Ferris State Hockey To Play First-Ever WCHA Contests This Weekend At Alabama-Huntsville
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Friday & Saturday, Nov. 1-2 – 8:07 p.m. (ET)
Von Braun Center - Huntsville, Ala.
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The Opening Faceoff: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will play its first-ever Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) contests this weekend on the road as FSU visits Alabama-Huntsville on Friday and Saturday (Nov. 1-2) for a two-game league set in Huntsville, Ala. The puck will drop for both games at the Van Braun Center starting at 8:07 p.m. (ET).
Media Coverage: Both weekend contests will be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Dan Kowalski calling the play-by-play action. Pregame coverage begins a half-hour prior to puck drop. The online broadcast is accessible at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. All links, including live video along with live internet statistics, will be available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.
Broadcast Coverage: A live HD video and audio pay-per-view webcast will be available for all 2013-14 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) regular-season league games along with non-league home matchups thru a new conference agreement with WCHATV & America One. Links will be available on FSU's Athletics Website at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
The Records: Ferris State owns a 3-2-0 overall mark to date this year. The Bulldogs most recently split with St. Lawrence in the Bulldogs' home-opening series on Oct. 18-19 in Big Rapids. FSU fell 3-2 in the opener before rebounding for a 5-3 win. FSU was idle last weekend (Oct. 25-26).
Alabama-Huntsville is currently 0-4 overall and 0-2 in WCHA play. The Chargers dropped a two-game league home set to Bemidji State last weekend (Oct. 25-26) by scores of 6-1 and 1-0 in Huntsville. Their other two setbacks are to Northestern in Boston on Oct. 11-12 via 9-1 and 3-2 decisions.
The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 22nd season, 353-380-84 (.483) – (5-2-0 vs. Alabama-Huntsville – 4-1-0 Home, 1-1-0 Away, 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 two years ago.
Alabama-Huntsville – Mike Corbett, 1st season, 0-4-0 (.000) – (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Corbett took over the Alabama-Huntsville program this season after spending the last 10 years as an assistant coach at Air Force. During Corbett's time with the Falcons, the team won five Atlantic Hockey tourney titles and appeared in the NCAA Tournament five times. He played at Denver from 1992-97 and was a two-time WCHA All-Academic Team member. He also served as head coach for the Butte Irish in the America West Junior Hockey League from 1997-2000.
Alabama-Huntsville: The Chargers are searching for their first win following an 0-4 start this season. They became a member of the WCHA for the first time this year after previously playing as a college hockey independent. Head coach Mike Corbett's team is coming off back-to-back home losses to Bemidji State last weekend. UAH finished 3-21-1 overall during the 2012-13 season.
The All-Time Series: Ferris State leads the all-time series by a 7-2-0 count heading into Friday's 10th-ever matchup between the two programs. The two teams played four games in the 2010-11 campaign with FSU winning three of four contests. Overall, Ferris State is 6-0-0 at home and 1-1 on the road versus the Chargers to date in history in addition to a neutral site setback. UAH posted a 5-4 overtime win over the Bulldogs during FSU's memorable 2002-03 CCHA Championship season at the Cingular/Connecticut Classic (12/29/02). The Chargers' only other win over the Bulldogs was a 4-2 triumph in Huntsville (10/8/10). The Bulldogs have totaled 49 goals all-time against UAH commpared to only allowing 22 to date against Alabama-Huntsville.
Home Ticket Information: Single-game tickets for the 2013-14 campaign are currently on sale and can be purchased online at StarTickets.com. For more information, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
Pink In The Rink: Ferris State helped aid an important cause as part of FSU's home-opening weekend festivities by holding the school's first "Pink In The Rink" contest presented by General Mills-Yoplait. The Bulldogs donned pink jerseys for the Saturday (Oct. 19) contest versus St. Lawrence to help raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer. Proceeds from the event went to the local Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer & Wellness fund. The game was made possible thru the generous support of General Mills-Yoplait, which was the exclusive sponsor for the contest.
Historic Season: Ferris State won its second CCHA regular-season championship and finished as the national runner-up two years ago in 2011-12. 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.
Season Notebook: Senior forward Garrett Thompson and linemate Justin Buzzeo each have a team-high tying seven points to date this year. Both have three goals and four assists to date .... Junior goaltender CJ Motte has been perfect in net this campaign with a 3-0 mark for the Bulldogs. He holds a 3.00 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage entering this weekend's action .... Eleven different Bulldog skaters have combined to record FSU's 17 goals to date this season. In addition, the squad's 26 assists have been earned by a total of 13 individuals ...... Ferris State has allowed only four power-play goals in 24 tries by the opponents this season.
St. Lawrence Series: Ferris State split two games versus previously unbeaten St. Lawrence in FSU's home-opening series the last time the Bulldogs took the ice on Oct. 18-19 ..... The Saints won the opener by a 3-2 score as they scored three-straight goals after the Bulldogs had taken a 2-0 edge in the opener ..... However, FSU rallied back from a 2-0 hole in game two by scoring five-straight goals en route to a 5-3 win .... A total of six different FSU skaters scored goals on the weekend, including two from Justin Buzzeo ..... Freshman Seth Adams notched his first collgiate goal as the game-winner on Saturday ..... Sophomore Charles Williams earned the start in net in the opener with CJ Motte picking up the victory in the series' finale.
Week One: The Bulldogs officially opened the 2013-14 campaign (Oct. 5-6) by splitting two non-league games at Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y. FSU took game one on Saturday (Oct. 5) by a 7-4 count before suffering a 1-0 setback in game two on Sunday (Oct. 6). Seven different Bulldog skaters scored goals in the season-opening triumph.
Key Road Win: After the season-opening road series at Colgate, Ferris State registered a 3-2 non-league triumph over the Mercyhurst Lakers on Tuesday (Oct. 15) at the Mercyhurst Ice Center in Erie, Pa. The Bulldogs remained unbeaten all-time versus the Lakers by striking for three-straight goals, including a pair of goals 30 seconds apart in the second period. FSU received goals from sophomore Kenny Babinski along with seniors Garrett Thompson and Justin DeMartino in the win while junior goaltender CJ Motte stopped 22 shots.
Mercyhurst Notebook: Ferris State improved to 6-0-1 all-time versus Mercyhurst with the win and won for the third time in as many tries at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. The trip to Erie was FSU's first since winning back-to-back games in 2005. Mercyhurst entered the year coming off a 19-win season a year ago in which the Lakers also reached the Atlantic Hockey title game.
First-Round Bye: Ferris State earned a first-round bye in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Tournament last year for the fourth consecutive season and joined Miami as the lone league members to receive a bye in each of the final four years of the CCHA. The Bulldogs posted a 16-16-5 overall record a year ago and placed fifth in the final season of CCHA competition.
Preseason Number Two: Ferris State is a unanimous choice to finish second in the its initial campaign in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) as the Bulldogs were picked as the runner-up in the 2013-14 Mankato Free Press WCHA Preseason Coaches Poll unveiled on Wednesday (Sept. 25) as part of the league's media teleconference with all head coaches. The runner-up performance in the preseason coaches poll came on the heels of being the number two choice in a vote of the media released as part of the 2013-14 WCHA Preseason Media Poll, which was conducted and ran thru the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer.
Preseason Honoree: Ferris State junior defenseman Jason Binkley was chosen as a preseason All-WCHA selection by both the coaches and the media. Senior forward Garrett Thompson and senior defenseman Scott Czarnowczan also received votes from the coaches in the preseason voting.
The 36th Division I Campaign: The Bulldogs embark on the school's first-ever season in the WCHA in 2013-14 for the school's 36th year of NCAA Division I hockey. This year's slate features eight home weekends with four new schools scheduled to visit Big Rapids for the first time.
WCHA Action: The Bulldogs' first-ever WCHA home series is slated for next weekend, Nov. 8-9, versus Bemidji State as Ferris State opens a stretch featuring six consecutive league home contests over a three-week span.
Home Attendance: Seating is again expected to be at a premium for all FSU home contests this season. Last year, in 2012-13, the Bulldogs officially sold out five times and drew more than 2,000 fans for each of their last 10 regular-season home contests in the 2,400-seat facility. Overall, FSU has posted 11 total sellouts at the Ewigleben Ice Arena since the second half of a historic 2011-12 campaign in which the Bulldogs reached the national championship game at the NCAA Frozen Four.
Dawg Pound Sellout: Ferris State has officially sold out its expanded "Dawg Pound" student section for the second consecutive year with more than 600 student season tickets sold this campaign. FSU increased the size and capacity of the student section a year ago due to high demand. The "Dawg Pound" has been labeled as one of college hockey's top student sections.
Good On Nationwide TV: Ferris State received significant regular-season television exposure throughout last season and won three major nationally-televised games in the second half of the year over Michigan State, Notre Dame and Bowling Green prior to an exciting 1-1 overtime tie versus Michigan broadcast across the country in the regular-season finale.
CCHA Goaltender Of Month: Ferris State junior CJ Motte was named the Gongshow Goaltender of the Month in the CCHA of January a year ago. 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 of last year, Bulldog 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.
Hat Trick For Thompson: Current senior wing Garrett Thompson's hat trick on Jan. 5 of last year against Michigan State came nearly a year to the day in which a Bulldog player last recorded three goals in a contest. The season prior, the Bulldogs' 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.
Important Fact: Bulldog senior Garrett Thompson registered 23 points in his last 28 outings a year ago after totaling only three points in the initial 10 contests of the season. Nine of his 11 goals a year ago also came during the stretch.
National Attention: Ferris State is not ranked this week in the USCHO.com Division I National Top 20 poll, but is listed among others receiving votes. The Bulldogs also earned consideration in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine preseason poll. Ferris State was ranked for 37 consecutive weeks dating between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons at one stretch.
Did You Know?: Ferris State ranked second in the nation in combined special teams at 57.5% thru the end of last year's regular-season. In addition, the Bulldogs' power play was 15th the country (20.8%) during regular-season play and the Bulldogs were 12th on the penalty kill at 85.8%. FSU allowed only two goals on 26 opponent power play tries during the seven games in the month of January.
Team Statistics Notes: FSU's Garrett Thompson registered 26 points a year ago to finish a single point behind departed captain Kyle Bonis' team-best 27 points. Thompson had 11 goals and 15 assists a year ago.
CJ Motte was the goalie of record in 35 of the Bulldogs' 37 contests last year. The season before, 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 to the Frozen Four.
CJ Motte finished tied for 16th in the country with three shutouts last year. He was 15th in the nation in save percentage (.927) and 18th in goals against average (2.19). His .927 save percentage established a new school single-season record a year ago.
2014 GLI Invitation: For the first time ever, Ferris State received an invitation to compete in the 2014 Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) and will help celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of college hockey's oldest and most prestigious events at historic Joe Louis Arena in Detroit next season as the fields for the next four GLI hockey tournaments were announced recently by Michigan Tech. The Huskies serve as the host of the annual four-team event with Michigan and Michigan State as mainstays in the event. The hockey holiday tradition will have an all-Michigan flavor for the next four years. Western Michigan will join the Huskies, Wolverines and Spartans at this December's outdoor tournament at Comerica Park. Ferris State will then help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the GLI when it returns to Joe Louis Arena in 2014. Tech's arch rival, Northern Michigan, has been invited to play in the 2015 GLI. Western Michigan returns again in 2016 as the invitational team.
Facing The GLI Field: This season, in 2013-14, the Bulldogs will face all three other 2014 GLI entrants. FSU squares off against Michigan Tech four times over the course of two seperate weekends in January. The Bulldogs first host the Huskies on Jan. 10-11 at the Ewigleben Ice Arena before returning to Houghton on Jan. 24-25 for a two-game league set. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will also take on both Michigan and Michigan State in the same week as part of its December regular-season schedule. FSU squares off against the Wolverines on Dec. 11 at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor before traveling to battle Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing on Dec. 14.
Opening The New WCHA: A new era in the distinguished 62-year history of the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) recently launched the weekend of October 4-6 as nine of the ten league-member clubs hit the ice for their first competition of the 2013-14 season. Ferris State and head coach Bob Daniels' Bulldogs were the only WCHA team engaged in regular season action during the first weekend.
The WCHA Slate: There are a total of 140 WCHA games in 2013-14, with each league-member team playing a total of 28 conference games. Each team will play five other league members four times each and four others two times each. The regular season champion in the men's WCHA is awarded the MacNaughton Cup. The first round of WCHA playoffs will be contested the weekend of March 14-16, a best-of-three series format that will feature the top eight finishers in regular season competition. The No. 1 seed will host the No. 8 seed, No. 2 will host No. 7, No. 3 will host No. 6 and No. 4 will host No. 5.
The WCHA Final Five: Following the first round, the four winners will advance to the 2014 WCHA Final Five, set for March 21-22 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI. The two semi-final matchups on Friday will feature the No. 3 seed vs the No. 2 seed at 2:07 pm ET and the No. 4 seed vs the No. 1 seed at 7:07 pm ET. On championship Saturday, the contest for the Broadmoor Trophy and the league's automatic berth into the NCAA tournament will face-off at 7:07 pm ET.
NCAA Postseason Action: The 2014 NCAA Men's Division 1 Ice Hockey Championship tournament will open the weekend of March 28-30 with four regionals. On Friday and Saturday, the NCAA East Regional will be held at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT while the NCAA Midwest Regional will be played at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH. On Saturday and Sunday, the NCAA Northeast Regional will be held at DCU Center in Worcester, MA and the NCAA West Regional will be at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. The four regional winners will then advance to the 2014 NCAA Men's Frozen Four (national championship), to be contested Thursday, April 10 and Saturday, April 12 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.
Team Captain: Senior defenseman Scott Czarnowczan will serve as the Bulldogs' team captain in the 2013-14 campaign. He is the 43rd individual in the program's history to sport the captain's 'C' on his jersey.
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 22nd year behind the Bulldogs' bench in 2013-14 and owns a school-record 353 career victories.
Tremendous Run: The Bulldogs claimed the school's second CCHA regular-season championship in 10 years during the historic 2011-12 campaign, 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. FSU won or tied 19 of its final 23 games of the 2011-12 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.
Back In The Mix: A total of 20 letterwinners return for the Bulldogs in 2013-14 from a year ago. While the Bulldogs lost five seniors from last year, including team captain and leading scorer Kyle Bonis, FSU did ink a talented incoming recruiting class featuring seven newcomers. Overall, Ferris State returns seven of its top 10 points leaders from a year ago.
Season Openers: The Bulldogs won their season opener for the fourth time in the last five years with this year's win over Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y.
Alumni Success: A record number of more than 20 former Ferris State University skaters signed new professional contracts in the offseason. A year ago, three Bulldogs saw action in the National Hockey League, including NHL First-Team All-Star Chris Kunitz (Penguins), Zach Redmond (Jets) and Greg Rallo (Panthers). Meanwhile, former captain Chad Billins helped lead the Grand Rapids Griffins to the American Hockey League's Calder Cup Championship under the direction of head coach Jeff Blashill, who is also a Bulldog alum and former FSU assistant coach.
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.
2013-14 Bulldog Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2013-14 Bulldog home regular-season hockey games can be purchased by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231)-591-2888. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office's normal hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) weekdays. The ticket office will also offer extended hours until 7 p.m. (ET) on Wednesdays throughout the season and be open on hockey home game Saturday's at 12 p.m. (ET). Single-game tickets may also be purchased by contacting Star Tickets at 1-800-585-3737 or online at Star Tickets website: www.startickets.com.
Purchase In Advance: This season, fans can help the Bulldogs welcome new opponents to Big Rapids in the school's first campaign in the WCHA by purchasing tickets in advance for any home contest during the 2013-14 campaign. Fans will be able to save on single-game tickets by purchasing in advance rather than waiting until gameday.