PREVIEW: Ferris State Hockey Opens WCHA Playoffs At Bowling Green This Weekend

WCHA Playoffs
Ferris State at Bowling Green
Friday-Sunday, 8:07/7:07/7:07 pm
Television:  WCHA.TV (PPV)
Radio:  97.3 FM WDEE
Stats:  Click Here
Tickets:  Buy Online  | 877.BGSU.Ticket
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Game Notes (PDF)
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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University opens up Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Playoff action on the road this weekend (March 2-4) as the Bulldogs visit Bowling Green for first-round action at the Slater Family Ice Arena in Bowling Green, Ohio. The puck drops on Friday night at 8:07 p.m. (ET) with game two on Saturday and Sunday's deciding game three, if necessary, boht starting at 7:07 p.m. (ET).

The winner of the best-of-three first-round series will advance to the WCHA Semifinals.

For ticket information, please call the BGSU Ticket Office at 877.BGSU.Ticket or visit www.bgsufalcons.com/tickets to purchase online.

All three games if needed will be carried live by the Bulldog Sports Network and flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM with Harrison Watt on the call starting with the Johnson Automotive Pregame Show a half-hour prior to puck drop each day. Live video coverage will also be provided on a pay-per-view basis thru WCHA.TV.

Ferris State Tops Lake Superior in front of Large Senior Night Crowd
The Bulldogs battled for a 4-2 win over the Lake Superior State Lakers in front of a crowd of over 2,300 fans on Saturday (Feb. 24) night in the regular-season finale at the Ewigleben Ice Arena to complete a WCHA weekend sweep in Big Rapids. Ferris State freshman forward Coale Norris scored twice for the Bulldogs while junior goaltender Darren Smith made 30 stops for his second consecutive 30-plus save performance and victory. Ferris State honored its seven seniors prior to the game and the win in a special pregame ceremony on Senior Night. Norris is now tied for second amongst Bulldog goal scorers in his freshman campaign, while Mitch Maloney went for four points on the weekend sweep in his return to action from injury in his senior night. With the win, FSU secured the number six seed for the upcoming WCHA Playoffs and will travel to third-seeded Bowling Green for a first-round best-of-three series Friday-Sunday (March 2-4).

Dawgs Clinch WCHA Playoff Spot with Home Win
The Ferris State University men's ice hockey officially clinched a berth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Playoffs with a 4-1 win over the Lake Superior State Lakers on Friday (Feb. 23) evening before a crowd of more than 2,000 fans inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Ferris State junior and captain Corey Mackin scored twice while junior goaltender Darren Smith put up one of his finest performances of the year in goal with 37 stops. Mitch Maloney, Nate Kallen and Mackin each posted two points in the victory.

Maloney and Norris Capture WCHA Player of the Week Awards
In Ferris State's weekend sweep of the Lake Superior State Lakers, the Bulldogs had a number of outstanding performers. Senior Mitch Maloney won WCHA Offensive Player of the Week Honors for his two goals and two assists including a game-winning tally on Saturday over the Lakers. Maloney now has career-high's of 15 goals and 10 assists for 25 points in his senior campaign. Freshman Coale Norris scored three times and added an assist for four points on the weekend and WCHA Freshman of the Week Honors for the second
time in the second half of the season. Norris leads all Ferris State freshmen with 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points.

Darren Dazzles Against Lake Superior State
Ferris State junior goaltender Darren Smith spun himself a pair of strong starts against the Lake Superior State Lakers on Feb. 23-24. Smith made 37 saves allowing one goal in the opener, and finished on a 30 of 32 performance Saturday for a league-high .957 save percentage, .014 higher than Bemidji State's Michael Bitzer. Smith was one of only two WCHA goaltenders to win two games, and posted a 1.50 goals against average, best of any goaltender making two starts on the weekend.

Norris Freshman Campaign Comparisons
Since 2010, only three freshmen of scored ten or more goals in a freshmen campagin. Kyle Schempp (2014), and Corey Mackin (2016) each finished with 10, and none have finished with more than 10 since Matt Stefanishion scored 12 in 2004-05. Coale Norris currently sits at 10 after a three-goal weekend against Lake Superior State, and is deadlocked at 18 points with his brother (fellow freshman) and San Jose Sharks draft pick Josh Norris of the University of Michigan. Josh has 8-10-18, opposite of Coale's 10-8-18 line. Head-to-head, Coale has one goal, and Josh has no points.

Maloney Named Hobey Baker Nominee
Ferris State senior forward Mitch Maloney serves as the Hobey Baker nominee for the Bulldogs. The senior and Macomb, Mich. native has tied his career-high in goals with 15 and assists with 10. With six games to play, is at his career-best 25. There was no more potent goal-scorer in the WCHA – and nearly nationally – in November than Maloney, who lit the lamp nine times in eight games. He scored three more goals than other WCHA skater in November, while matching Clarkson's Josh Dickinson for the most in the country.

The Doctor and The Surfer Make for Unique Pair
Sophomore defensemen Joe Rutkowski and Nate Kallen have linked up to form Ferris State's most formidable defensive unit, getting it done at both ends of the ice this weekend. The two each had a pair of assists and were a combined +8 on the weekend in the sweep of Lake Superior State. Perhaps more impressively, while Ferris State got outscored by eight goals combined on the weekend at Minnesota State the week prior, both were even on the plus/minus scale or better for the weekend. The two have heated up in the
second half, scoring combined just under a point per game (nine in 10 team games) since Jan. 19. Since Feb. 10, Rutkowski is tied for a league-high +5, and Kallen is tied for second at +4.

Meet The Falcons
The Bowling Green State Falcons have won 20 games for the fourth consecutive season and went 17-6-5 on the year in WCHA to clinch the third place spot in the playoffs. The Falcons rolled along to wins in eight of their final ten games since being swept by Northern Michigan in Marquette in mid-January. Despite their strength in wins, they had trouble with seventh place Alabama-Huntsville who scratched out a split with the Falcons, and last place Alaska Anchorage team that wouldn't go away in the series finale at Anchorage. The Falcons have no shortage of fire power, four Falcons have 10 or more goals, and 11 have 10 or more points on the season. All but one Falcon that has suited up this year has at least one point. Sophomore defenseman Alec Rauhauser has a team-high 35 points in 36 games and is a team best +17 with four power play goals. Mitch McLain has 27 points with 16 goals to lead the Falcons in goal-scoring and shots on goal (104). The Falcon Freshmen have been some of the best in the conference save for Minnesota State. Brandon Kruse has 31 points (2nd on the team), Max Johnson has 25 (4th on the team,) Cameron Wright with 23 (6th on the team), while Connor Ford has 16 (8th on the team). Johnson leads the Falcons with seven power play goals this year on a power play that clicks at 20.9 percent. In goal, Ryan Bednard has done much of the work at 24 games played, and has a .912 save percentage to go with two shutouts. He faces a below average number of shots on goal per outing in comparison to the rest of the WCHA, as the Falcons are the nation's 15th best team-defensive unit.

All-Time History vs. Bowling Green State
Ferris State sports a 59-66-21 record against the Falcons in 146 prior meetings. This is the second playoff meeting in seven years between the Bulldogs and the Falcons. The Bulldogs lost in three games in the first round of the 2011-12 CCHA Playoffs. Two of the three games in the best-of-three series went to an extra session, and the Falcons won both. Ferris State was an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament, and was able to overcome their first round shock into an appearance in the National Championship game. Bowling Green swept Ferris State in Ohio to end the 2016-17 WCHA Quarterfinals. The Bulldogs and Falcons have met in the post season for six prior series. Ferris State has won two and Bowling Green has won four. Ferris State was swept at home in the only meetings this season with Bowling Green back in early January.

Ferris State in the WCHA Playoffs
Ferris State is 6-2-0 all-time in WCHA First Round Playoff Contests, and 9-4-0 all-time in the WCHA Tournament. The Bulldogs have advanced twice to the Championship Final in five seasons, and won once. The Bulldogs advanced to the semifinal or farther in three straight seasons from 2014-2016. Gerald Mayhew holds Ferris State's all-time playoff scoring mark with 17 points.

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