PREVIEW: #2 Bulldogs Set For Key WCHA Road Series At Minnesota State

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at Minnesota State
Friday & Saturday, Jan. 17-18 – 8:37/8:07 p.m. (ET)
Verizon Wireless Center - Mankato, Minn.

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Friday 8:37 ET Ferris TV 22/97 (Live) 97.3 FM
Saturday 8:07 ET Ferris TV 22/97 (Live) 97.3 FM

 

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Complete Game Notes (PDF)

The Opening Faceoff: The nationally second-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team hits the road this weekend as the Bulldogs continue Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) action with a key league series against the Minnesota State Mavericks at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minn. Friday's opener gets underway at 8:37 p.m. (ET) with the finale on Saturday set for a 8:07 p.m. (ET) start.  FSU has a league-leading 14-game unbeaten streak in conference play and a five-point lead atop the standings.

Media Coverage: Boths games will also be simulcast live on Ferris Television. The network is broadcast locally to Charter Cable subscribers on channel 97 in Canadian Lakes, Evart, Big Rapids and Reed City. Ferris TV can also be found on channel 22 on the Big Rapids campus. The games will also be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Dominic Hennig and 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 made 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 at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

The Records: Ferris State owns a 17-3-3 overall mark to date this year and is first in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) standings with a 12-0-2 league record. The Bulldogs resumed WCHA play last weekend (Jan. 10-11) by sweeping Michigan Tech before back-to-back sellout crowds inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. FSU won the opener 1-0 on Friday night before topping the Huskies 3-2 on Saturday in the finale.

Minnesota State is 12-10-0 overall on the season and owns a 10-6-0 mark in WCHA action heading into the weekend series. The Mavericks are in third place in the league standings and only a single point out of second place behind Bowling Green. MSU dropped a pair of WCHA road contests last weekend by scores of 2-1 and 3-1 at Alaska-Anchorage (Jan. 10-11).

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 22nd season, 367-381-87 (.492) – (4-4-2 vs. Minnesota State – 4-1-1 Home, 0-3-1 away and 0-0-0 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.

Minnesota State - Mike Hastings (St. Cloud State, 1993), 2nd season – (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State – 0-0-0 Home, 0-0-0 Away, and 0-0-0 Neutral). In his first season at the Minnesota State helm a year ago, Hastings directed the Mavericks to a program Division I best 24 victories along with a trip to the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in school history. He was named national coach of the year by the Hockey News. Hastings previously spent three years as associate coach at Nebraska-Omaha along with a year as an assistant at Minnesota. The USHL's all-time winningest coach, Hastings compiled a 529-210-56 record in 14 years with the Omaha Lancers, never had a losing season and led Omaha to three Clark Cup titles as the USHL's playoff champions. He was named USHL Coach of the Year three times and as the team's general manager, earned league GM of the Year honors five times.

Series History: The Bulldogs are 4-4-2 all-time against Minnesota State heading into this weekend's series, which will mark the first time the two teams have played each other since 1998 ..... Ferris State was a 3-1 winner at home in the last matchup against the Mavericks on Nov. 7, 1998. The two teams had recorded a tie the night before ...... Overall, the Bulldogs are 4-1-1 at home and 0-3-1 on the road against Minnesota State to date ....... The two teams played each other twice in Mankato in 1997-98 along with four times in 1996-97 with the Bulldogs recording a 1-4-1 mark in that stretch ....... Ferris State posted decisive 7-1 and 3-1 wins at home in 1992-93 to open the all-time series.

Leading The Nation: Currently, FSU's 17 wins are tied for the most in the country along with Quinnipiac and the Bulldogs also have the nation's second-best winning percentage (.804) behind top-ranked Minnesota. Ferris State held the nation's longest unbeaten streak at 16 games (13-0-3) prior to its setback to Colgate in the championship game of the Mariucci Classic (Jan. 4). Ferris State is first in the WCHA standings with a 12-0-2 league record and has yet to drop a league game in its debut season in the conference.

National Rankings: Ferris State ranks second nationally this week in the United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) National Poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Polls. The Bulldogs were third a week ago after previously being ranked second over the holiday break. Ferris State was ranked for 37 consecutive weeks dating between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons at one stretch and was ranked first in the nation during the memorable 2011-12 season. The number two national ranking this year represents the Bulldogs' highest placing in the poll since finishing second overall in the final 2011-12 USCHO.com Division I poll announced after FSU's historic appearance in the national championship game at the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four.

Last Weekend: Ferris State wrapped up a weekend home sweep of visiting Michigan Tech in WCHA action as the Bulldogs skated to a 3-2 triumph on Saturday (Jan. 11) evening before a sellout crowd of 2,529 fans inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Ferris State scored the first two goals of the night and received a 44-save performance in net from junior goaltender CJ Motte in topping the Huskies to remain unbeaten in WCHA play this season. The Bulldogs resumed WCHA play and opened the weekend series by beating the Huskies 1-0 on Saturday night before a sellout crowd in the first contest between the two teams since 1995. Senior forward Garrett Thompson scored on a slapshot 8:25 into the third period to break the scoreless tie and account for the only goal of the night in the opener. Friday's contest marked FSU's first home game since Nov. 23 and the victory came in the squad's first league tilt since early December. Motte registered his third shutout victory of the campaign in the win.

Vote For Hobey Baker Award: Voting is currently underway to help determine the 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner and Bulldog fans can cast their vote for FSU goaltender CJ Motte and senior forward Garrett Thompson. The annual award is given to college hockey's top player and fan balloting takes place online at www.hobeybakeraward.com. The first phase of fan balloting runs through March 9. Phase two of fan balloting begins on March 20 from the list of Top 10 Hobey Baker finalists. The 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three finalists on April 11 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Philadelphia.

Click Here For Complete Game Notes (PDF)

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