PREVIEW: #4 Bulldogs Faceoff Against Alaska In Fairbanks This Weekend
UP NEXT IN BULLDOG HOCKEY:
vs. Alaska Nanooks
Friday & Saturday, Feb. 28-March 1 – 11:07 p.m. (ET)
Carlson Center - Fairbanks, Alaska
Alaska Audio Broadcast
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Team Video Center
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
The Opening Faceoff: The nationally fourth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team hits the road for a long Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) road trip this weekend as the Bulldogs visit the Alaska Nanooks for a two-game league set at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. Both games will get underway at 11:07 p.m. (ET) for FSU's final league regular-season road series.
Media Coverage: This week's games will not be carried by Sunny 97.3 FM or the Bulldog Sports Network. However, links to the Nanooks' online stream, including live America One video along with live internet statistics, will be available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
TV/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 conference agreement with WCHATV & America One. Links will be available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
The Records: Ferris State owns a 23-7-3 overall mark to date this year and moved back into sole possession of first place in the WCHA standings last weekend with a 18-4-2 league record. The Bulldogs lead second place Minnesota State by two points as both teams have four games remaining in the regular-season. Ferris State swept Alaska Anchorage at home last weekend (Feb. 21-22) in Big Rapids with the Bulldogs winning 4-2 in Friday's opener before taking a 5-3 triumph on Saturday to close out the sweep of the Seawolves.
Alaska is 14-12-4 overall on the season and 11-11-2 in the WCHA heading into the weekend. The Nanooks are currently tied for fifth overall in the conference with 24 points and can still finish as high as third overall. Alaska was idle last weekend, but has won its last four games overall and is coming off a road sweep at Michigan Tech on Feb. 14-15 by scores of 7-3 and 7-2 in league play.
The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 22nd season, 373-385-87 (.493) – (27-29-4 vs. Alaska -- 11-21-1 Away, 16-8-3 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 two years ago.
Alaska - Dallas Ferguson, 6th season, 94-93-32– (10-9-6 vs. Ferris State). Dallas Ferguson became the eighth head coach of his alma mater on May 15, 2008, after he served four years as an assistant coach for the Blue and Gold. Ferguson has guided the program to new heights during his first four seasons at the helm. After leading the team to a fourth place finish in the CCHA and capturing the league's Coach of the Year award in 2008-09, he took the Nanooks to the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history in 2009-10.
Series History: Ferris State and Alaska will be facing off for the 66th and 67th times this weekend. The Bulldogs hold a narrow 31-30-4 all-time series edge over the Nanooks, which includes a 18-9-3 mark against Alaska in Big Rapids after a sweep earlier this year (Nov. 22-23) by scores of 5-3 and 4-3 at the Ewigleben Ice Arena ..... FSU posted a 2-1-1 overall mark versus Alaska in 2011-12 before splitting two games last season. FSU won last year's opener 6-3 in Big Rapids (10/26/12) but fell 3-2 in the finale (10/27/12) ..... Twenty of the last 21 meetings between the two teams have been decided by two goals or less. FSU is 6-11-3 in those contests against Alaska .... FSU head coach Bob Daniels owns a 16-8-3 mark at home against the Nanooks in his head coaching career ..... Ferris State has seven wins and a tie in the last 10 matchups against Alaska.
Home Ticket Information: Single-game tickets for all FSU home contests this season are currently on sale and can be bought online at StarTickets.com, by calling 1-800-585-3737 or purchased in person at the FSU Athletics Ticket Office. The ticket office will be open inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) along with extended hours on Wednesday until 7 p.m. (ET). Fans can save and avoid potential lines by purchasing in advance. For more ticket information, fans can visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com or call (231) 591-2888.
FSU Clinches Home Ice: Ferris State and Minnesota State have both clinched home ice for the opening round of the WCHA Playoffs the weekend of March 14-16. FSU will host an opponent to be determined in the best-of-three series with the winner advancing on to the WCHA Final Five at Grand Rapids' Van Andel Arena on March 21-22. Tickets for the first round playoff series are currently on sale thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office.
Among Best In Nation: Currently, FSU's 23 wins are second in the country and the Bulldogs also have the nation's fourth-best winning percentage (.742). Ferris State held the nation's longest unbeaten streak earlier this year 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 18-4-2 league record and hadn't dropped a league game in its debut season in the conference prior to its mid-January series at Minnesota State. FSU's current 12-1-1 home mark ranks as one of the top showings on home ice in the nation this season. Ferris State is also tied for third this week in the national PairWise and RPI rankings, which will help determine the NCAA Tournament field at the end of the season.
National Rankings: Ferris State ranks fourth nationally this week in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll along with the United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) National Poll. The Bulldogs have been ranked as high as second in the nation three times this season, including prior to the Minnesota State series. 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 represented 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. Ferris State has currently been ranked among the nation's top 20 teams in the USCHO poll for 16 consecutive weeks and found among the country's top 10 teams in each of the last 13 polls.
WCHA Player Of Week: Ferris State senior forward Cory Kane claimed this week's WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honor. Kane, who sparked the Bulldogs to a two-game conference sweep over third place Alaska Anchorage, produced four scoring points in the two FSU victories with a goal and three assists, fired a team-high eight shots on goal and earned a +3 plus/minus rating. The back-to-back wins stretched the Bulldogs' lead to four points atop the WCHA standings with two weeks to go in the regular season. Kane had a three-point effort Saturday, earning First Star of the Game honors and pushing his point-scoring streak to six straight games. He tallied a goal and two assists in the Bulldogs' 5-3 win over UAA before a sold out crowd. With this week's recognition, Kane becomes the fifth different FSU player to earn recognition in the league this campaign. He joins sophomore forward Matt Robertson as an offensive recipient to date while freshman forward Kyle Schempp previously earned Rookie of the Week. Junior D Jason Binkley was a Defensive Player of the Week winner while CJ Motte has claimed the WCHA's defensive nod six times to date this campaign.
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.
Bulldog Olympian: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey program has its first-ever Olympic Gold Medal Champion as Bulldog alum Chris Kunitz of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Pittsburgh Penguins helped lead Canada to victory in the gold medal game on Sunday (Feb. 23) in Sochi, Russia. Kunitz not only won gold, but also sealed the victory with a goal of his own as Canada claimed the gold medal for the second-straight Winter Olympic Games with a 3-0 victory over Sweden, which came on the heels of an exciting 1-0 triumph over the United States in the semifinals on Friday.. A member of the Pittsburgh Penguins and two-time Stanley Cup Champion, Kunitz was an NHL First-Team All-Star last season. He played for FSU from 1999-03 and led the Bulldogs to a CCHA Championship as a senior in 2002-03.
Final Home Series: Following this weekend's road series in Alaska, FSU returns home for "Senior Weekend" on March 7-8 as the Bulldogs host Lake Superior State in the final weekend of regular-season play at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. A special "Buy One, Get One Free" promotional offer is available for the LSSU series while supplies last. The Bulldogs' five seniors will be recognized on March 8 before the weekend finale with a FREE Senior Autograph session and Skate With The Dawgs after the game.
Complete Game Notes (PDF)