GAME THREE TONIGHT: Ferris State Hockey @ Ohio State With Trip To The Joe On The Line!

GAME THREE TONIGHT: Ferris State Hockey @ Ohio State With Trip To The Joe On The Line!

Ferris State vs. Ohio State - Game Three
Sunday @ 7:05 p.m. - Columbus, Ohio

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(Pregame Coverage @ 6:30 p.m.)

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Game Three Tonight:
The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team puts its season on the line tonight (March 17) in the pivotal and deciding game three of its Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA)  second-round playoff series against the Ohio State Buckeyes at the OSU  Ice Rink in Columbus, Ohio.  The third and final game of the series is set for a 7:05 p.m. (ET)  puck drop with the winner moving on to Joe Louis Arena next weekend for the last-ever CCHA  Championship round.  Ohio State forced game three with a 3-1 home win on Saturday night after the Bulldogs had opened the series with a 4-2 triumph on Friday.

Media Coverage: Sunday's game will 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 Ohio State also offers a live free video webcast. All links, including live video along with live internet statistics,are available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.

The Records: Ferris State is currently 16-15-5 overall following Saturday's setback and posted a fifth-place 13-12-3-1 in the CCHA this season.  Ohio State currently holds an overall record of 15-16-7 along after Saturday's victory and was 13-10-5-1 mark in the CCHA during regular-season competition, which was good for fourth place.  

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 21st season, 350-377-84 (.483) – (26-30-4 vs. Ohio State – 13-22-2 away, 13-8-2 home and 0-1-0 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.

Ohio State - Mark Osiecki (Wisconsin, 1994), 3rd season. Mark Osiecki, a winner on every level, is midst his third year at the helm of the Buckeyes. Osiecki was an assistant at Wisconsin the six years prior to coming to Ohio State and spent seven seasons as the head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL). Osiecki has been a part of NCAA (both as a player and coach), junior hockey, international and professional championship teams.  He played six years in the NHL.

Ferris State Wins Friday Opener: Senior forward Kyle Bonis and junior forward Justin DeMartino each scored twice to lead Ferris State to a 4-2 win at Ohio State in the opening game of their best-of-three CCHA Tournament quarterfinal series on Friday night. The Buckeyes goals came from sophomore forwards Max McCormick and Tanner Fritz. Bulldogs sophomore goaltender CJ Motte stopped 28 shots in the win, while Buckeyes senior goaltender Brady Hjelle made 18 saves.

Buckeyes Take Saturday Game: Ohio State scored three straight goals to top Ferris State, 3-1, and force a third game in their quarterfinal series on Saturday night. Sophomore forwards Ryan Dzingel, Max McCormick and Nick Oddo all scored for the Buckeyes, with Dzingel's tally coming on the power play. Senior forward Travis Ouellette scored the Bulldogs' only goal, finding the back of the net with the man advantag to give FSU an early 1-0 lead. Senior goaltender Brady Hjelle made 27 saves for Ohio State. Ferris State sophomore goaltender CJ Motte turned aside 35 shots.

Did You Know?: Ferris State has never won a CCHA  Tournament playoff series on the road in a best-of-three format.  FSU's lone playoff series' win away from home came in its first appearance in 1979-80 at Michigan State in what was then a two-game format (winner determined by total goals).  The Bulldogs will be seeking their first best-of-three road series win on Sunday night.

Seeking First Game Three Win: Ferris State will be seeking its first-ever game three victory in a playoff series tonight.  The Bulldogs are 0-8 all-time in game three playoff contests, including an 0-7 mark on the road.  FSU has dropped game three contests in 1986-87 (@Bowling Green), 1995-96 (@Michigan State), 1999-00 (@Notre Dame), 2004-05 (@Ohio State), 2006-07 (@Lake Superior), 2007-08 (@Notre Dame), 2010-11 (@Western Michigan) and 2011-12 (home vs. Bowling Green).

Important Notes: Friday night's victory marked the 11th time in which the Bulldogs had won a playoff-series opening game .... The win represented the sixth time in which the Bulldogs have won the opening contest of a playoff road series.  FSU has dropped all five previous series' in three games ........ The Bulldogs have never won a playoff series on the road in a best-of-three format.

All-Time Series Notes: Ohio State holds a 60-48-15 all-time series advantage following Saturday's game ..... The Bulldogs are 31-24-4 when having home ice and now 16-33-11 in Columbus against the Buckeyes. FSU is 0-1-0 against Ohio State on neutral ice ...... This year, the two teams split two games in Big Rapids during regular-season play with both winning by identical 3-1 scores (Jan. 11-12) ...... Last season, the Bulldogs posted a 1-0-1 mark against the Buckeyes with a 4-3 win in Columbus followed by a 3-3 overtime tie (Jan. 20-21).  FSU won the second-night shootout to take five of a possible six points against Ohio State ...... In 2010-11, the Bulldogs went 2-1-1 with the Buckeyes with a win both in Big Rapids and Columbus along with a shootout victory at OSU ... FSU has now posted a 5-3-2 series mark over the last three years after last night's setback. 

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

The CCHA  Playoffs:  This weekend's second-round matchups included 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. Both Michigan and Notre Dame have advanced to the semifinals with 2-0 sweeps while Miami and Michigan State will also square off in game three on Sunday night.  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.  

CCHA  Championship Weekend: The 2013 CCHA Championship will be held March 22-24 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. The weekend event commences Friday, March 22, with the annual CCHA Awards Show at the Fox Theatre. The semifinal contests get underway Saturday, March 23, at 1:05 p.m. (ET) and 4:35 p.m. (ET), respectively. The CCHA Championship Game is set for Sunday,  March 24, at 2:05 p.m. (ET).

Bulldog Playoff Notebook: 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 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.

CCHA  Tourney History: Ferris State presently sports a 25-58-3 (.308) all-time record in CCHA Tournament contests, which includes a 13-2 home record and a 10-50-3 away mark after last night's setback.  The Bulldogs made their fifth CCHA Championship appearance in the program's history two years ago (2009-10)  to join the 1979-80, 1990-91, 1992-93, and 2002-03 teams as representatives in the league semifinals.  The '79-80 championships were held in Marqutte as FSU has made the trip to Joe Louis Arena four previous times. 

Playoff History vs. OSU: Ferris State and Ohio State are no strangers in CCHA  Tourney action. The two programs have faced each other in the playoffs six previous times prior to this year. The Buckeyes currently own a 8-5-2 all-time playoff edge over the Bulldogs after last night's OSU  win, including a 8-3-2 mark in Columbus.  Ferris State traveled to OSU for quarterfinal-round action in 1979-80, 1980-81, 1983-84 and 1998-99.  The two teams also faced off in the first round in Columbus in 2004-05 and in Big Rapids in 2005-06.  OSU  won game three in '04-05 while the Bulldogs swept the Buckeyes in '05-06 at home.