CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: FSU vs Minnesota State In WCHA Final At Van Andel Arena
The Opening Faceoff: The nationally fourth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will square off against 15th-ranked Minnesota State in the 2014 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Final Five Championship game on Saturday (March 22) night at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. The top-seeded Bulldogs and second-seeded Mavericks will play for the Broadmoor Trophy and the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament with puck drop set for 7:07 p.m. (ET).
Media Coverage: Saturday's game 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 the start with the online broadcast accessible at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. All links, including live internet statistics, will be available on the online home of Bulldog Athletics.
Television Coverage: Saturday's championship game will be carried live across Michigan and beyond on Fox Sports Detroit. The game will be produced and televised live by Fox Sports North and also distributed via Fox Sports Wisconsin, Sports Time Ohio and Fox College-Sports Central. Check local listings for availability.
Ticket Information: Ferris State University fans can purchase tickets for the title game directly thru Van Andel Arena or via Ticketmaster. Call 1-800-745-3000 or visit Ticketmaster.com for more info.
What's At Stake: The winner of Saturday night's Broadmoor Trophy Championship game will receive the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament.
Selection Sunday: Ferris State will hold a NCAA "Selection Show" event on Sunday (March 22) at the Buffalo Wild Wings location in Big Rapids. The show airs live on ESPNU beginning at 12 p.m. (ET) with FSU expected to receive the program's third-ever NCAA Tournament appearance regardless of this weekend's results. The Bulldogs are currently tied for third in the nation in the PairWise & RPI rankings, which help determine the national tournament field at the end of the season.
Bulldog Headquarters: Ferris State fans are invited to the visit Buffalo Wild Wings in downtown Grand Rapids prior to and after Saturday's title game. The "Bulldog Fan Headquarters" is located at 8 Ionia Ave., in downtown near Van Andel Arena.
FSU The Top Seed: Ferris State fans are encouraged to wear "Red" as the Bulldog Nation invades Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. FSU sold out four student fan buses for Friday's semifinal and a large contingent of Bulldog fans are again expected to follow Ferris State to Saturday's title contest against the Mavericks.
Semifinal Victory: Ferris State enters Saturday's title game with the most victories in the nation as FSU won its 28th contest with a thrilling 5-4 overtime triumph over Alaska Anchorage on Friday night at Van Andel Arena. The contest was capped by freshman forward Gerald Mayhew's overtime goal 2:38 into the extra period. It was his second goal of the game, second game-winner of the season and the second-straight overtime matchup for the Bulldogs this year. Minnesota State was a 4-0 winner over Bowling Green in the first semifinal game of the day.
Against The Mavericks: The Bulldogs are 4-6-2 all-time against Minnesota State heading into Saturday's title game. Earlier this year, the Mavericks swept FSU at home by scores of 6-2 and 4-3 on Jan. 17-18 in Mankato, which marked the first time the two teams had played each other since 1998 ..... Ferris State was a 3-1 winner at home in the most recent matchup prior to this year 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 0-5-1 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.
League Championship History: Ferris State has never won a conference tournament title. Saturday night's title game appearance in the Bulldogs' debut season in the WCHA will represent FSU's first trip to a conference title game since falling to Michigan in the CCHA Championship Game in 2003 before nearly 20,000 fans at Joe Louis Arena. The Bulldogs also dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to Miami in the 1993 CCHA title game at Joe Louis (3/20). FSU's only other championship game/series appearance was in the 1979-80 CCHA Championships (3/14-15) against Northern Michigan in Marquette. NMU claimed the title by winning the series, 15-9, as the overall winner was determined by total goals scored and the Wildcats also won both games.
Interesting Notes: Four of Gerald Mayhew's six goals this season have now come against Alaska Anchorage as he had a goal each night during the Bulldogs' regular-season series with the Seawolves in February prior to the two goals last night ..... FSU junior goaltender CJ Motte holds the most wins (27) in the country and is one of 10 national finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, becoming only the third top 10 finalist in FSU history.