PREVIEW: Bulldogs Face Michigan State In Home-and-Home Series
THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:
Friday, Jan. 18 - 7:35 p.m. (ET)
Munn Ice Arena - East Lansing, Mich.
Saturday, Jan. 19 - 7:05 p.m. (ET)
Ewigleben Ice Arena - Big Rapids, Mich.
Live Bulldog Sports Network Audio Broadcast
Live PPV Video Webcast (Fri.)
Live PPV Video Webcast (Sat.)
Live Facebook Scoring Updates
Live Twitter Scoring Updates
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
The Opening Faceoff: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will square off against the Michigan State Spartans this weekend in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) home-and-home series. The two teams will meet on Friday, Jan. 18, with faceoff set for 7:35 p.m. (ET) at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing. It will be followed by the series' finale on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 7:05 p.m. (ET) inside FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena at Big Rapids.
Media Coverage: Friday's contest at MSU will be televised live regionally by Fox Sports Detroit and simulcast nationwide by Fox College Sports Pacific. Both games will also 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 with the broadcast accessible at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. A live pay-per-view video webcast will also be available for Saturday's home game in addition to live internet statistics. MSU All-Access will offer a live video pay-per-view webcast on Friday. All links will be made available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.
The Records: Ferris State is currently 10-9-3 overall and 8-7-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. The Bulldogs split two games at home last weekend (Jan. 11-12) against the Ohio State Buckeyes as FSU dropped Friday's game by a score of 3-1 before reversing the score and beating the Buckeyes 3-1 on Saturday. FSU currently has 25 points and is tied with OSU for fourth place in the CCHA standings to date, but only eight points out of first place. Ferris State has won three of its last four outings overall.
Michigan State holds an overall record of 6-13-3 along with a 5-10-1 mark in the CCHA this season. The Spartans also split two games at home in East Lansing last weekend (Jan. 11-12) against the nationally second-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. They fell 1-0 on Friday before beating Notre Dame by a score of 4-1 on Saturday.
The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 21st season, 344-371-82 (.484) – (17-37-8 vs. Michigan State – 7-15-5 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, 21-19-5 (.522) - 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 68-32-15 all-time series advantage. The Bulldogs are 15-27-8 when having home ice and 16-40-6 overall in East Lansing. FSU is 1-1-1 when facing off on neutral ice against the Spartans ...... MSU was a 3-1 winner over the Bulldogs in East Lansing earlier this season (Dec. 15) before Ferris State came back to post a 3-0 shutout over the Spartans in Big Rapids to open the second half of the season (Jan. 5).
Quick Notes: 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 six of the last eight matchups overall heading into Friday's encounter ...... This weekend will mark the final two meetings in regular-season action between the Bulldogs and the Spartans before FSU departs for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and MSU moves to the Big Ten for hockey next campaign ...... Sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley tallied his second goal of the season when he scored the lone Bulldog goal in East Lansing earlier this season (Dec. 15) ..... Sophomore goaltender CJ Motte made 19 saves in East Lansing (Dec. 15) and 23 saves in recording his third shutout of the season in the second meeting at Big Rapids (Jan. 5).
The Last Meeting: The Bulldogs shutout the Spartans in the last meeting between the two teams on Jan. 5 by a score of 3-0 in Big Rapids. After a scoreless first period, junior forward Garrett Thompson netted two goals just four minutes apart in the second period before completing a hat trick when he scored the Bulldogs' final goal of the evening on the Spartans' empty net with 33.6 remaining in the third. Sophomore goaltender CJ Motte earned his third shutout of the season by making 23 saves. The Bulldogs led the shots by a count of 31-23 overall.
National Attention: Ferris State is not ranked this week in the USCHO.com Division I National Poll, but is listed among teams receiving votes. FSU has 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 the last two weeks.
Hat Trick For Thompson: Junior wing Garrett Thompson's hat trick on Jan. 5 against Michigan State came nearly a year to the day in which a Bulldog player last recorded three goals in a contest. A year ago, senior Jordie Johnson notched a hat trick in non-league play versus Colgate (1/6/12) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in a 4-3 Bulldog victory.
Shutting Out UM & MSU: With FSU's 3-0 shutout over Michigan State on Jan. 5, Bulldog sophomore goaltender CJ Motte became the first netminder in school history to post shutouts over both MSU and Michigan at any point in a career. He accomplished the feat by shutting out both schools this season as the Bulldogs were a 5-0 winner over the Wolverines on Nov. 30 in Big Rapids. Overall, Ferris State has now posted four shutout victories all-time against both Michigan and Michigan State. The only other Bulldog netminder to post two shutouts against either team was Pat Nagle, who shutout the Spartans twice in 2010, but did not shutout Michigan.
Hobey Baker Nominee: Ferris State men's ice hockey fans can vote now for Bulldog senior left wing Kyle Bonis, who was announced as one of 77 nominees for the 2013 Hobey Baker Award. Awarded annually to college hockey's top player, the Hobey Baker's highly popular fan-voting phase is available on the Hobey Baker website: www.hobeybakeraward.com. This first phase of fan balloting will run now through March 10, 2013.
Ohio State Review: The Bulldogs fell to the Ohio State Buckeyes last Friday (Jan. 11) night by a score of 3-1 inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Sophomore wing Justin Buzzeo scored Ferris State's lone goal of the evening as he picked up his fourth of the season. Sophomore netminder CJ Motte was in goal for 58 minutes and totaled 24 saves in the setback. The Bulldogs led the shots 39-27 on the night.
On Saturday (Jan. 12) night, the Bulldogs reversed the score for a 3-1 triumph over the Buckeyes. In the opening period, senior center Travis Ouellette notched his fifth goal of the season just 32 seconds before freshman wing Dakota Klecha scored his fourth of the campaign to make it a 2-0 advantage. After a scoreless second period, the Buckeyes scored their lone goal of the evening early in the third period before senior wing Kyle Bonis picked up his team-leading 10th goal of the season in unassisted fashion with just 24.3 seconds remaining in the final frame. Motte was in net for a total of 59:55 minutes and recorded 25 saves on the evening. FSU led the shots by a slim count of 28-26.
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). FSU sophomore defenseman Simon Denis picked up the Gladiator Defenseman of the Week honor on Jan. 2 while freshman defenseman Brandon Anselmini was the Gongshow Rookie of the Week in the CCHA the same week.
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 344 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.
Banner Raising Part Of Homestand: FSU celebrated its historic national runner-up finish from a year ago by hoisting new banners inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena 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 holiday 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.
Northern Lights Award Winner: Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels was honored following Saturday's (Jan. 12) 3-1 Bulldog victory over Ohio State as this year's community Northern Lights Award recipient for sports and recreation. The community award was presented by members of the Northern Lights Committee on the ice before a crowd of 2,325 fans inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. The Northern Lights Award series is in its 12th year and is presented by the Mecosta County Medical Center Foundation in an effort to recognize community members who made significant contributions in seven different areas that make up the acronym "Mecosta": Management, Business and industry, Environment, Civics, Outdoor Activities and sports, Social services and health, Training and education along with Arts and entertainment.
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.
Tickets On Sale: The Bulldogs will host Michigan State on Saturday, Jan. 19, with faceoff set for 7:05 p.m. (ET) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Tickets for the premium contest are $17 in advance or $19 if bought on gameday and are currently on sale. Tickets are also currently on sale for the Bulldogs' next home series on Feb. 1-2 against Western Michigan at the Ewigleben Ice Arena, which will also be a premium contest.
Important Fact: Bulldog junior Garrett Thompson has registered 14 points in his last 12 outings after totaling only three points in the initial 10 contests of the season. Seven of his nine goals this year have also came during the 12-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 Notebook
Junior wing Garrett Thompson currently has a team-leading 17 points on nine goals and eight assists 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 seventh on the team in scoring with 11 points on four goals and seven assists to date. Junior Cory Kane had four points midway thru the season a year ago, but is now tied for fourth this season in scoring with 12 points to date.
Prior to last week's series against Ohio State, FSU held a 7-6-1 mark in CCHA action, which was comparable to a year ago when the Bulldogs held an identical 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 have currently played only five games versus ranked foes this season to date.
Sophomore CJ Motte has been the goalie of record in 21 of the Bulldogs' 22 contests to date this 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 currently 6-3-2 overall to date in home contests following last week's matchup with Ohio State.
Ferris State's home attendance is up this season over the championship campaign of a year ago. The Bulldogs averaged 1,766 fans in their first 11 home contests in 2011-12 as compared to this year's current 11-game average of 2,006 fans. Overall, the Bulldogs have drawn 22,063 fans at home this season versus 19,430 a season ago in the initial 11 home contests
Sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley had only three points on three assists at the mid-point a season ago. However, he currently has tallied 12 points this campaign with a squad-high 10 assists and two goals.
FSU's current second-leading scorer, senior wing Kyle Bonis, has 16 points this campaign on a team-high 10 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 sixth nationally this year with five power-play goals to date. Meanwhile, Cory Kane ranks tied for fourth in the country with two short-handed goals on the year. Also, CJ Motte is tied for fourth in the country with three shutouts to date. He's 19th in the nation in save percentage (.926) and 23rd in goals against average (2.23).
Ferris State's power play is currently 11th in the country (21.8%). FSU is third in the nation in combined special teams at 56.8%.
The Bulldogs had been ranked nationally for 37 consecutive weeks dating back to early last season prior to the last two weeks.