December 5, 2012

#16 Bulldogs Visit Western Michigan This Weekend

THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:

at Western Michigan
Friday & Saturday (Dec. 7-8) - 7:05 p.m. (EDT)
Lawson Ice Arena

Complete Game Notes (PDF)


The Opening Faceoff:
The nationally 16th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will square off against the seventh-ranked Western Michigan Broncos this Friday and Saturday (Dec. 7-8) in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) action at the Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich. 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. Live internet statistics along with a pay-per-view video stream will also be available.  All links are available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.

The Records: Ferris State is currently 7-4-3 overall and 6-3-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. Ferris State captured four of a possible six points in its weekend series against Michigan last week at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  FSU captured a 5-0 victory over the Wolverines on Friday night (Nov. 30) in the opener and came back to force a 3-3 overtime tie against UM in Saturday's finale (Dec. 1) before falling in the shootout.  The Bulldogs were attempting to sweep Michigan for the first time in a weekend series since 1985.The Bulldogs are currently only three points behind league leader Miami (Ohio) in the CCHA standings and one of only four teams with six or more league wins to date this campaign.

Western Michigan holds an overall record of 8-3-1 along with a 5-2-1 (1) record in the CCHA this season. The Broncos swept visiting Northern Michigan last weekend (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) by posting a 4-2 win on Friday before recording a 1-0 shutout on Saturday. WMU has also registered wins against Alaska, Bowling Green State and Notre Dame in CCHA play to date this season.

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, 341-366-82 (.484) – (22-31-4 vs. WMU – 10-21-2 away, 12-9-2 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.

Western Michigan - Andy Murray (Brandon University, 1972), 2nd season -  Andy Murray was announced as the sixth head coach in the history of the Western Michigan men's ice hockey program on July 26, 2011. Murray came to WMU with an extensive resume earned at the highest level of professional hockey. He is one of only 39 coaches in NHL history to reach 300 wins. Murray has 10 years of NHL head coaching experience, spending six seasons at the helm of the Los Angeles Kings and four with the St. Louis Blues. Murray is the Kings' All-Time franchise leader in wins with 215 and led Los Angeles to three 90-point seasons in his tenure. In his first season with the Broncos, he led them to their second CCHA Tournament Championship and also coached Western to its second-straight and fifth overall NCAA Tournament appearance.

All-Time Series Notes: Ferris State holds a 51-71-12 all-time series record against Western Michigan. This includes a 30-27-6 home advantage and a 20-40-6 road mark ... Western Michigan posted a 3-0-1 mark against the Bulldogs last season with two wins in Big Rapids and another at home ... FSU's lone point last season against the Broncos came in a 1-1 overtime tie at Lawson Ice Arena on Feb. 24.  The single point enabled the Bulldogs to officially claim the CCHA Regular-Season crown on the final weekend of conference play. The conference championship was the first for the Bulldogs since the 2002-03 season.

Looking Back To Last Year: Last season, the Broncos swept the Bulldogs in a home-and-home series in early December (12/2-3) by scores of 4-2 in Big rapids and 3-0 in Kalamazoo. On the final weekend of regular-season action, the two teams tied 1-1 in Kalamazoo (2/24) before Western Michigan recorded a 3-0 win in Big Rapids (2/25).

CCHA Preseason Polls: 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.

Michigan Review: Ferris State completed its first shutout against Michigan since Oct. 30, 2004, last Friday (Nov. 30) with a 5-0 win in Big Rapids. Sophomore defenseman Simon Denis opened the Bulldog scoring on the power play early in the second period as he registered his third goal of the season. Late in the second period, senior wing Eric Alexander picked up the second power-play goal of the night to give FSU a two-goal lead. Soon after, freshman wing Matt Robertson registered his first collegiate goal. Early in the third period, freshman wing Dakota Klecha tallied his second goal of the season. Then, late in the third period, junior wing Garrett Thompson scored the fifth and final goal of the evening. Sophomore goaltender CJ Motte was in net for the entire 60 minutes, recording his second shutout of the season by saving 27 shots. The Bulldogs and Wolverines were tied at 27 shots apiece for the game.

Saturday (Dec. 1) night's game completed the Bulldogs' first tie against the Wolverines since Oct. 29, 2010. Sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley notched the Bulldogs' first goal of the evening just 42 seconds into the opening period. After UM answered with three-straight goals, FSU senior wing Kyle Bonis then recorded a goal in both the second and third periods, which marked his seventh and eighth goals in the campaign. Both teams were held scoreless in the five-minute sudden-death overtime. Junior center Cory Kane and senior center Travis Ouellette both recorded a shootout goal before Michigan was able to secure the extra point in the fourth round. CJ Motte played the entire 65 minutes and totaled 39 saves on the night in net for the Bulldogs.

Weekend Notebook: FSU's eight goals on the weekend were registered by seven different individuals.  Senior wing Kyle Bonis was the lone player to notch two goals and those were the final two in Saturday's contest as FSU came back from a 3-1 deficit to record the tie ..... Ferris State totaled 14 assists on the weekend with four individuals notching two apiece.  A total of 10 players had at least one assist and 14 different players produced points with either a goal or an assist on the weekend ...... Saturday's tie came before a sellout crowd of 2,490 fans at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  A near-sellout was on hand Friday night as 2,196 fans witnessed FSU's shutout victory over the Wolverines ....... Two of Ferris State's five goals on Friday night consisted of all-freshmen scoring as both goals were scored by rookies and both assists on each goal also came from first-year players ..... Senior forward Eric Alexander returned to the Bulldog lineup and notched FSU's second goal on Friday night after missing five games with an injury.

National Attention: Ferris State is ranked 16th in this week's USCHO.com Division I National Poll.  FSU is also listed as the top team among others receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.  FSU has been ranked in the USCHO.com poll for 33 consecutive weeks dating back to early last season.

Quick Notes: This weekend's visit marks the Bulldogs' final trip to Lawson Ice Arena as a CCHA member.  The Broncos will depart for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) next season while FSU will become a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) ..... The two teams will meet again at the Ewigleben Ice Arena later in the season on Feb. 1-2 for the final time as CCHA members ....... Last Saturday's home contest was FSU's final game inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena in the 2012 calendar year.  The Bulldogs' next home game is not until Saturday, Jan. 5, when they host the Michigan State Spartans at 5:05 p.m. (ET) ...... FSU visits Michigan State for a single game next Saturday, Dec. 15, at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing.

CCHA Player Of Week: Ferris State junior forward Andy Huff picked up the CCHA Postgame® Offensive Player of the Week honor from the CCHA following FSU's series versus Mercyhurst (Oct. 19-20) earlier this year.  Meanwhile, senior Kyle Bonis claimed the same distinction two weeks ago after the Bulldogs' sweep against Bowling Green State (Nov. 16-17).

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.

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 and now owns a school-record 341 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 are following 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.

Close Of Homestand: FSU's Nov. 2-3 weekend series' with Miami completed a six-game homestand for the Bulldogs. FSU celebrated its historic national runner-up finish from a year ago by hoisting new banners inside the facility versus Mercyhurst (Oct. 19-20) before hosting Alaska to open league play (Oct. 26-27).  Ferris State is midst a stretch of seven of nine league contests on the road.

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.

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