January 3, 2013

PREVIEW: Bulldog Hockey Squares Off With Spartans This Saturday

THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:

vs. Michigan State
Saturday, Jan. 5 - 5:05 p.m. (EDT)
Ewigleben Ice Arena


Complete Game Notes
(PDF)


The Opening Faceoff:
The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will open the second half of the 2012-13 season as they host the Michigan State Spartans this Saturday (Jan. 5) inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids with the puck for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contest set to drop at 5:05 p.m. Tickets are $17 in advance and $19 on game day.  

Media Coverage: Saturday's game 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 accessible online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. A live pay-per-view video webcast will also be available in addition to live internet statistics. All links will be made available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.

The Records: Ferris State is currently 8-8-3 overall and 6-6-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. The Bulldogs split two games at the competitive Florida College Hockey Classic last weekend (Dec. 28-29) as FSU suffered a 5-3 setback to nationally 11th-ranked Cornell in the opener before bouncing back to beat 2011 National Champion Minnesota-Duluth in decisive fashion by a 6-2 count on Saturday. FSU currently has 19 points and is sixth in the CCHA standings to date, but only seven points out of third place.

Michigan State holds an overall record of 5-11-3 along with a 4-8-1 record in the CCHA this season. The Spartans played in the Great Lakes Invitational over the holiday break and tied Western Michigan 1-1before falling in a shootout on Saturday (Dec. 29) .  They then suffered a 5-2 loss in the third-place game against Michigan on Sunday (Dec. 30).

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 21st season, 342-370-82 (.482) – (16-37-8 vs. Michigan State – 6-15-5 Home, 9-21-2 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, 20-17-5 (.536) - 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.

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: Michigan State holds a 68-31-15 all-time series advantage. The Bulldogs are 14-27-8 when having home ice and 16-40-6 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 seven matchups overall ...... MSU was a 3-1 winner over the Bulldogs earlier this season (Dec. 15) in East Lansing.

CCHA Players Of The Week:  FSU sophomore defenseman Simon Denis picked up this week's Gladiator Defenseman of the Week honor while freshman defenseman Brandon Anselmini is this week's Gongshow Rookie of the Week in the CCHA.  Denis had a goal and added an assist in a 5-3 loss to No. 11 Cornell on Friday and added an assist in a 6-2 win over Minnesota Duluth on Saturday. He also had three shots on goal and finished +3 on the weekend.  Meanwhile, Anselmini had two assists in the loss to No.11 Cornell and scored a goal in the win over Minnesota Duluth on Saturday. He finished the weekend +1 with two blocks and three shots on goal.

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 face each other four times this seson as they will also meet again in a home-and-home series Jan. 18 at the Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing and Jan. 19 in Big Rapids.

First Meeting Review: Ferris State fell to Michigan State in CCHA play prior to the holiday break (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.

First Meeting Note: Sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley scored the Bulldogs' lone goal against the Spartans in the first meeting this year (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 not ranked this week for the first time this season in the USCHO.com Division I National Poll.  FSU had also been listed among others receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll most of the season.  Ferris State was ranked for 37 consecutive weeks dating back to early last season prior to this past week.

Florida College Hockey Classic Review: Ferris State's holiday trip to the Florida College Hockey Classic in Estero last week featured a rematch of last year's NCAA Division I Midwest Regional Championship game as the Bulldogs competed against nationally 11th-ranked Cornell in the opener on Friday (Dec. 28).  FSU suffered a 5-3 setback against the Big Red. Freshman center Kenny Babinski scored the first goal of the night early in the first period before Cornell was able to tie the game at 1-1 in the last two seconds of the opening frame. The second period remained scoreless for most of the duration, but Cornell was able to take a 2-1 lead going into the third period. Then, in an action-filled final period, Cornell scored two goals only three minutes apart to push the advantage to 4-1 before the Bulldogs quickly responded as freshman wing Dakota Klecha notched FSU's second goal of the evening. Three minutes later, sophomore defenseman Simon Denis scored the Bulldogs' third and final goal of the night to pull FSU within a single goal. However, Cornell was able to score their fifth goal of the evening on the Bulldogs' empty net with 12 seconds to play to seal the victory. Sophomore goaltender CJ Motte played for 48 minutes and totaled 22 saves with freshman goaltender Charles Williams playing the final 11 minutes and making three saves. Cornell led the shots on the evening by a score of 30-25.

On Saturday (Dec. 29) night, FSU posted a 6-2 victory over Minnesota-Duluth in a "Battle of the Bulldogs" matchup, which marked Ferris State's first-ever triumph over UMD. Sophomore wing Justin Buzzeo scored the first goal of the game early in the first period, but UMD was able to take a 2-1 lead going into the second period when they scored two consecutive goals only 30 seconds apart. Early in the second period, junior center Cory Kane tied the contest at 2-2 and then in the final minute of the frame, FSU notched two goals only 22 seconds apart as senior center Eric Alexander scored the third goal of the evening before freshman defenseman Brandon Anselmini followed to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 edge. The score remained for most of the final period until senior wing Kyle Bonis scored on the power-play and junior Justin DeMartino sealed the 6-2 victory when he notched the final goal of the evening with only 1:51 remaining. Freshman Charles Williams made his first collegiate start in net and played the entire 60 minutes while making 23 saves. FSU led the shots by a slim count of 26-25 over UMD.

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 342 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 featured a rematch of last year's NCAA Division I Midwest Regional Championship game as the Bulldogs took on Cornell in the opener on Dec. 28. Returning NCAA Tournament qualifiers Maine and Minnesota-Duluth were the other two teams in the tournament.

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 completed a stretch of seven of nine league contests on the road prior to the break.

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.

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.

Buy Tickets Online:  Fans can 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's normal operating hours are Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) along with extended hours on Wednesday's until 7 p.m. (ET).  Please call 231-591-2888 for more information.

MSU Ticket Prices:  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.  

Important Fact:  Bulldog junior Garrett Thompson has registered 10 points in his last nine 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 nine-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 13 points on six goals and seven assists at the 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 11 points on four 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 12 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 five games versus ranked foes this season to date.

Sophomore CJ Motte had been the goalie of record in all 18 of the Bulldogs' contests in the first half of the year prior to the most recent game against Minnesota-Duluth.  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 15 points this campaign on a team-high nine goals and six 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 fourth nationally this year with five power-play goals to date.  Meanwhile, Cory Kane ranks tied for third in the country with two short-handed goals on the year.

Ferris State's power play is currently seventh in the country (22.9%).  FSU is fifth in the nation in combined special teams at 56.3%.

The Bulldogs had been ranked nationally for 37 consecutive weeks dating back to early last season prior to this current week.

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