Hockey Notes: #5/6 FSU vs. # 9 Notre Dame

THIS WEEK:

vs. Notre Dame

Friday (Feb. 10) – 7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Compton Family Ice Arena

Saturday (Feb. 11) – 7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Ice Arena, Big Rapids, Mich.

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(Includes all available media links) 

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The Opening Faceoff:  The nationally fifth and sixth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will look to extend their unbeaten streak this weekend as they face off against the ninth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) home-and-home series. The action gets underway this Friday (Feb. 10) in South Bend, Ind., before concluding on Saturday (Feb. 11) in Big Rapids. The two-game league set between the schools marks the second series of the season between the two schools. Both games start at 7:05 p.m. (ET).

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.

Autograph Night: Following Saturday's game, Bulldog junior forward Travis Ouellette, sophomore forward Justin DeMartino and rookie defenseman Simon Denis will be available on the concourse to sign special autograph placards provided by the FSU Copy Center.

On Television: Saturday's game in Big Rapids will be broadcast live by Comcast TV.  Veteran play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard will call the action with Sean Ritchlin serving as color analyst.  Rob Otto will be the sideline reporter.

The Records: Ferris State is presently 18-8-4 overall and 12-6-4-(1) in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. For the second week in a row, the Bulldogs own sole possession of first place in the CCHA with 41 points. Western Michigan is second in the league with 39 points while Michigan is third with 38 points. Notre Dame, Miami (Ohio) and Ohio State are tied for the fourth-place spot with 36 points.

The Bulldogs are currently on a 10-game unbeaten streak (7-0-3), which is the longest unbeaten streak in the country. Last weekend (Feb. 3-4), Ferris State skated to a 5-5 OT tie with the Northern Michigan Wildcats on Friday before falling 1-0 in the shootout. FSU responded with a 3-1 win on Saturday night to come away with four out of six league points at the Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich.

Notre Dame currently holds a 16-11-3 overall record and a 11-8-3 record in the CCHA. The Fighting Irish are in a three-way tie for the fourth place spot in the conference with 36 points. Last weekend, Notre Dame split with last place Bowling Green State. Notre Dame won Friday's tilt 2-1 at home before falling to the Falcons 3-2 in Saturday's contest.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 20th season, 326-357-78 (.476) 29-23-5 vs. Notre Dame – (7-11-1 away, 20-12-4 home and 2-0-0 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.

Notre Dame - Jeff Jackson  (Michigan State University, 1978), 7th season, 157-90-32 (.789) – (29-9-4 vs. Ferris State ) -  Jeff Jackson is the fourth head coach in Notre Dame's 44-year hockey program history. Jackson has guided ND to two CCHA regular-season and conference tournament titles (2007 and 2009). With Jackson behind the bench, the Fighting Irish have made four NCAA tournament appearances and advanced to the Frozen Four in both 2008 and 2011.  Jackson has previously coached at the Division I level with the Lake Superior State Lakers along with coaching in both the OHL and NHL. While with LSSU, Jackson won two NCAA titles (1992 and 1994), two regular-season CCHA championships and four CCHA playoff trophies.

The Opponent:

Sophomore forward TJ Tynan currently leads the conference and comes in at seventh in the nation in overall scoring for Notre Dame. He has tallied 12 goals and 26 assists for a 38-point total. Sophomore forward Anders Lee totes a 14-15-29 scoring line. Their top defenseman is junior Sam Calabrese with three goals and 12 assists. Rookie defender Robbie Russo has tallied four goals and 10 assists from the blueline. The ND roster totals 10 draft picks, including their three top scorers in Tynan, Lee and Riley Sheahan (8-15-23). In between the pipes for most games is junior Mike Johnson, who has recorded a 9-6-3 record thus far this season while averaging 2.54 goals against and a .890 save percentage. Sophomore Steven Summerhays has played in 14 games with a 7-5-0 record to go with a 2.78 GAA and .891 save percentage.

The All-Time Series: Ferris State holds a 40-25-6 all-time series mark against Notre Dame. This includes a 14-12-2 home advantage and a 24-14-4 road record. Since the 2006-07 season, the Bulldogs have compiled a 7-9-1 record against ND. Last season, the Bulldogs were swept at home by 3-2 and 5-2 scores. However, the Bulldogs swept Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., the previous season with 5-2 and 4-2 victories. Earlier this season, the two squads split a home-and-home series with each hosting team posting a 4-1 victory over the other.

National Rankings:  For the second week in a row, FSU is listed sixth nationally in this week's U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) poll with 760 points, including one first place vote. The team climbed two spots to the fifth spot with 347 points in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Division I poll and received a first-place vote as well. The squad is ranked eighth in the Inside College Hockey.com (INCH) rankings, which is a five-spot climb.

The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll is conducted on a weekly basis in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association. The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the six NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the AHCA and USA Hockey Magazine, the most widely distributed hockey magazine in the world.

The sixth-place national ranking in the USCHO poll matches the program's highest of the year as FSU was also ranked in the same position for the October 24, November 14 and November 28 polls. The U.S. College Hockey Online Poll consists of 50 voters encompassing 28 coaches from the NCAA Division I conferences along with 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll is published weekly by the Associated Press.

The historic 2002-03 Bulldog hockey team, which registered a school-record 31-10-1 overall mark and the program's first-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship and NCAA Tournament berth, earned a season-high fourth place national ranking by USCHO late in that memorable season on March 10, 2003.  They were also ranked second in the INCH poll, which is believed to be the program's highest-ranking ever.

PairWise Ranking: Ferris State is currently fourth overall in the PairWise Rankings. Boston University claims the top spot with Massachusetts-Lowell and Michigan tied for second. The PairWise ranking is system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament. Therefore, if the tournament were to start tomorrow, the Bulldogs would be seeded fourth out of the 16 selected teams.

The Goaltending: Freshman goaltender CJ Motte (St. Claire) is currently ranked sixth among NCAA Division I Goaltending Leaders and holds a 5-4-2 record. He has allowed only 22 goals, with a 1.97 goals against average, in 10 games played. Motte has tallied two shutouts and has made 277 saves, for a 13th-ranked .926 save percentage. Senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) has compiled a 13-4-2 record with two shutouts. He has 45 goals against and has a 2.26 goals against average along with boasting a .916 save percentage.

The Defense: Ferris State is currently tied for seventh in NCAA Division I Team Defense and is allowing only 2.30 goals per game. Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) leads the defense and is third in scoring among the team with 22 points coming from six goals and 16 assists. Sophomore Scott Czarnowczan has two goals and 11 assists from the blue line.

Last Weekend: The Ferris State Bulldogs improved their unbeaten streak to 10 games (7-0-3) last weekend as they skated to a 5-5 overtime tie with the Northern Michigan Wildcats on Friday before winning a 3-1 battle in Saturday's contest.

The Bulldogs five-goal output on Friday night matched their season-high for goals in a game as the defensive minded team beat LSSU in a 5-1 decision earlier in the season.

Chad Billins' three-point weekend gives him a current seven-game point streak, which includes five goals and four assists for nine points. Both Scott Czarnowczan and Matthew Kirzinger currently sport three-game point streaks.

Freshman defenseman Simon Denis tallied two assists in Friday's tie. That brings his season total point output to 10 points, matching freshman forward TJ Schlueter's 10-point production thus far this season. Those two rookies lead their class in points.

Jordie Johnston has tallied 27 points thus far this season on 15 goals and 12 assists. Coming into the 2011-12 season, Johnston's career point total was 21 with 10 goals and 11 assists in 93 games played.

Hot Hands: Senior forward Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) has scored at least a point in 10 of the last 11 games while averaging 1.27 points per game since Dec. 30 with a 8-6-14 scoring line. Junior Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) also has had quite the second half as he has tallied four goals and nine assists in 10 games. In the month of January, he did not get on the score sheet in only one game (Jan. 27 vs. MSU).

All We Do Is Win: The Bulldogs are currently in a three-way tie for the second most overall wins in the nation with 18 victories thus far in the 2011-12 season. Ferris State is in good company with third-ranked Minnesota-Duluth and seventh-ranked Massachusets-Lowell each having 18 wins. Minnesota leads the nation with 19 wins while having played 29 games.

No Place Like Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 115-73-26 record (.581) at home since the 2000-01 campaign. Previous to this season, FSU had reached double-figure home win totals in a season on four occasions, which included 15 victories in the 2002-03 (15-4-1) and 2009-10 (15-3-2) campaigns. Thus far this season, the Bulldogs have compiled an 11-1-2 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 Finalist- Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) of the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team has been chosen as a finalist 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 10 finalists were narrowed down from a candidate pool of 20 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 your Bulldogs to make it to the next phase!

Famulak Receives Award:  Ferris State Associate Head Coach Drew Famulak has been honored as the 2012 Terry Flanagan Award recipient as chosen by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA).  The honor goes to one assistant coach across the country each year and recognizes them for their entire body of work.  He will receive the award at the annual convention in April in Naples, Fla. 

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 season (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)

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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