January 22, 2013

PREVIEW: Bulldog Hockey Visits #7 Notre Dame This Weekend

THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:

vs. Notre Dame
Friday, Jan. 25 - 7:35 p.m. (ET)
Saturday, Jan. 26 - 7:05 p.m. (ET)
Compton Family Ice Arena - South Bend, Ind.


Complete Game Notes
(PDF)

The Opening Faceoff:
The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will square off against the nationally seventh-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) weekend series on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25-26, at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Ind. The puck is set to drop at 7:35 p.m. (ET) for Friday night's matchup and 7:05 p.m. (ET) on Saturday.  

Media Coverage: Friday's contest will be televised live internationally by CBS College Sports.  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 online broadcast accessible 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 12-9-3 overall and 10-7-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season. The Bulldogs swept Michigan State in a home-and-home series last weekend (Jan. 18-19) by scores of 2-1 at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing on Friday along with a 5-2 victory at the Ewigleben Ice Arena on Saturday. The Bulldogs currently hold solo possession of fourth place in the CCHA standings with 31 points and are only two points out of first place. Ferris State has won five of its last six outings overall.

Notre Dame holds an overall record of 15-9-0 along with an 11-5-0 mark in the CCHA.  The Fighting Irish are tied with Western Michigan for first place in the CCHA standings.  However, they dropped all six possible points last weekend (Jan. 18-19) as they were swept by Alaska with scores of 5-4 on Friday and 2-1 on Saturday.  Notre Dame has dropped four of its last five outings to date.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 21st season, 346-371-82 (.484) – (31-23-5 vs. Notre Dame – 8-11-1 away, 21-12-4 home and 2-0-0 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.

Notre Dame - Jeff Jackson (Michigan State, 1978), 8th season, 175-106-30 (.611) – (29-11-4 vs. Ferris State) - Jeff Jackson is the fourth head coach in Notre Dame's 45-year program history. Jackson has guided ND to two CCHA regular-season and conference tournament titles (2007 and 2009). With Jackson behind the bench, the Fighting Irish have made four NCAA tournament appearances and advanced to the Frozen Four in both 2008 and 2011.  Jackson has previously coached at the Division I level with the Lake Superior State Lakers along with coaching in both the OHL and NHL. While with LSSU, Jackson won two NCAA titles (1992 and 1994), two regular-season CCHA championships and four CCHA playoff trophies.

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 42-25-6 all-time series mark against Notre Dame. This includes a 15-12-2 home advantage and a 25-14-4 road record. Since the 2006-07 season, the Bulldogs have compiled a 9-9-1 record against ND. Last season, the Bulldogs took three of the four matchups. FSU posted a 4-1 home win in the initial meeting (12/9/11) before falling 4-1 in South Bend the next night (12/10/11).  Then, in the second home-and-home series, FSU pulled off the sweep with a 3-0 road win (2/10/12) and a 5-1 home triumph (2/11/12).  This weekend marks the only two meetings between the two teams in regular-season play this year.

Did You Know?:  Ferris State became the nation's first collegiate team to reach 20 wins a year ago with the back-to-back February wins over Notre Dame.  FSU also vaulted to its first-ever number one national ranking last season in all three major college hockey polls after topping the Fighting Irish in the February home-and-home sweep.

Quick Notes:  This weekend will mark the final two meetings in CCHA regular-season action between the Bulldogs and the Fighting Irish before FSU departs for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and UND moves to Hockey East next campaign ....... Friday's game against Notre Dame in South Bend will mark the 800th career game on the bench for FSU head coach Bob Daniels.   

National Attention: Ferris State is not ranked this week in the USCHO.com Division I National Poll, but is listed first 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 three weeks.

Warrior Goaltender Of Week: For the fifth time this season, a FSU player claimed CCHA Player of the Week accolades as sophomore goaltender CJ Motte was recognized as the league's Warrior Goaltender of the Week. Motte posted back to back wins over Michigan State last weekend. He had 27 saves and was the Perani Cup third star in a 2-1 road win on Friday before a sellout crowd of more than 6,000 fans and a nationwide television audience at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing. Then, on Saturday, the Bulldog netminder came back with 17 saves in a 5-2 victory at a sold-out Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids with one of MSU's goals coming on the power play.

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.

Michigan State Review: The Bulldogs swept Michigan State last weekend (Jan. 18-19) starting with a 2-1 win on Friday before a sellout crowd inside the Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing. Junior center Cory Kane netted his sixth goal of the season when he opened the scoring halfway through the first period. The Spartans were able to tie the game at 1-1 just over a minute after Kane's goal and the score stood until early into the third period when senior center Travis Ouellette scored the final goal of the evening. CJ Motte was in net for the entire 60 minutes and made 27 saves.

The Bulldogs finished the sweep with a 5-2 triumph over the Spartans on Saturday before a sellout crowd at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. FSU opened the scoring early in the first period when senior wing Kyle Bonis scored his 11th goal of the season. MSU tied the game four minutes later, but senior wing Eric Alexander tallied his fifth goal of the season in the second frame and sophomore center Dom Panetta registered his first-ever collegiate goal soon after to give FSU a 3-1 cushion. The Spartans pulled within a goal, but in the final frame junior wing Andy Huff scored his fifth goal of the season and senior center Travis Ouellette scored his seventh goal of the year to seal the win. CJ Motte made 17 saves. FSU led the shots by a 33-19 margin on the night.

Point Production: FSU's Travis Ouellette tallied three points last weekend against MSU with two goals and one assist while junior center Cory Kane also registered three points with one goal and two assists. Kyle Bonis and Andy Huff both earned two points on the weekend with a goal apiece while junior wing Garrett Thompson along with sophomore defensemen Simon Denis and Jason Binkley all recorded two points on the weekend with two assists.

Home Sweet Home: Ferris State's senior trio of Kyle Bonis, Eric Alexander and Travis Ouellette have combined to score 16 of their 23 goals this season inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  Eight of Bonis' team-high 11 goals have came on home ice while Alexander has notched four of his five goals in Big Rapids and Ouellette has tallied four of his seven overall at home.

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.

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 Western Michigan next weekend (Feb. 1-2) 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.  For a limited time, fans can buy two tickets for $25 for the series in advance while supplies last.  Tickets are also on sale for the Bulldogs' final regular-season home series' against Bowling Green State (Feb. 15-16) and fans can "Buy One, Get One Free" for the BGSU series while supplies last.

Important Fact: Bulldog junior Garrett Thompson has registered 16 points in his last 14 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 14-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 19 points on nine goals and 10 assists this season.  

FSU's current 10-7-1 mark in CCHA action is comparable to a year ago when the Bulldogs held a 9-6-3 mark thru 18 league games 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 23 of the Bulldogs' 24 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 started 6-1-1 at home inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena last season.  This year, Ferris State is currently 7-3-2 overall to date in home contests following last week's matchup with Michigan State.

Ferris State's home attendance is up this season over the championship campaign of a year ago.  The Bulldogs averaged 1,760 fans in their first 12 home contests in 2011-12 as compared to this year's current 12-game average of 2,046 fans.  Overall, the Bulldogs have drawn 24,553 fans at home this season versus 21,123 a season ago in the initial 11 home contests

FSU's current second-leading scorer, senior wing Kyle Bonis, has 18 points this campaign on a team-high 11 goals and seven assists.  He also had a strong start last year with 12 points at the holiday break on nine goals and three helpers.

Senior Kyle Bonis is currently tied for third nationally this year with six 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 fifth in the country with three shutouts to date.  He's 19th in the nation in save percentage (.927) and 23rd in goals against average (2.17).

Ferris State's power play is currently 14th in the country (21.2%).  FSU is fourth 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 three weeks.

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 346 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.

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