March 6, 2014

PREVIEW: #7 Bulldogs Back Home For "Senior Weekend" & Final Regular-Season Series

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vs. Lake Superior State
Friday & Saturday, March 7-8 – 7:07 p.m. (ET)
Ewigleben Ice Arena - Big Rapids, Mich.
 
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Complete Game Notes (PDF)


The Opening Faceoff:
The nationally seventh-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team plays its final Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) regular-season series at home this weekend (March 7-8) as FSU continues its quest for the league crown against the Lake Superior State Lakers at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. Both games are part of "Senior Weekend" and will get underway at 7:07 p.m. (ET).

Media Coverage: Both games will 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.

TV/Broadcast Coverage: A live HD video and audio pay-per-view webcast will be made available for all 2013-14 WCHA regular-season league games along with non-league home matchups thru a conference agreement with WCHATV & America One.  Home games are produced by Ferris Television. Links will be available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

Final Home Series: 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. The Bulldogs' five seniors will be recognized on Saturday before the weekend finale with a FREE Senior Autograph session and Skate With The Dawgs after the game. This year's senior class includes captain Scott Czarnowczan along with forwards Garrett ThompsonAndy HuffCory Kane and Justin DeMartino.

The Records: Ferris State owns a 23-9-3 overall mark to date this year and enters the final week of the regular-season tied with Minnesota State atop the WCHA standings with 38 points. The Bulldogs dropped a pair of games on the road last weekend (Feb. 28-Mar. 1) as FSU fell to Alaska by scores of 4-1 and 5-3, respectively. Minnesota State hosts Michigan Tech and whichever team picks up the most points this week will claim the WCHA's regular-season crown or they would share the title by remaining tied in the conference standings.

Lake Superior State is tied for seventh place in the league and owns a 16-17-1 record along with a 12-14-0 WCHA slate. The Lakers are a single point ahead of Northern Michigan for the final playoff spot. LSSU dropped two home games last weekend to Minnesota State by scores of 5-0 and 4-3 in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Coaches: Ferris State - Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 22nd season, 373-387-87 (.492) – (21-30-10 vs. LSSU – 11-17-5 Away, 10-12-5 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.

Lake Superior State - Jim Roque, (Lake Superior State, 1987), 9th season, 136-163-46 (.461) - (9-8-6 vs. Ferris State). Jim Roque became the ninth coach in the 42-year history of Lake Superior State hockey in June of 2005. He is the second former Laker player to take the helm of the LSSU program. Roque was a member of the LSSU coaching staff when it won the 1988 NCAA crown and he recruited the majority of the 1992 title team. He has played a role in all five NCAA Tournament appearances and was part of two CCHA playoff titles and two regular-season titles..

Series History: Ferris State and Lake Superior State will face off for the 126th and 127th times this weekend in a series that dates back to 1980. The Lakers hold a 66-45-14 advantage. In the last 36 outings, the Bulldogs are 17-12-7 ...... FSU and LSSU met earlier this year with the Bulldogs posting a sweep over the Lakers by scores of 5-3 and 3-1 on Dec. 6-7 in Sault Ste. Marie. The two teams split a pair of matchups a year ago in Sault Ste. Marie with the Lakers earning a 4-1 victory in the opener (11/9/12) before FSU responded with a 2-1 triumph in the finale (11/10/12). The Bulldogs also captured four of a possible six pointsin 2011-12 gainst LSSU.

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 third in the country and the Bulldogs also have the nation's fourth-best winning percentage (.700). 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 18-6-2 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 sixth 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 seventh 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 17 consecutive weeks and found among the country's top 10 teams in each of the last 14 polls.

WCHA Player Of Week: Ferris State senior forward Cory Kane claimed last 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 (Feb. 21-22), produced four scoring points in the two 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 last week's recognition, Kane became the fifth different FSU player to earn recognition in the league this campaign. He joined 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.

Senior CLASS Award Finalist: FSU senior captain Scott Czarnowczan has been named as one of the 10 national finalists for the Senior CLASS Award for his accomplishments on and off the ice.  The award annually goes to a student-athlete for success on and off the ice. The Bulldogs have now had one of the 10 national finalists for the award each of the last three years in Chad Billins and Kyle Bonis.

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

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