February 27, 2013

PREVIEW: Dawgs Visit Michigan For Final CCHA Regular-Season Series This Week

THIS WEEK IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:

at Michigan
Friday & Saturday, March 1-2 - 7:35 p.m. (ET)
Ewigleben Ice Arena
Big Rapids, Mich.

TV - CBS Sports Network (Friday)
TV - Fox Sports Detroit (Saturday)
Radio - 97.3 FM WDEE

Gameday Central   
Live Bulldog Sports Network Audio Broadcast       
Live Statistics        
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 travel to Ann Arbor to take on the University of Michigan Wolverines in their final Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) regular-season series on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, at the Yost Ice Arena. The puck is set to drop at 7:35 p.m. (ET) both nights.

Media Coverage: Friday's contest will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network in the U.S. and aired on Bell TV and Rogers TV in Canada. Saturday's contest will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Detroit. 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.

The Records: Ferris State is currently 15-13-4 overall and 13-11-2-1 in the CCHA this season. The Bulldogs split their final regular-season home series against the Bowling Green State Falcons on Feb. 15-16 before being idle last weekend.  FSU dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime to BGSU in the Friday opener before posting a 4-3 victory over the Falcons on Saturday. The Bulldogs currently are in fourth place in the CCHA standings and tied with Ohio State as both teams have 42 points to date heading into the weekend.  FSU has clinched a first-round bye for the upcoming CCHA Tourney.

Michigan currently holds an overall record of 12-18-2 along with a 9-15-2 mark in the CCHA. They are presently in ninth place in the CCHA standings after sweeping the Ohio State Buckeyes by scores of 5-3 last Friday and 6-3 on Saturday in a league road series (Feb. 22-23).  

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 21st season, 349-375-83 (.484) – (13-41-4 vs. Michigan – 4-26-0 away, 9-13-3 home and 0-2-1 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 - Red Berenson (Michigan, 1962), 29th season, 764-369-79 (.663) - (63-24-4 vs. Ferris State). Berenson is UM's all-time winningest coach and currently ranks sixth on college hockey's coaching wins list.  Berenson is one of five head coaches in college hockey history to compile 700 wins.  He's a two-time (1994 and 2008) CCHA Coach of the Year Award recipient and the 2007-08 winner of the Spencer Penrose Award as the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Division I Coach of the Year. Berenson directed Michigan to their eighth and ninth NCAA National Championship in 1996 and 1998. Under Berenson the Wolverines have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 22 seasons, the longest in school history, and appeared in the Frozen Four 11 times. Berenson played in the National Hockey League for 17 years as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, and St. Louis Blues.

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 and Michigan will square off for the 102nd and 103rd times in a series in which the Wolverines own a 67-29-5 edge. FSU is 10-41-0 on the road, 19-24-4 at home, and 0-2-1 at neutral sites versus Michigan to date ...... Earlier this season (Nov. 30-Dec. 1), FSU posted a 5-0 shutout win over the Wolverines on Friday before tying Saturday's contest by a score of 3-3 and falling in the shootout at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids ..... Last season, the Bulldogs fell to Michigan twice by scores of of 5-2 (Oct. 27) and 4-0 (Oct. 28) in Ann Arbor ..... Fourteen of the last 28 meetings have been decided by one goal or less and Ferris State sports a 6-5-3 mark in those encounters.

First-Round Bye: Ferris State has officially clinched its fourth consecutive first-round bye for the upcoming CCHA Playoffs.  FSU and Miami (Ohio) are currently the only teams in the last four years to earn a bye each season.

Playoff Implications: The two contests at Yost Ice Arena will help determine the Bulldogs' postseason playoff fate. 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. Ohio State must visit league leader Miami (Ohio) for a two-game set to wrap up the regular-season the same two nights.  Whomever registers the most points this weekend between Ferris State and Ohio State will play host to the second-round playoff series.  

Quick Notes: This weekend will mark the final two meetings in CCHA regular-season action between the Bulldogs and Wolverines as Ferris State will move to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and Michigan is set to join the Big Ten.  It will also be the final two CCHA regular-season outings for both teams .... FSU sophomore center Dominic Panetta scored two consecutive game-winning goals in nationally-televised games against Michigan State (Jan. 19) & Notre Dame (Jan. 25), which also happened to be his first two goals of his collegiate career .... Last Saturday's (Feb. 16) sellout versus Bowling Green State marked FSU's fifth of the year and the 11th time the Bulldogs have sold out since late last season .... FSU head coach Bob Daniels needs a single victory to pick up his 350th career win.

Earlier This Year: Ferris State completed its first shutout against Michigan since Oct. 30, 2004, in the first matchup this season (Nov. 30) with a 5-0 win in Big Rapids. Sophomore defenseman Simon Denis opened the Bulldog scoring on the power play early in the second period as he registered his third goal of the season. Late in the second period, senior wing Eric Alexander picked up the second power-play goal of the night to give FSU a two-goal lead. Soon after, freshman wing Matt Robertson registered his first collegiate goal. Early in the third period, freshman wing Dakota Klecha tallied his second goal of the season. Then, late in the third period, junior wing Garrett Thompson scored the fifth and final goal of the evening. Sophomore goaltender CJ Motte was in net for the entire 60 minutes, recording his second shutout of the season by saving 27 shots. The Bulldogs and Wolverines were tied at 27 shots apiece for the game.

The second game on Saturday (Dec. 1) night completed the Bulldogs' first tie against the Wolverines since Oct. 29, 2010. Sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley notched the Bulldogs' first goal of the evening just 42 seconds into the opening period. After UM answered with three-straight goals, FSU senior wing Kyle Bonis then recorded a goal in both the second and third periods, which marked his seventh and eighth goals in the campaign. Both teams were held scoreless in the five-minute sudden-death overtime. Junior center Cory Kane and senior center Travis Ouellette both recorded a shootout goal before Michigan was able to secure the extra point in the fourth round. CJ Motte played the entire 65 minutes and totaled 39 saves on the night in net.

Notes From The First Series: FSU's eight goals in this year's first series against Michigan were registered by seven different individuals.  Senior wing Kyle Bonis was the lone player to notch two goals and those were the final two in Saturday's contest as FSU came back from a 3-1 deficit to record the tie ..... Ferris State totaled 14 assists on the weekend with four individuals notching two apiece.  A total of 10 players had at least one assist and 14 different players produced points with either a goal or an assist on the weekend ...... Saturday's tie came before a sellout crowd of 2,490 fans at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  A near-sellout was on hand Friday night as 2,196 fans witnessed FSU's shutout victory over the Wolverines ....... Two of Ferris State's five goals on Friday night consisted of all-freshmen scoring as both goals were scored by rookies and both assists on each goal also came from first-year players.

Good On Nationwide TV: Ferris State has received significant regular-season television exposure throughout this season and won its last three major nationally-televised games to date.  Both of this weekend's games will be televised across the country.

CCHA Goaltender Of Month:  Ferris State sophomore CJ Motte was named the Gongshow Goaltender of the Month in the CCHA for January. Motte appeared in six games for Ferris State during the month of January, posting a 5-1-0 record with one shutout. His 1.34 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage were tops in the league for January, as he allowed just eight goals and made 148 saves on the month.

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.

Home Sweet Home: Ferris State's senior trio of Kyle Bonis, Eric Alexander and Travis Ouellette have combined to score 20 of their 32 goals this season inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.  Eleven of Bonis' team-high 17 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 nine 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 FSU's 3-1 Bulldog victory over Ohio State (Jan. 12) 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.

Bowling Green Review: The Bulldogs fell to the Bowling Green State Falcons by an overtime score of 2-1 on Friday (Feb. 15) inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Senior wing Kyle Bonis scored his team-high 16th goal of the season to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 llead late in the first period.  The score remained until the Falcons advanced the contest into overtime after tying the game at a goal apiece with 1:28 remaining in regulation. The Falcons then closed the night by taking a 2-1 win as they scored the final goal of the evening just under halfway through the extra session. Sophomore Bulldog goaltender CJ Motte registered 30 saves on the evening after playing the entire 60 minutes. The Bulldogs led the shots by a count of 37-32.

The Bulldogs came back to post a tight 4-3 triumph on Saturday (Feb. 16) before a sold out crowd and in a  national televised game aaired by Fox Sports Detroit. Sophomore center Justin Buzzeo opened the scoring midway through the first period, but just over six minutes later the Falcons tied the contest at a goal apiece. Senior wing Kyle Bonis put the Bulldogs back in front 2-1 as he tallied his 17th goal of the season with 52 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Early in the second stanza, Bulldog junior center Cory Kane gave the Bulldogs a 3-1 advantage when he scored his eighth goal of the season. The Falcons quickly tied the contest at three goals apiece as they netted two goals within 35 seconds midway through the second period. The Bulldogs then took the one-goal lead again late in the second period as junior wing Garrett Thompson notched his 11th goal of the season to put the score at 4-3 in favor of FSU. The score stood for the duration of the final frame as neither the Falcons nor the Bulldogs could find the back of the net. CJ Motte played all 60 minutes in net and recorded 26 saves for the evening. The Falcons led the shots by a count of 29-20.

Important Fact:  Bulldog junior Garrett Thompson has registered 21 points in his last 22 outings after totaling only three points in the initial 10 contests of the season.  Nine of his 11 goals this year have also came during the 22-game stretch.

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 recent stretch.

Did You Know?:  Ferris State currently ranks third in the nation in combined special teams at 57.3%. In addition, the Bulldogs' power play is currently 12th the country (21.4%) and 13th on the penalty kill the Bulldogs are at 85.3%.  FSU allowed only two goals on 26 opponent power play tries during the seven games in the month of January.

CCHA Leader:  Ferris State senior wing Kyle Bonis enters this weekend's series at Michigan tied for the CCHA lead with 14 goals to date this season along with Lake Superior State's Domenic Monardo and also has a CCHA-high six power play goals in league action.  FSU's Garrett Thompson is tied for fifth in the league in power play points per game (0.38 pg).  FSU presently has the league's top power play and combined special teams.

Ferris State Notebook

Junior wing Garrett Thompson and senior wing Kyle Bonis both have compiled a team-high 24 points.  Thompson has 11 goals and 13 assists this season while Bonis has a team-high 17 goals and seven helpers.    

Sophomore CJ Motte has been the goalie of record in 30 of the Bulldogs' 32 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 before Nelson became the primary goaltender in the stretch run.

Senior Kyle Bonis is currently tied for sixth nationally this year with seven power-play goals to date and tied for 11th in goal scoring (0.53 pg.).  Meanwhile, Cory Kane ranks tied for seventh in the country with two short-handed goals on the year.  Also, CJ Motte is tied for ninth in the country with three shutouts to date.  He's 17th in the nation in save percentage (.927) and 19th in goals against average (2.15).

Looking Back To Last Year: FSU's TJ Schlueter and Scott Czarnowczan were both credited with an assist each in last season's (10/27) first meeting against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor at Yost Ice Arena .... The two teams played only twice a year ago with Michigan winning both games at home.

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.

Senior CLASS Award:  Ferris State senior wing Kyle Bonis is among the top 10 national 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.

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.  Sophomore CJ Motte claimed Warrior Goaltender Of the Week recognition after FSU's sweep over Michigan State (Jan. 18-19).  

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 has received increased regular-season television exposure this season. The preseason nationally-ranked Bulldogs' televised contests have included games on Fox Sports Detroit, Comcast and CBS College Sports Network.  In all, FSU will have been featured at least six times this season, including contests on three different networks. The slate was 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 included games on Dec. 15 at Michigan State (Comcast), Jan. 18 at MSU (FSD), Jan. 25 at Notre Dame (CBS) along with upcoming matchups 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 has also taken place 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 349 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 returned 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.

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