October 10, 2012

#11 Ferris State Hockey Opens Season At RPI This Weekend

THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:

at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
Friday & Saturday (Oct. 12-13) – 7 p.m. (EDT)
Houston Field House


The Opening Faceoff: 
The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will travel to New York to officially open the 2012-13 regular-season this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-13, against the RPI Engineers at the Houston Field House in Troy, N.Y.  Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) both nights.

Media Coverage: Both games will be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Dominic Hennig calling the play-by-play action and Dan Kowalski offering color commentary.  The broadcast is also accessible online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.  RPI will offer live internet statistics and live video streaming.  All links are available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.

The Records: Ferris State is currently 0-0-0 overall and 0-0-0 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season.  The Bulldogs beat Ryerson University in an exhibition contst on Sunday (Oct. 7) by posting a 8-2 victory at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute currently holds a 0-0-0 overall record this season and plays in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). This past Saturday (Oct. 6), the Engineers registered a 6-2 win over Acadia University in their exhibition game in Troy.

Historic Season: Ferris State won its second CCHA regular-season championship and finished as the national runner-up a year ago.  The Bulldogs claimed the NCAA Midwest Regional title with two victories in Green Bay, Wis., and then topped Union (N.Y.) in the program's first-ever Frozen Four national semifinal game at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.  FSU suffered a 4-1 loss to Boston College in the national championship game on April 7 in Tampa to finish the most historic campaign in school history with a 26-12-1 overall record.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 21st season, 334-362-79 (.482) – (3-0-0-vs. RPI -- 0-0-0 Away, 3-0-0 Home and 0-0-0 Neutral). Daniels has the distinction of being the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State history. He was honored as the Spencer Penrose Award winner as the American Collegiate Hockey Association's (ACHA) Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year in both 2003 and 2012 in addition to claiming CCHA Coach of the Year honors both times. He was among three finalists for both the 2007-08 and 2009-10 CCHA Coach of the Year Awards. Daniels led the Bulldogs to their first-ever appearance at the Frozen Four and second-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship title last season.

RPI – Seth Appert  (Ferris State , 1996), 7th season, 81-122-26 (.424) – (0-2-0 vs. Ferris State – 0-0-0 Home, 0-2-0 Away, and 0-0-0 Neutral). Appert has been with the Engineers since the 2006-07 season. He guided RPI to back-to-back titles in the Governor's Cup Tournament his first two seasons and his squad reached the NCAA Tournament in 2010-11. Appert played under Bob Daniels as a goaltender at Ferris State and was a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs from 1992-96.

Scouting the Engineers:  The Engineers went 12-24-3 under Seth Appert during the 2011-12 season, including a 7-12-3 record in ECAC Hockey play.  RPI shouldered a tough stretch to open the season, but battled back late to make a solid run in the playoffs.  Led by junior defender Nick Bailen - a National Academic All-America selection - Rensselaer posted a 2 games to 1 series win over Clarkson in the First Round of the ECAC Hockey Playoffs.  The Engineers later fell in the ECACH Quarterfinals to area-rival, eventual league champion and Frozen Four participant, Union.  RPI made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 16 years two years ago.

The All-Time Series: Ferris State and Rensselaer will square off for only the fourth and fifth time in a series which the Bulldogs lead 3-0-0. Last season, the Bulldogs swept Rensselaer in a home series at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena by scores of 4-0 (Oct. 14) and 2-0 (Oct. 15). The first contest between the Bulldogs and the Engineers was played on January 23, 1998, with the Bulldogs winning 3-2.  All three previous meetings have been played in Big Rapids at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

CCHA Preseason Polls:  Defending regular-season champion Ferris State was chosen to finish in the top half of the CCHA again this year in the league's annual preseason polls.
The Bulldogs, who advanced to the national championship game at the 2012 Frozen Four, were tabbed to finish fourth by the media and fifth by the coaches from around the conference in 2012-13.  Ferris State received three first-place votes from the media and 626 total points.  The coaches gave FSU 67 points in the voting format.  FSU hopes to build off last season's success this coming year, returning 18 letterwinners, including three of their top five scorers.

Exhibition Review: Ferris State opened its 2012-13 campaign in impressive fashion on Sunday (Oct. 7) with a dominating 8-2 exhibition win over Ryerson University at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. The preseason nationally 11th-ranked Bulldogs poured in three first period goals and cruised past the Rams before an announced crowd of 1,498 fans in Big Rapids. Junior wing Justin DeMartino recorded a hat trick for the Bulldogs in the triumph. Ferris State held a decisive 44-28 edge in total shots.

National Attention: Ferris State is ranked 11th in two seperate college hockey polls this week. The Bulldogs climbed three spots from 14th in the preseason poll to 11th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Division I Poll.  Additionally, FSU held onto its 11th-place preseason ranking in this week's USCHO.com Division I National Poll.  FSU is among six ranked teams in the nation's top 20 from the CCHA.

Team Captain: Senior left wing Kyle Bonis will serve as the Bulldogs' team captain in the 2012-13 campaign. He is the 42nd individual in the program's history to sport the captain's 'C' on his jersey.  Senior center Travis Ouellette and junior defenseman Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) will serve as the Bulldogs' assistant captains.

TV Exposure:  Ferris State will have increased regular-season television exposure this season. The Bulldogs will be featured at least six times this season, including contests on three different networks. The preseason nationally-ranked Bulldogs' televised contests include games on Fox Sports Detroit, Comcast and CBS College Sports Network.  The slate is highlighted by a Feb. 16 home game versus Bowling Green State at the Ewigleben Ice Arena, which will be part of Fox Sports Detroit's "Hockey Day In Michigan" coverage.

Televised Contests: FSU's other major televised contests include games on Dec. 15 at Michigan State (Comcast), Jan. 18 at MSU (FSD), Jan. 25 at Notre Dame (CBS) along with March 1 at Michigan (CBS) and March 2 at Michigan (FSD).  A majority of FSU home contests will also be televised locally by Ferris Television and carried live on the Bulldog Sports Network at FerrisStateBulldogs.com along with tape-delay coverage locally via Charter Cable. Additional television coverage from regional stations is also expected both at home and on the road.

Fixture Behind The Bench: Head coach Bob Daniels, who was named the National Coach of the Year for the second time in 2011-12, embarks on his 21st year behind the Bulldogs' bench in 2012-13 with a school-record 334 career victories.

Tremendous Run: The Bulldogs claimed the school's second CCHA regular-season championship in the last 10 years in 2011-12, won the NCAA Division I Midwest Regional title and reached the national championship game at the NCAA Frozen Four.

First Trip To Frozen Four: Ferris State's best season in school history came to a close in the national championship game at the 2012 Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., with a 26-12-5 overall record. It included a first-ever trip to the Frozen Four and a national runner-up finish. The title game appearance marked the first time in school history any Bulldog team had ever competed in a national championship game.

Successful Stretch: FSU won or tied 19 of its final 23 games of the season and had a nation leading 15-game unbeaten streak in 2011-12 along with a number one national ranking in both polls for two weeks in February. FSU's 26 wins were the second-most in school history.

Not Any Easier: The Bulldogs will follow up the school's most memorable campaign in history with a 34-game schedule in 2012-13 that includes four games apiece versus league in-state rivals Michigan, Michigan State and Western Michigan; at least 15 games against teams that were included in last year's 16-team NCAA Tournament field; and 20 contests involving teams that were featured in last season's final Top 20 national rankings.

Special Holiday Trip: Ferris State's holiday trip to the Florida College Hockey Classic in Estero will feature a rematch of last year's NCAA Division I Midwest Regional Championship game as the Bulldogs take on Cornell in the opener on Dec. 28. Returning NCAA Tournament qualifiers Maine and Minnesota-Duluth are the other two teams in the tournament with the respective losers and winners meeting on Dec. 29.

Nice Anniversary Season: FSU's 35th season of Division I hockey will begin on Oct. 12-13 as the Bulldogs venture to New York to square off for the second consecutive year against Rensselaer, which is guided by Bulldog alum and former assistant coach Seth Appert.

Home-Opening Series: The Bulldogs will play their home-opening series against the Mercyhurst Lakers next weekend, Oct. 19-20, in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs will celebrate their historic national runner-up finish from a year ago by hoisting new banners inside the facility on Friday night prior to the game. Puck drop for both games is set for 7:05 p.m. (ET).  It marks the first of three consecutive home weekends for the Bulldogs.

CCHA Opener: Ferris State opens defense of its CCHA Regular-Season Championship at home on Oct. 26-27 when the Alaska Nanooks make the trek to Michigan for a two-game league set. FSU then plays a third consecutive home series on Nov. 2-3 as the Bulldogs entertain Miami (Ohio) in CCHA action at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

Preseason All-CCHA: A pair of Ferris State University men's ice hockey players earned 2012-13 All-CCHA Preseason Honorable Mention accolades. Bulldog senior forward Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) along with junior defenseman Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) were among the student-athletes receiving preseason recognition as the ninth annual preseason all-conference teams were announced by the league office.

Bonis, who was named to the 2012 Frozen Four All-Tournament Team as the Bulldogs reached the national championship game, placed third among FSU's scoring leaders a season ago with 30 points.  He had a squad second-best 19 goals and added 11 assists in playing all 43 contests.  Bonis' totals included three game-winning goals and four power-play markers.

Meanwhile, Czarnowczan registered two goals and 19 assists for 21 points on the blueline.  He also appeared in 43 games and finished with a team second-best 77 blocks.  He was the recipient of the team's Plus/Minus Award for finishing with a squad-leading +17 figure for the season.

Back In The Mix: A total of 18 letterwinners return for the Bulldogs in 2012-13 off of last year's national finalist team.  While the Bulldogs lost eight players, including two All-Americans in goaltender Taylor Nelson and defenseman Chad Billins, FSU did ink a talented incoming recruiting class featuring eight newcomers.

Season Openers: FSU is presently 12-18-3 (.409) all time in season-opening encounters heading into Friday's opener at RPI The Bulldogs skated to a 4-2 victory over St. Lawrence in last season's opener (10/7) in Canton, N.Y. FSU has won three consecutive season openers to date.

Road Openers: The Bulldogs are 11-19-3 (.379) in road openers dating back to the 1979-80 season, but have won six of their last 12 such outings to date, including last season's win at St. Lawrence.  FSU also posted a 5-1 win the following night (Oct. 8) in last year's season-opening series' at St. Lawrence.

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

2012-13 Bulldog Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2012-13 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 Wednesdays 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.

Purchase In Advance: This season, fans can help the Bulldogs "Celebrate The Legacy" and catch the final year of CCHA action by purchasing tickets in advance for any home contest during the 2012-13 campaign. Fans will be able to save on single-game tickets by purchasing in advance rather than waiting until gameday.  The Bulldogs sold out four of their final five home contests inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena last year.  FSU will become a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) after the 2012-13 season.

Broadcast Coverage: A live video and audio pay-per-view webcast will be available for all 2012-13 FSU men's ice hockey home games through Stretch Internet for a charge of $7.95 on FSU's Athletics Website at 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.

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