Big Rapids, Mich. - For the fourth consecutive year, the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team has officially clinched a first-round bye for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Postseason Tournament.
The Bulldogs, who were idle this past weekend, are presently tied with Ohio State for fourth place in the league standings with 42 points on the year. The two teams are guaranteed to square off against each other in the second round of the postseason playoff tournament in a best-of-three series set for March 15-17.
The official site for the second-round series pitting the fourth and fifth overall seeds will not be known until the conclusion of regular-season play this coming week. Ferris State visits Michigan for its last-ever CCHA regular-season contests on Friday and Saturday (March 1-2) at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor with the puck drop set for 7:35 p.m. (ET) both nights.
Meanwhile, Ohio State must visit league leader Miami (Ohio) for a two-game set to wrap up the regular-season the same two nights. The Buckeyes had a chance to move in front of the Bulldogs this weekend, but dropped back-to-back home games against Michigan.
If Ferris State finishes ahead of Ohio State in the standings at the conclusion of Saturday's final night of regular-season action, the Bulldogs would be the fourth seed and host Ohio State at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids during the second round. However, if Ohio State is able to register more points than FSU over the final two games, the Buckeyes would earn the fourth seed and play host to the Bulldogs at the OSU Ice Rink located in Columbus, Ohio.
Earlier this season, the Bulldogs and Ohio State split a pair of matchups in Big Rapids with Ohio State winning the first night (Jan. 11) and the Bulldogs taking the second contest (Jan. 12) both by identical 3-1 scores.
This season marks the fourth year in a row in which FSU has received a first-round bye. The Bulldogs swept Nebraska-Omaha in 2010 during the second round to reach the CCHA Semifinals at Joe Louis Arena before falling during second-round action on the road as the fifth seed in 2011 at Western Michigan.
A year ago, the Bulldogs also fell in game three of the second round to Bowling Green State at home before eventually receiving an at-large NCAA Tournament bid and reaching the Frozen Four for the first-time ever.
Over the past four seasons, Ferris State and Miami are the only two CCHA members to receive a first-round playoff bye in each of the four campaigns.
This year's CCHA Tournament represents the last in the 42-year history of the league. Ferris State has advanced to the CCHA Championship Semifinals at Joe Louis Arena four previous times in 1990-91, 1992-93, 2002-03 and 2009-10.
The 2013 CCHA Tournament will begin with a first-round best-of-three series set for March 8-10 at three campus locations. Teams seeded 6-8 will host the 9-11 seeds in the first round with the winners advancing to the second round best-of-three action to join the five teams receiving opening-round byes.
The second-round winners will advance to the semifinals at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, March 23. The CCHA Championship game will take place on Sunday, March 24, in Detroit.
Ferris State currently holds a 15-13-4 overall record to date this season and is 13-11-2 in the CCHA heading into the series with Michigan. Both games against the Wolverines will be televised nationally with CBS Sports Network airing Friday's game and Fox Sports Detroit broadcasting Saturday's contest from Yost Ice Arena.
Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for additional playoff information as it becomes available.