Hockey Notes: #2 Ferris State vs. Bowling Green

FERRIS STATE HOCKEY NOTES:
Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)

vs. Bowling Green State
Friday (March 9) – 7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Saturday (March 10) – 7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Sunday (March 11) – 7:05 p.m. (EDT) - (if necessary)
Ewigleben Ice Arena, Big Rapids, Mich.

Game Day Central 
(Includes media coverage links)

The Opening Faceoff:  The nationally second-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will begin Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Tournament play this weekend as the top-seeded Bulldogs host the eighth-seeded Bowling Green State Falcons in the second round series. Action will get underway on Friday night with game two scheduled for Saturday and game three, if necessary, slated for Sunday.  All three games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (ET) in the best-of-three series at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

Ticket Information: Tickets for this weekend's series are on sale now! All ticket prices and availability are subject to change and available as suppolies last. Tickets can be purchased in advance by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or by visiting the box office during normal business hours. For more information on this weekend's ticket pricing please click here.

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.

Tough To Top At Home: The Bulldogs are unbeaten all-time in CCHA Tournament action at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  FSU has registered a 12-0 mark in postseason league home contests in Big Rapids as a CCHA member heading into this weekend.

What's At Stake: The winner of this weekend's best-of-three series between FSU and Bowling Green State will advance to the CCHA Tournament Semifinals next Friday (March 16) at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Regular-Season Champs! : In a home-and-home series against the Western Michigan Broncos to wrap up the regular-season (Feb. 24-25), the Bulldogs clinched sole possession of the CCHA Regular-Season Trophy. FSU entered the weekend needing to gain only a single point on second place Michigan, which also fell to Bowling Green State 4-3 on Friday night.  FSU moved to 54 points in the standings with the overtime tie to officially claim the crown. Ferris State was able to raise the trophy the following night in front of a packed Ewigleben Ice Arena for the first time since 2002-03 and only the second time in program history.

The Records: Ferris State is presently 22-9-5 overall and 16-7-5-(1) in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season.

Bowling Green currently holds a 12-22-5 overall record and a 5-19-4 record in the CCHA. The Falcons are the lowest seeded team heading into the second-round of the tournament. They most recently upset Northern Michigan by winning games two and three in a tournament first-round series last weekend in Marquette.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 20th season, 330-356-79 (.429) . 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.

Bowling Green State – Chris Bergeron  (Miami, 1993), 2nd season, 22-47-9 (.360) - (0-6-0 vs. Ferris State). After being named the Falcons' seventh head coach in program history on April 12, 2010, Bergeron doubled the team's 2009-10 win total in just one season. Bergeron spent seven years playing professionally after he graduated from Miami (Ohio) before joining the RedHawks coaching staff as an assistant coach in 2007. He collected a cumulative record of 229-141-37 overall for the squad.

The Opponent: BGSU forced three games as they visited the Northern Michigan Wildcats in the first-round of the CCHA tournament last weekend and eventually advanced to the second round. The victory marked the second-straight season that Bowling Green defeated Northern Michigan in the opening round and it was only the second time in the history of the CCHA that an 11th-seeded team won in the opening round to move to the second round.

Freshman Dan DeSalvo finished the first round with five goals, and one assist, including two-goal games in back-to-back nights. The Falcons record is now 12-22-5, which is the first time BGSU has recorded 12 wins since 2008-09.

The All-Time Series:  The Falcons hold a one game edge in the all-time series with a 52-51-20 advantage in addition to a 32-24-5 edge at home. The Bulldogs are 20-27-15 when on home ice. However, the Bulldogs are 9-1-0 in the last 10 outings against BGSU, with their lone 3-1 loss in the stretch coming on Feb. 14, 2009. The Bulldogs have prevailed in 14 of the last 16 meetings to date, which includes a 7-2 road mark.

Ferris State swept four regular-season meetings versus BGSU this season.  The Bulldogs topped the Falcons on the road by scores of 4-0 and 5-3 in November (4-5) before beating Bowling Green State twice in Big Rapids with scores of 5-1 and 4-1 (Feb. 17-18).

National Rankings:  The Bulldogs are ranked as the number two team in the country by two national polls. On Monday, both the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll tabbed Ferris State as the number-two team in the nation.

After being the nation's top-ranked team two weeks ago, Ferris State fell to the third spot last week and then rose to the second spot 904 points in the U.S. College Hockey Online Poll (USCHO). 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. FSU's first-place ranking this season marked the first time in school history the Bulldogs had been regarded as the nation's number one team.

The Bulldogs rose from the third spot to the second spot in the rankings with 443 points in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. 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 as the previous best of fourth also came in 2002-03.

PairWise Ranking: Ferris State is currently at the fifth spot in the PairWise Rankings. The Bulldogs currently have a 26 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 fifth-seeded team among the 16 selected teams that make the field. They are currently behind a three-way second place tie between Michigan, Massachusetts-Lowell, and Minnesota-Duluth, who all hold a 28 PWR. Boston College owns the top spot with a 29 PWR.

Top Ten Goaltending: Senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) has compiled a 17-4-3 record, including three shutouts, and is ranked eighth among NCAA Division I Goaltending Leaders. He has 49 goals against and has a 2.02 goals against average and is tied for 13th with a .926 save percentage. Freshman goaltender CJ Motte (St. Claire) has compiled a 5-5-2 record and is ranked seventh. He has allowed only 24 goals, with a 1.98 goals against average, in 12 games played. Motte has tallied two shutouts.

The Defense: Ferris State is currently ranked third in NCAA Division I Team Defense, allowing only 2.11 goals per game. Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) leads the defense and is tied for second in scoring among the team with 29 points coming from seven goals and 22 assists. Sophomore Scott Czarnowczan has two goals and 15 assists from the blueline. Before the weekend series against Western Michigan, the defensive pair had been on a hot streak with Billins tallying at least a point in each of the previous 12 games, including Friday's 1-1 OT tie with the Broncos. Czarnowczan had tallied one point in each of his seven previous games.

Two Weekends Ago: Ferris State skated to a 1-1 overtime tie (Feb. 24) in Kalamazoo with Western Michigan before dropping the shootout 1-0, after seven rounds. The overtime tie was just what the Bulldogs needed to clinch the CCHA Regular-Season Title.

Jordie Johnston is the scoring leader for the Bulldogs with seventeen goals and tallied the only goal of the weekend for Ferris State. On Friday, senior Chad Billins extended his point streak to 11 games with an assist on the goal.

In the final game of the regular season (Feb. 25) in Big Rapids, the nationally top-ranked Ferris State squad had its nation leading 15-game unbeaten streak snapped in Saturday's 3-0 loss to Western Michigan.

The loss marked only the second home setback for Ferris State in the 2011-12 season with the Broncos responsible for both losses. Earlier this season, the Broncos won in a 4-2 (Dec. 2) decision at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

All We Do Is Win: The Bulldogs were the first team in the nation in the 2011-12 season to reach 22 wins. Before having their streak snapped by Western Michigan in the regular-season finale, the Bulldogs' 15-game unbeaten streak had been tied for the longest streak in program history. FSU had a school-best 15-game unbeaten streak (12-0-3) in the 1990-91 campaign.

Goals, Goals, Goals: The Bulldogs have compiled 54 goals in the second half of the season. Fourteen separate goal scorers have tallied the lamp-lighters. The second line accounts for 35.8% of the goals as they have tallied 19 overall. However, goals are being scored by every line. The top line has tallied 13 goals. The third and fourth lines have contributed a total of 14 tallies. The blue line has chipped in for seven goals.

Nineteen goals have been scored on the power-play. Twenty-two goals have been scored in the third period while 13 have been scored in the first period and 19 in the second.

Top Billin': Chad Billins had tallied at least a point in each contest with four two-point performances in a recent 12-game point streak, which was snapped on Feb. 25. He has racked up six goals and 10 assists since his point-streak started on Jan. 14 against Alaska. In that time, he has scored four power-play goals and two game-winners.  He has averaged 1.36 points per game in the span. Billins is tied for second in the conference in defensive scoring and power-play points.

No Place Like Home: The Bulldogs have compiled a 119-74-26 record (.545) 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 a 14-2-2 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 you Bulldogs to make it to the next phase!

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.

2012 CCHA Championship Weekend:  The 2012 CCHA Championship will be held March 16-17 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. The weekend event commences Thursday, March 15, with the annual CCHA Awards Show at the Fox Theatre from 7:30-9 p.m. (ET). The semifinal contests get underway Friday, March 16, at 4:35 p.m. (ET) and 8:05 p.m. (ET), respectively. The CCHA Championship Game is set for Saturday, March 17, at 7:35 p.m. (ET) preceeded by the CCHA Third-Place game at 3:35 p.m. (ET).

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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