January 23, 2012

Hockey Notes: Ferris State vs. Michigan State

Game Day Central 
FSSU - Coach Daniels
 
MSU Series Preview
  

THIS WEEK:

vs. Michigan State
Friday (Jan. 27) – 7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Saturday (Jan. 28) – 7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Ice Arena—Big Rapids, Mich.

Live Game Statistics:
http://livestats.prestosports.com/ferrisstate/

Radio Broadcast:  Both games will be carried live on the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM.  Visit this link to access the Bulldog Sports Network audio for both games:
http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/ferris.portal

Video Webcast: Both games will be carried via a live audio/video webcast on the Bulldog Sports Network.  The pay-per-view webcast can be found here for both games:
http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/ferris.portal


The Opening Faceoff:
 The nationally 10th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will return to home ice this weekend as they host the nationally 16th-ranked Michigan State Spartans in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 27-28). Both tilts have a 7:05 p.m. (EDT) start time and will be played at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

2011-12 Bulldog Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2011-12 Bulldog home regular-season hockey games can be purchased by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office's normal hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) weekdays. The ticket office will also offer extended hours until 7 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday's throughout the season and be open on hockey home game Saturday's at 12 p.m. (ET).

Single-game tickets may also be purchased by contacting Star Tickets at 1-800-585-3737 or online at Star Tickets website: www.startickets.com. Tickets are also available at all Meijer store locations in West Michigan and at the Student Services Office in the FSU Rankin Student Center.

Media Coverage: A live video and audio webcast will be available for all 2011-12 FSU men's ice hockey home games through Stretch Internet for a charge of $7.95 on FSU's Athletics Website at www. FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Live internet statistics will also be available for all Bulldog home contests with a live audio stream for all home and away games.

The Records: Ferris State is presently 15-8-3 overall and 9-6-3-(1) in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. Last weekend (Jan. 20-21), Ferris State earned five of a possible six points against then fifth-ranked Ohio State on the road at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.  FSU won 4-3 against CCHA leader Ohio State on Friday before skating to a 3-3 overtime tie on Saturday. In Saturday's shootout, FSU's Derek Graham and Kyle Bonis were both successful in their attempts and the team was awarded the extra conference point. FSU is on a current six-game unbeaten streak in which they have posted a 4-0-2 record. The Bulldogs have not had a streak that long since November after a series sweep of Bowling Green and a win and tie in a series against Lake Superior State. Ferris State is currently in fifth place in a tight conference race with 31 points. Ohio State still remains in the top spot with 35 points.

Michigan State currently holds a 13-9-4 overall record and holds a 8-7-3-(2) record in the CCHA. The Spartans are currently eighth in the conference with 29 points. Over the weekend, MSU hosted Lake Superior State. In Friday's game, the Spartans won with a score of 4-2. They then skated to a 2-2 overtime tie on Saturday and the Lakers won the shootout 2-1. In the second half of the season, the Spartans are 2-2-2, being swept by Miami and earning a win and tie with Northern Michigan.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 20th season, 323-357-77 (.476) – (14-36-8 vs. Michigan State – 4-15-5 Home, 9-20-2 away and 1-1-1 neutral). Daniels has the distinction of being the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State history. He was honored as the 2002-03 CCHA Coach of the Year and the Inside College Hockey (INCH) Coach of the Year, but the crowing highlight of his coaching career was being chosen as the recipient of the 2003 Spencer Penrose Award as the ACHA's Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year. He was among three finalists for both the 2007-08 and 2009-10 CCHA Coach of the Year Awards.

Michigan State - Tom Anastos  (Michigan State, 1985), 1st season, 13-9-4 (.500) - Tom Anastos, a Michigan State alumnus who has excelled in the sport of hockey as a player, coach, administrator, and visionary, was appointed to the position of Head Coach of the Michigan State Hockey program on March 23, 2011. Anastos, who previously served as the commissioner of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association for 13 seasons, became just the sixth Michigan State hockey coach in program history and the fourth in the modern era.

The Opponent:

Michigan State's point leader is sophomore forward Lee Reimer, who has totaled 25 points on eight goals and 17 assists. Their top goal scorer, senior forward Mike Merrifield, is sixth on the team in points with eight goals and seven assists. On the blue line, they have junior defenseman Torey Krug, who has totaled 18 points on six goals and 12 assists. Between the pipes for the Spartans are senior Drew Palmisano and sophomore Will Yanakeff who split time. They have each played 13 games with Palmisano holding a 5-5-3 record to Yanakeff's 8-4-1 season record. Yanakeff ranks 16th in the nation for save percentage as he's averaging .924 a game. MSU ranks 18th in team offense, averaging 3.12 goals per game. For special teams, the Spartans have the third-best penalty kill in the nation, killing 84 of 94 opponents' power-plays with an 89.4 percent success rate.

The All-Time Series: Michigan State holds a 67-29-15 all-time series advantage. The Bulldogs are 12-27-8 when having home ice and 16-39-6 when in East Lansing. FSU is 1-1-1 when facing off on neutral ice against the Spartans. Last season, the Bulldogs went 3-1-0 with the Spartans. A season ago, the squads had two home and home series. The first series was split with the Bulldogs shutting out the Spartans 3-0 in East Lansing before MSU won 3-2 when visiting Big Rapids. The Bulldogs then went to East Lansing and won a 1-0 overtime tilt with Chad Billins getting the game-winning goal. On Jan. 27, the Bulldogs won 2-1 at home.

National Rankings: The Bulldogs are currently ranked 10th in the USCHO.com Division I Men's poll with 532 points and moved up after being ranked 13th last week. This marks the first time since Dec. 12 that the Bulldogs have reached the top 10 overall. In the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men' College Hockey Poll, FSU is ranked at 14th with 84 points, which is a two-spot drop from last week's 12th spot ranking. In the INCH.com poll, the Bulldogs came in at 16th, a one-spot rise from last week's ranking. 

The Goaltending Freshman goaltender CJ Motte (St. Claire) is currently ranked ninth among NCAA Division I Goaltending Leaders as he has compiled a 4-4-2 record. He has allowed only 21 goals, with a 2.07 goals against average, in nine games played. Motte has tallied two shutouts and has made 253 saves for a .923 save percentage. Senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) is ranked 21st in goaltending leaders, having a 11-4-1 record, with two shutouts. He has 36 goals against and has a 2.24 goals against average and boasts a .922 save percentage.

The Defense: Ferris State is currently seventh in NCAA Division I Team Defense, averaging 2.27 goals per game. Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) leads the defense with 17 points, coming from three goals and 14 assists. Sophomore Scott Czarnowczan has one goal and nine assists from the blue line.

Key Note: After the series with Ohio State, Ferris State is on a current six-game unbeaten streak, with a 4-0-2 record. The Bulldogs have not lost a game since coming back from two losses at the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup Tournament in Vermont (Dec. 29-30).

Goals and Points: Four Ferris State skaters are on multi-game point streaks. Senior left wing Jordie Johnston lead the way with a seven-game point streak, which includes seven goals and two multi-point outings. Junior center Matthew Kirzinger has tallied at least one point in each of the last six Bulldog outings, including two multi-point games. Senior defenseman Derek Graham and Chad Billins each have tallied a point in the past three games.

Senior Jordie Johnston currently leads the squad in points with 14 goals and nine assists for a 23-point total. His 23-point output thus far in the season exceeds his career points (10-11-21) that he had accumulated before entering the 2011-12 season.

Freshman Simon Denis had helpers on four of Ferris State's goals last weekend. It marks the first multi-point outings for the rookie, who has totaled seven points in 13 games played this season.

Player of the Week: FSU's Simon Denis registered a career-best two assists in each of the Bulldogs' games and blocked a total of three shots last weekend (Jan. 20-21) against Ohio State. The 5-10, 168-pound defender concluded the two-game set with a plus one efficiency rating, and was part of the penalty-kill unit that finished 11-for-12 on the weekend. In Friday's 4-3 victory over OSU, Denis tallied assists on both the first goal of the game and on the eventual game-winning goal. He also blocked a shot. In Saturday's 3-3 overtime tie, the rookie again assisted on the first goal of the game before going on to notch a helper in the Bulldogs' third goal of the game. In that contest, he blocked two Buckeye shots. Denis is the only rookie in the league to receive Defenseman of the Week honors so far this season.

No Place Like Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 113-73-26 record (.581) at home since the 2000-01 campaign.  FSU has reached double-figure home win totals in a season on four occasions, which includes 15 victories in the 2002-03 (15-4-1) and 2009-10 (15-3-2) campaigns. Thus far this season, the Bulldogs have compiled a 9-1-2 record when playing at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

Co-Captains: Senior defensemen Chad Billins (Marysville) and Tommy Hill (Portage) are serving as the Bulldogs' team co-captains in the 2011-12 campaign. They are the 40th and 41st individuals in the program's history to sport the captain's 'C' on their jersey.

Lowe's Senior CLASS Award - Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) of the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team has been chosen as a candidate for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in a recent announcement. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, character, community, and competition. The 20 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists in early February and those 10 individuals will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select the finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of classroom, character, community and competition.

Hobey Baker: Senior goalie Taylor Nelson and senior defender Chad Billins are both currently on a list of 77 college hockey players who are up for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award. Go to www.hobeybakeraward.com and vote for you Bulldogs to make it to the next phase!

All-Star Alumni- The 2012 American Hockey League (AHL) All-Star Classic will have representation from Ferris State University as former Bulldog men's ice hockey player Zach Redmond (Traverse City) has been chosen to play in the midseason contest. Redmond, who played with the Bulldogs from 2007-11, currently skates with the St. John's IceCaps and is among a group of 24 players representing the AHL Eastern Conference All-Star Team. 

CCHA Preseason Polls:  Ferris State was picked to finish ninth in the 2011-12 CCHA Coaches Preseason Poll with 50 points. The Bulldogs received 425 points in the media poll to place tied for seventh among the 11 conference teams. Points were awarded on a 12-11-10-9, etc., basis. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school, in the order they predicted the regular season will end.

TV Exposure:  Ferris State will be making a combined three national and regional appearances on television this season. The Bulldogs made their TV debut on Comcast Television, which showcased FSU at Michigan earlier this year (10/27).  The network will also feature FSU's home matchup against Notre Dame at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids (2/11). FS Detroit (FSD) will feature the Ferris State at Western Michigan game (2/24). Ferris Television has plans to televise all remaining home games live via the Bulldog Sports Network and on a tape-delay basis via Charter Cable in Mecosta County.

On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics' official web site can be found at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com. The site features information on all of FSU's varsity athletics programs including rosters, statistics, yearbooks and more.

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