point campaign in 2016-17 and returns on pace for the same, leading the team at seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points. He has four power play goals this year as a senior. Sophomore Max Humitz has 17 points on 10 goals and seven assists to go with a team-high 52 PIM's. Outside of their six players with 11 or more points, no one else, including Gage Torrel (22 points last season) has more than seven points on the year. Expect a specialty teams battle. The Bulldogs are the 12th most penalized team in the country, while the Lakers are in 14th.

All-Time History vs. Lake Superior State
The Lakers hold a 68-56-15 all-time advantage over Ferris State, but have just one more win than Ferris State since Head Coach Bob Daniels took over the program. The Bulldogs are 7-2-1 in their last 10 meetings with the Lakers, and went 3-0-1 against LSSU last year. The Lakers picked up the extra shootout point in a season finale tie at home with the Bulldogs. Ferris State scored 16 goals in their first three outings against the Lakers last year, including individual games with six and seven goals. Ferris State swept Lake Superior State at home in November before earning four out of six points on the road in February. Ferris State got five goals from seniors in a 6-4 road win on Feb. 24 in the Soo, while Craig Pefley had a four-point outing in the win over the Lakers as a redshirt freshman.

Ahead for Ferris State
Ferris State returns home to take on the now fourth place Bemidji State Beavers on the 19th and 20th of January, and stays in town the following weekend to lock horns with the Michigan Tech Huskies on the 26th and 27th. The Bulldogs have two lengthy February road trips, on Feb. 2-3 at Alaska (Fairbanks), whom the Bulldog swept in Big Rapids earlier this year. Following a bye week, Ferris State plays their final road regular season games at Minnesota State in the third week of February.

Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)