October 24, 2012

#18 Ferris State Hosts Alaska To Open Final Season Of CCHA Play

THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:

vs. Alaska
Friday & Saturday (Oct. 26-27) - 7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Ice Arena


Complete Game Notes
(PDF)

The Opening Faceoff:
The nationally 18th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will open defense of its Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Regular-Season Championship against the Alaska Nanooks this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. Opening faceoff is set for 7:05 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. FSU will provide live internet statistics along with a pay-per-view video stream by Ferris Television.  Both games will be televised live on Fox 7 across the state of Alaska. All links are available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.

The Records: Ferris State is currently 1-1-2 overall and 0-0-0 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season.  The Bulldogs and the Mercyhurst Lakers competed in a non-league series last weekend (Oct 19-20) in which FSU dominated the opener with a victory of 7-3 on Friday night.  Saturday's game finished in a 3-3 tie after a five-minute overtime session before the Lakers won the shootout.

Alaska currently holds an overall record of 2-1-1 along with a 0-0-0 record in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association this season. Last weekend, the Nanooks beat Merrimack by a score 3-2 (Oct. 19) and also posted a 2-1 win against North Dakota (Oct. 20) to win the Brice Alaska Goal Rush Tournament.

Start Of Final League Season: This weekend's action marks the start of the final season of CCHA play as both schools help "Celebrate The Legacy" before becoming members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) next season.

Special Saturday Events: Saturday's series' finale will feature a "Hockey Halloween Party".  Fans can enter the costume contest for $1 and all proceeds will go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Each winner in the Adult, Dawg Pound and Children's Division will receive a $25 gift card.  Additionally, three selected Bulldog players will sign autographs after the game in the concourse.

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, 335-363-81 (.482) – (24-28-4 vs. Alaska -- 11-21-1 Away, 13-7-3 Home and 0-1-0 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.

Alaska - Dallas Ferguson, 5th season, 65-66-25 (.497) – (9-6-6 vs. Ferris State). Dallas Ferguson became the eighth head coach of his alma mater on May 15, 2008, after he served four years as an assistant coach for the Blue and Gold. Ferguson has guided the program to new heights during his first four seasons at the helm. After leading the team to a fourth place finish in the CCHA and capturing the league's Coach of the Year award in 2008-09, he took the Nanooks to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history in 2009-10.


The All-Time Series: Ferris State and Alaska will be facing off for the 62nd and 63rd time this weekend. The Nanooks hold a narrow 29-28-4 all-time series edge over the Bulldogs, but FSU is 15-8-3 against Alaska inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena ..... FSU posted a 2-1-1 overall mark versus Alaska a year ago.  In addition to the tie, two of the games were determined by a single goal with the other a 2-0 win by Alaska in Fairbanks ..... The last 17 meetings between the two teams have been decided by two goals or less.  FSU is 4-10-3 in those contests against Alaska .... FSU head coach Bob Daniels owns a 13-7-3 mark at home against the Nanooks in his head coaching career ..... Ferris State has four wins and a tie in the last six matchups against Alaska.

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.

Mercyhurst Review: Ferris State posted a 7-3 victory over Mercyhurst in its 2012-13 home opener last Friday (Oct. 19) night in front of 1,894 fans at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Junior wing Andy Huff and senior forward Kyle Bonis scored two goals apiece on the evening. Also scoring during the contest was senior center Travis Ouellette, sophomore defensemen Simon Denis in unassisted fashion along with freshman forward Kenny Babinski, who recorded his first collegiate goal. All three Bulldog goaltenders in uniform saw action in the contest with sophomore goaltender CJ Motte saving 10 out of 11 shots in two periods of action.  Freshman Charles Williams saved five shots while playing 12:42 of the third period with junior Rob Granett also seeing his first collegiate regular-season action and saving six out of seven shots. FSU held a decisive 48-24 edge in shots.

Saturday (Oct. 20) night's game ended in a 3-3 overtime tie. Senior wing Eric Alexander was the first to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with his first goal of the season at the end of the first period. Then, only 48 seconds into the second period, junior wing Andy Huff scored his third goal of the season to tie the contest. After Mercyhurst took the lead in the second period, junior wing Justin DeMartino tied the game at 3-3 with his first goal of the season in the final period. Neither the Bulldogs nor the Lakers were able to score during the five-minute overtime session. The lone goal of the shootout was scored by Mercyhurst. The Bulldogs led the shots 42-25 with sophomore goaltender CJ Motte saving a total of 22 shots.

National Attention: Ferris State is ranked 18th in this week's USCHO.com Division I National Poll.  FSU is also listed among others receiving votes just outside of the top 15 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Division 1 poll.

Team Captain: Senior left wing Kyle Bonis is serving 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 will serve as the Bulldogs' assistant captains.

CCHA Player Of Week: Ferris State junior forward Andy Huff picked up this week's Postgame® Offensive Player of the Week honor from the CCHA. Huff had two goals in the Bulldogs' home-opening win over Mercyhurst on Friday (Oct. 19) night at the Ewigleben Ice Arena and added both a goal and an assist in FSU's 3-3 overtime tie against the Lakers on Saturday (Oct. 20) night. On the weekend, Huff finished with a +2 rating and totaled a team-high nine shots on goal as FSU recorded a 1-0-1 mark inside its home facility.  Two of his goals came on the power play while he also had Ferris State's opening goal in Friday night's victory.

Quick Notes:  Both senior center Travis Ouellette and sophomore defenseman Simon Denis tallied three points last weekend with both registering a single goal and two assists.  All six points between the two came Friday night ..... A total of 15 different Bulldog skaters recorded at least one point last weekend with eight recording multiple points.

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 335 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 began on Oct. 12-13 as the Bulldogs ventured 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.  He directed RPI to its first-ever win over the Bulldogs in the season opener.

More Home Action: This weekend is the second of three consecutive home weekends of action for the Bulldogs. FSU celebrated its historic national runner-up finish from a year ago by hoisting new banners inside the facility last weekend versus Mercyhurst.  Next weekend (Nov. 2-3), 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.

Worth Noting: Ferris State was highly-successful at home last season as the Bulldogs won their initial five contests inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena and posted a 6-1-1 mark prior to the holiday break.  FSU finished with a 15-4-2 home record in 2011-12.

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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