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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will open its quest for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Tournament Championship on the road as the Bulldogs begin postseason action in the second round against the Ohio State Buckeyes in a best-of-three series set for March 15-17 at the OSU Ice Rink in Columbus, Ohio.
The quarterfinal-round series will get underway on Friday, March 15, proceeded by game two to be held on Saturday, March 16. The deciding game, if necessary, is set to take place on Sunday, March 17. All three contests are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (ET) opening faceoffs.
Ferris State finished the regular-season in fifth place in the final season of the CCHA. As one of the top five teams in the league, the Bulldogs received a first round bye and are guaranteed to square off against the fourth-seeded Buckeyes in the second round.
The 2013 CCHA Tournament will get underway this weekend (March 8-10) as sixth-seed Alaska hosts No. 11 Michigan State, No. 7 Michigan plays host to No. 10 Northern Michigan, and No. 8 Lake Superior State entertains No. 9 Bowling Green State in three best-of-three first-round series. Miami, the 2012-13 CCHA regular-season champions, along with Western Michigan and Notre Dame join Ohio State and Ferris State as the top five teams receiving first-round tourney byes.
Following the first round, Miami, Notre Dame, Western Michigan along with Ohio State will host best-of-three second round quarterfinal action. 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 at 2:05 p.m. (ET). The league's tournament champion receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Earlier this year (Jan. 11-12), the Bulldogs split a pair of regular-season matchups against Ohio State at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. Both games were determined by identical 3-1 scores with the Buckeyes capturing the win in game one followed by a Bulldog victory in the series finale.
Overall, Ohio State holds a 59-47-15 all-time series advantage. The Bulldogs are 15-32-11 all-time in Columbus. Last season, the Bulldogs posted a 1-0-1 mark against the Buckeyes in Columbus with a 4-3 win followed by a 3-3 overtime tie (Jan. 20-21). The Bulldogs won the second-night shootout to take five of a possible six points against Ohio State in regular-season action a year ago.
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.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the Bulldogs' second round series with the Buckeyes will be played at the OSU Ice Rink rather than Value City Arena. The OSU Ice Rink is a 1,000-seat hockey rink located on campus and built in 1961. It houses both the Buckeyes' men's and women's ice hockey teams.
The men's team formerly occupied the facility from 1963 until 1998 when the Value City Arena was completed. A 1999 renovation brought the rink to full NHL dimensions and improved the facilities. The rink is located adjacent to the east side of St. John Arena on Woody Hayes Drive, just north of Ohio Stadium. Ohio State has played CCHA Tournament action at the OSU Ice Rink three previous times in the past in recent history since 2007.
Ticket information for the Bulldogs' series at Ohio State will be announced soon.