March 11, 2013

CCHA Second-Round Playoff Matchups Set Following First Round Play

Big Rapids, Mich. - The second round playoff pairings are set for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Tournament following first-round action this past weekend.

Eight teams remain alive for the final CCHA Tournament Championship after opening-round action in the league postseason event as Michigan, Michigan State and Bowling Green all advanced following best-of-three action to join the top five teams who received first-round byes in Miami, Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Ferris State.

Ferris State will begin postseason action in the second round on the road against the Ohio State Buckeyes in a best-of-three series set for this weekend (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 were guaranteed to square off against the fourth-seeded Buckeyes in the second round under the tournament format.

In opening-round action, seventh-seeded Michigan swept 10th-seeded Northern Michigan at home. The other two series' both went to the deciding game three with 11th-seeded Michigan State upsetting sixth-seeded Alaska on the road and ninth-seeded Bowling Green topping eighth-seeded Lake Superior State in a road series.

This weekend's second-round matchups include top-seeded Miami hosting Michigan State, number two seed Western Michigan entertaining Michigan along with third-seeded Notre Dame playing host to Bowling Green in addition to the Ohio State-Ferris State matchup.

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.

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 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.

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