THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:
Friday, Dec. 28 - vs. Cornell, 4:05 p.m. (ET)
Saturday, Dec. 29 - vs. Maine/Minn.-Duluth, 4:05/7:35 p.m.
Germain Arena - Estero, Fla.
Live Bulldog Sports Network Audio Broadcast
Live Facebook Scoring Updates
Live Twitter Scoring Updates
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
The Opening Faceoff: The nationally 19th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will head South over the holiday break to take part in the Florida College Hockey Classic on Dec. 28-29 at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla. FSU will square off against 11th-ranked Cornell in the opening game, which will be a rematch of last year's NCAA Division I Midwest Regional Championship game won by the Bulldogs in Green Bay, Wis. Opening faceoff is set for 4:05 p.m. (ET).
More On The Event: Maine and Minnesota-Duluth take part in the second game at 7:35 p.m. (ET) with the consolation and championship games to be held on Friday, Dec. 29, at 4:05 and 7:35 p.m., respectively. This year marks the Bulldogs' first-ever appearance in the Florida College Hockey Classic, which will be played at the home of professional hockey's Florida Everblades. All four teams in the Florida College Hockey Classic field advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
Media Coverage: Both Ferris State contests will be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Dominic Hennig calling the play-by-play action. The broadcast is accessible online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Live internet statistics will also be available. All links will be made available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.
The Records: Ferris State is currently 7-7-3 overall and 6-6-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. The Bulldogs fell to unranked Michigan State last Saturday (Dec. 15) with a 3-1 setback in their lone game of the week at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. FSU currently has 19 points and is sixth in the CCHA standings to date, but only seven points out of third place. FSU has dropped three-straight games for the first time this season.
Cornell holds an overall record of 6-3-2 along with a 3-3-2 mark in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) this season. The Big Red, who have not played since Dec. 1, posted identical 3-1 wins against both Clarkson University and St. Lawrence in their most recent action (Nov. 30-Dec. 1) at home in Ithaca, N.Y. Those two wins came on the heels of a 5-1 victory over Michigan (Nov. 24) at Madison Square Garden in The Frozen Apple as Cornell has won three-straight games.
Maine currently holds an overall record of 2-11-2 along with a 1-7-2 mark in Hockey East action this season heading into the Florida College Hockey Classic. The only conference win for the Black Bears came against UMass-Lowell (Nov. 10) when they posted a 4-3 triumph. They have lost or tied their last four contests since that victory and have not played since Dec. 8 entering the event.
Minnesota-Duluth holds a current overall record of 7-8-3 along with a 5-6-3 record in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) going into the event. Their most recent win came against Alaska-Anchorage when they registered their first sweep of the season by posting a 5-1 win on Friday (Dec. 14) and a 2-1 win on Saturday (Dec. 15).
The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 21st season, 341-369-82 (.482) – (3-1-0 vs. Cornell University – 1-0-0 Home, 1-1-0 away and 1-0-0 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.
Cornell - Mike Schafer (Cornell University), 18th season, 338-185-65. Schafer, the 12th head coach at Cornell is the winningest coach in Cornell University history. He has guided the Big Red to the NCAA tournament nine times, including a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four Tournament in 2002-03. He has claimed five Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Hockey tournament titles and has led the Big Red to three regular season championships. Schafter is a three-time finalist for the Spencer T. Penrose Award. He's only the second coach to lead Cornell to over 200 wins.
Maine - Tim Whitehead (Hamilton, 1985), 11th season, 218-149-45. He has led the Black Bears to the NCAA Tournament six times, making four appearances at the Frozen Four. He has reached the National Championship Game twice and won a Hockey East Tournament Championship.
Minnesota Duluth - Scott Sandelin (North Dakota), 224-218-59. He has led the Bulldogs to three NCAA Tournaments and our berths in the WCHA Final Five. They captured the 2011 National Championship at the Frozen Four. He won the Spencer Penrose Award as the National Coach of the Year in 2004. He played seven years of professional hockey with the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, and the Minnesota North Stars.
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.
All-Time Series Notes: Ferris State holds a 3-1 all-time mark against Cornell heading into the Dec. 28 matchup. The first three meetings all took place between 1996 and 1998. The lone neutral site meeting came last year (March 24) in the Midwest Regional at the Resch Center in Green Bay. The Bulldogs registered a 2-1 win to claim the regional crown and the berth in the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time in school history ...... FSU is 1-1 all-time versus Maine and 0-4-1 against Minnesota-Duluth. The Bulldogs have not faced Maine since 1993 and last played Minnesota-Duluth in 1995 ..... In 1993 (Dec. 18-19), Maine posted a 5-3 series-opening win over FSU that was later forfeited. FSU bounced back for a 5-3 win the following night .... Minnesota-Duluth and Ferris State competed against each other five times between 1980 and 1995. The two teams tied 5-5 in the 1980 encounter, but UMD has won by at least two goals in the last four matchups.
Looking Back To Last Year: A year ago, the Bulldogs recorded a 2-1 win over Cornell at the NCAA Midwest Regional held inside the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis. Current junior wing Garrett Thompson tallied a goal against the Big Red while junior center Cory Kane and junior wing Andy Huff both earned assists as FSU reached the Frozen Four for the first time.
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 State Review: Ferris State fell to Michigan State in CCHA play last Saturday (Dec. 15) by a 3-1 count inside the Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing. After the Spartans scored the first goal of the evening, Bulldog defenseman Jason Binkley tied the game 1-1 late in the second period with his second goal of the year. The Spartans were then able to add two more goals in the third period to seal the victory. Bulldog goaltender CJ Motte totaled 19 saves in the setback for Ferris State. The Bulldogs led the shots by a slim count of 24-22 on the night.
Weekend Notebook: Sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley scored the Bulldogs' lone goal against the Spartans last Saturday (Dec. 15), which was his second marker of the season. Junior center Cory Kane and sophomore wing TJ Schlueter both earned their fifth assists of the season on the goal.
National Attention: Ferris State is still ranked 19th in this week's USCHO.com Division I National Poll. FSU has also been listed among others receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll most of the season. Overall, FSU has been ranked in the USCHO.com poll for 35 consecutive weeks dating back to early last season.
Quick Notes: Ferris State will become a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) for the 2013-14 campaign ..... The Bulldogs will resume CCHA play on Saturday, Jan. 5, versus Michigan State with faceoff set for 5:05 p.m. (ET) inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
Holiday Break Hours: Due to the holiday break, the FSU Athletics Ticket Office will close at 5 p.m. (ET) on Friday, Dec. 21. The ticket office inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex will reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 9 a.m. (ET). However, during the holiday break, fans can still purchase tickets in advance 24 hours a day, seven days a week thru Star Tickets by calling 1-800-585-3737 or by visiting StarTickets.com. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office will resume normal business hours on Jan. 2. In addition to reopening on Wednesday, Jan. 2, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., the FSU Athletics Ticket Office will also hold extended hours on Thursday, Jan. 3, until 8:30 p.m.
Coming Up Next: Following the Florida College Hockey Classic, the Bulldogs will host Michigan State in their first contest of the New Year on Saturday, Jan. 5, with faceoff set for 5:05 p.m. (ET) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Tickets for the premium contest are $17 in advance or $19 if bought on gameday. The contest will wrap up a tripleheader inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex as the Bulldog men's and women's basketball teams host Walsh in league play across the hall inside Jim Wink Arena starting at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.
Former Bulldog Pat Nagle: Former Bulldog All-America goaltender Pat Nagle, who completed his eligibility as a senior during the 2010-11 campaign, was a member of the Florida Everblades, who play inside Germain Arena, until being recalled on Thursday (Dec. 20) by their American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. Nagle, 25, had posted a 5-5-0-1 record in 12 games with the Everblades this season, recording a 3.47 GAA and a .887 save percentage. The 6-1, 180-pound goaltender appeared in 39 games last season with Florida, earning a record of 20-14-3, with a 2.87 GAA and .905 save percentage. The Bloomfield, Mich., native appeared in six playoff games, recording a 1.42 GAA and .941 save percentage to help lead the 'Blades to a 2012 Kelly Cup Championship last spring.
Important Fact: Bulldog junior Garrett Thompson has registered nine points in his last seven 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 seven-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.
Ferris State "At The Half" Notebook
Junior wing Garrett Thompson currently has 12 points on six goals and six assists at the holiday break this season. A year ago, he had totaled only seven points with just three goals at the mid-point of the year.
Junior forward Justin DeMartino did not register a point in FSU's first half last season, but presently ranks sixth on the team in scoring with 10 points on three goals and seven assists to date. Junior Cory Kane had four points at this point a year ago, but is now tied for third this season in scoring with 11 points to date.
FSU's current 6-6-1 mark in CCHA action is comparable to a year ago when the Bulldogs held a 7-6-1 league record at the break before going on to win the program's second CCHA regular-season championship.
The Bulldogs held a 5-5-1 mark against nationally-ranked opponents in the first half of the 2011-12 season, but has currently played only four games versus ranked foes this season to date.
Sophomore CJ Motte has been the goalie of record in all 17 of the Bulldogs' contests in the first half of the year. Last season, he split time with All-America goaltender Taylor Nelson in the beginning of the campaign as Nelson was credited as the wining or losing goalie in 10 games during the first half with Motte charged in the other eight outings.
Ferris State played only a single overtime contest in the first half a year ago, but has been involved in four extra period contests to date this season. The Bulldogs have three ties and a victory in the four OT games.
The Bulldogs were 6-1-1 at home inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena thru the holiday break last season. This year, Ferris State is 4-2-2 in the first half in home contests.
Ferris State's home attendance is up thru the first half of this season over the championship campaign of a year ago. The Bulldogs averaged 1,796 fans in their first eight home contests in 2011-12 as compared to this year's eight-game average of 1,887 fans. Overall, the Bulldogs have drawn 15,094 fans at home this season versus 14,370 a season ago in the first half.
Sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley had only three points on three assists at the mid-point a season ago. However, he currently has tallied 11 points this campaign with a squad-high nine assists and two goals.
FSU's current leading scorer, senior wing Kyle Bonis, has 13 points this campaign on a team-high eight goals and five assists. He also had a strong start last year with 12 points at the break on nine goals and three helpers.
Senior Kyle Bonis is currently tied for sixth nationally this year with four power-play goals to date. Meanwhile, CJ Motte ranks tied for fifth in the country with two shutouts on the year.
Ferris State's power play is currently tied for seventh in the country (22.2%). FSU is fifth in the nation in combined special teams at 56.6%.
The Bulldogs are currently ranked 19th in the USCHO.com poll and have been ranked nationally for 35 consecutive weeks dating back to early last season.
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.
Early Season 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 just completed 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.