December 12, 2012

#19 Bulldogs Visit Michigan State On Saturday

THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:

at Michigan State
Saturday (Dec. 15) - 5:05 p.m. (EDT)
Munn Ice Arena

Complete Game Notes (PDF)


The Opening Faceoff:
The nationally 19th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will square off against the unranked Michigan State Spartans this Saturday (Dec. 15) in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) action at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. Opening faceoff is set for 5:05 p.m. (ET). Saturday's contest represents the first of four scheduled matchups between the Bulldogs and Spartans this campaign and it will be televised by Comcast.  

Media Coverage: The contest 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 7-6-3 overall and 6-5-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. The Bulldogs were unable to capture a victory against seventh-ranked Western Michigan last weekend as they dropped Friday (Dec. 7) night's game by a score of 4-2 before falling on Saturday (Dec. 8) night by a score of 2-1 in Kalamazoo.  FSU currently has 19 points and is fifth in the CCHA standings to date, but only four points out of third place.

Michigan State holds an overall record of 4-10-2 along with a 3-8-1 record in the CCHA this season. The Spartans were swept on the road at Notre Dame last weekend (Dec. 7-8) as they fell 3-2 on Friday (Dec. 7) along with 5-1 on Saturday (Dec. 8) in South Bend, Ind. MSU has registered league wins over Michigan, Bowling Green and Lake Superior State to date this season, but is winless in its last six outings to date (0-5-1).

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, 341-368-82 (.483) – (16-36-8 vs. Michigan State – 6-15-5 Home, 9-20-2 away and 1-1-1 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.

Michigan State - Tom Anastos (Michigan State, 1985), 2nd season, 19-16-4 (.500) - Tom Anastos, a Michigan State alumnus who has excelled in the sport of hockey as a player, coach, administrator, and visionary, was appointed to the position of Head Coach of the Michigan State Hockey program on March 23, 2011. Anastos, who previously served as the commissioner of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association for 13 seasons, became just the sixth Michigan State hockey coach in program history and the fourth in the modern era. Last season, the Spartans received a NCAA berth and made its first trip to the national tournament since 2008. Anastos has been recognized as one of the most influential and powerful people in the sport of hockey by The Hockey News in the past five out of six years.

All-Time Series Notes: Michigan State holds a 67-31-15 all-time series advantage. The Bulldogs are 14-27-8 when having home ice and 16-39-6 when in East Lansing. FSU is 1-1-1 when facing off on neutral ice against the Spartans ...... Ferris State swept Michigan State a year ago in Big Rapids by scores of 2-1 and 4-3 (Jan. 27-28).  It marked FSU's first weekend sweep over the Spartans since 1990 and was the first-time ever the Bulldogs had recorded two wins over the Spartans in the same weekend in Big Rapids ..... The Bulldogs posted a 3-1 mark against the Spartans in 2010-11 and have currently won five of the last six matchups overall.  Two of FSU's three wins two years ago over MSU came in East Lansing.

Looking Back To Last Year: A year ago, the Bulldogs swept two games over the Spartans at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids.  Ferris State came out with a 2-1 win on Friday (Jan. 27) before posting a 4-3 victory on Saturday (Jan. 28). FSU returns eight players who registered at least one point against the Spartans last season. A year ago, the second-night win pushed the Bulldogs into solo possession of first place in the CCHA.

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.

Western Michigan Review: Ferris State was swept for the first time this season against the Western Michigan Broncos last weekend.  FSU fell to the Broncos by a score of 4-2 on Friday (Dec. 7) in the opening game in Kalamazoo. After the Broncos struck first 14:36 into the contest, Bulldog junior wing Garrett Thompson tied up the game as he posted his fifth goal of the campaign with 2:59 to play in the period. Then, after Western took a 2-1 lead halfway through the second stanza, senior center Travis Ouellette tied the contest again at 2-2 by registering his fourth goal of the year at 13:59 of the second. However, Western took a 3-2 lead late in the second before securing the 4-2 victory with the last goal in the final minute of the third period.  Bulldog sophomore goaltender CJ Motte was in net for the entire 60 minutes and recorded 28 saves on the night. Western Michigan outshot the Bulldogs by a count of 32-15.

On Saturday (Dec. 8) night, after a scoreless first period, junior wing Garrett Thompson opened the scoring at 8:21 of the second period when he notched his second goal of the weekend and sixth of the season. The score stooed up until late in the third period when he Broncos were able to earn a 2-1 win by scoring twice in the final five minutes of the contest with both coming on the power play. CJ Motte played the entire 60 minutes and totaled 33 saves on the night in net for the Bulldogs. The Broncos led the shots 35-26 overall.

Weekend Notebook: The Bulldogs were riding a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) prior to the two close losses in Kalamazoo last weekend ...... Junior wing Garrett Thompson had a hand in all three of FSU's goals last weekend as he recorded two goals and assisted on another ….. Sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley earned two points on the weekend by assisting both goals scored on Friday (Dec. 7) …… Five Bulldogs earned at least one point out of the three goals scored ...... Last weekend marked the first time the Bulldogs had been swept in a weekend series by the same team since the Broncos beat FSU in a home-and-home series last year in early December (2-3).

National Attention: Ferris State is ranked 19th in this week's USCHO.com Division I National Poll.  FSU is also listed among others receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.  FSU has been ranked in the USCHO.com poll for 34 consecutive weeks dating back to early last season.

Quick Notes:  The Spartans will depart for the Big Ten Hockey Conference 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 in Big Rapids on Jan. 5. The final two contests between the two teams as CCHA members will be in a home-and-home series Jan. 18 at the Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing and Jan. 19 in Big Rapids.

Important Fact: Bulldog junior Garrett Thompson has registered nine points in his last six outings after totaling only three points in the initial 10 contests of the season.  Four of his six goals this year have also came during the six-game stretch.

Senior CLASS Award:  Ferris State senior wing Kyle Bonis is among 20 candidates for this year's prestigious Senior CLASS Award, which honors men's ice hockey student-athletes who excel both on and off the ice. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

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 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 are serving 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, is midst 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 recruiting class featuring eight newcomers and all have seen action this season.

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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