Game Day Central
Big Rapids, Mich. – For the second week in a row, the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team is ranked first in the nation in three separate college hockey polls released today (Feb. 20) after sweeping Bowling Green State this past weekend (Feb. 17-18) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Last week, FSU received its first-ever number one national ranking in the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO), USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and Inside College Hockey.com (INCH) polls. The Bulldogs remain atop all three polls yet again this week.
This week, the Bulldogs tallied 979 points and collected 36 first place votes in earning the top spot in the U.S. College Hockey Online Poll. The USCHO 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. Last week, the Bulldogs were awarded with 940 points and had compiled 27 first place votes.
Ferris State is only the 19th team to hold the top-ranked spot in the USCHO.com poll since its inception in the 1997-98 season. It also marks the highest-ranking ever for the Bulldog hockey program. 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 then program-best fourth place national ranking by USCHO late in that memorable season on March 10, 2003.
The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll has also recognized the Bulldogs as the number one team again this week with 28 first place votes.. 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 first-place ranking is the highest the Bulldogs have been in the poll in the program's history.
FSU also stayed put at the top spot in the Inside College Hockey.com poll this week. Inside College Hockey.com's Poll is generated through Inside College Hockey editors and staff. FSU had previously recorded a program-high number two ranking in the INCH poll in 2002-03.
Ferris State is currently at the fourth spot in the PairWise Rankings. The Bulldogs currently have a 28 PairWise Ranking (PWR). The PairWise ranking is a system which attempts to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine participants for the NCAA Division I Tournament. Therefore, if the tournament were to start tomorrow, the Bulldogs would be the fourth-seeded team among the 16 selected teams that make the field. They are right behind Michigan and Massachusetts-Lowell, who are tied for second with a 29 PWR. Boston College holds the top spot with a 31 PWR.
The Bulldogs presently are atop the CCHA with 53 points in the standings this season and FSU is the first team in the nation to record 22 wins on the year with a 22-8-4 overall mark to date. This past weekend, the Bulldogs claimed at least a share of the CCHA Regular-Season Championship and lead second-place Michigan by six points in the league standings. They need to gain only one more point on the Wolverines this week to claim the outright crown.
FSU currently holds the nation's longest current unbeaten streak at 14 games with a 11-0-3 mark to date since the New Year began. According to the computerized ranking system that changes with each game, KRACH, Ferris State has the 12th-toughest schedule in the nation.
The Bulldogs are back in action this weekend (Feb. 24-25) as they close out the regular-season with a home-and-home series against the Western Michigan Broncos in CCHA action. The two-game series opens Friday night in Kalamazoo before the two teams face-off at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids on Saturday. Both games have a 7:05 p.m. (EDT) start time. Saturday's game at home is SOLD OUT!
Friday's contest in Kalamazoo will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Detroit and the broadcast will be carried live nationally on Fox College Sports Atlantic. Saturday's game in Big Rapids will be "Senior Night" as FSU honors eight seniors prior to their final regular-season home tilts.
The Bulldogs have clinched a bye for the first round of the upcoming CCHA Tournament and will host a second-round playoff best-of-three series March 9-11 in Big Rapids. Ticket information will be available soon and fans are encouraged to check the FSU Athletics Website at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for updated information as it becomes available.