PREVIEW: Ferris State Hockey Opens Regular-Season Against Rival Western Michigan This Week

FSU
Ferris State vs. Western Michigan
Friday, Oct. 12 - 7:07 pm (Big Rapids)
Saturday, Oct. 13 - 7 pm (Kalamazoo)
Television:  FloHockey.TV (Fri) - NCHC.TV (Sat)
Radio:  97.3 FM WDEE
Stats:  Click Here
Tickets:  Buy Online  |  231-591-2888
Social Media:  Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 
Game Notes (PDF)
Team Video Center


Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey squad opens the 2018-19 regular-season with a home-and-home series against in-state rival Western Michigan on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 12-13) night. The two teams meet in Big Rapids at the Ewigleben Ice Arena on Friday night at 7:07 p.m. (ET) before the series concludes on Saturday at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo at 7 p.m.

Tickets for Friday's regular-season home opener are on sale now and can be purchased thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office or online at StarTickets.com. Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for additional information or call (231) 591-2888.

The Bulldog Sports Network will carry both games live online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com with Friday's game also airing on flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM. Harrison Watt will have 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.

FREE Student Tickets
Courtesy of Ferris State University Housing and Dining, an allotment of free student tickets are available while supplies last at the Ferris State Ice Arena ticket office. Students must pick up tickets in person, with one ticket per student with a valid ID. Free ticket pick-up deadline is 5 pm Thursday (10/12). Dawg Pound season-ticket holders will be granted entry to claim first choice of seats starting at 5:45 pm before the doors open to the public at 6 pm. Fans are strongly encouraged to buy early, be early and wear white.

Ferris State vs. Western Michigan: All-Time History
The Broncos and Bulldogs will battle for the 144th and 145th times in program history this weekend. The Broncos hold the all-time edge at 77-52-14, and are 7-1-2 in the last ten meetings, dating back to Dec. 7, 2012. The last ten games includes the famed Groundhog's Day Game of 2013, a 2-2 tie in which the Bulldogs won the ensuing shootout, after tying the game in the final minute of regulation on a Kyle Bonis goal. The game featured 115 minutes in penalties including an early third period tango that saw eight penalties for 23 minutes, and another skirmish at the 10 minute mark of the third. Ferris State snapped a long winless streak against the Broncos with a 3-2 victory in their home opener on a goal by Coale Norris, who shot a rolling puck while airborne after being tripped up at 7:37 of the third period. Coach Daniels has a career 34-39-10 standing against the Broncos in meetings coached. This is one of the few series in which Coach Daniels has been behind the pine for less than 60 percent of the all-time match ups between Ferris State and any opposing team (83 of 143, 58 percent).

Sophomore Class Leads the Way in Exhibition Weekend Sweep
Outscoring opponents 8-3, the Bulldog underclassmen led the way in 3-1 wins over USA NTDP and University of Lethbridge in a pair of exhibition contests at Ewigleben Ice Arena on Saturday and Sunday Oct. 6-7 at Ewigleben Ice Arena. Sophomore Lucas Finner had a goal and an assist in the win over USA and added a goal and two assists in the win over Lethbridge for a five-point weekend, while fellow sophomore Liam MacDougall had the game-winning goal in both games and added an assist per game for a four-point weekend. Sophomore Frankie Melton scored in both games as well, while freshmen Jake Transit and Cooper Zech added points in Ferris State's preseason slate as well. Junior Dom Lutz scored Ferris State's opening goal against the Lethbridge Pronghorns. Ferris State outshot Lethbridge 48-19 in the victory.

Zech Named WCHA Preseason Rookie of the Year
Ferris State freshman defenseman Cooper Zech was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Preseason Rookie of the Year by the WCHA coaches in the preseason polls. Zech, a native of South Lyon, Michigan, broke out as one of the most potent offensive blue line threats in North American junior hockey last year when he led all British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) defensemen in point scoring with 69 points in 58 games on 11 goals and 58 assists in the regular season for the Wenatchee Wild. Zech finished only five points behind BCHL leading scorer and fellow Wild teammate, forward Jasper Weatherby. Zech's 58 assists also led all BCHL skaters, and no other defenseman finish in the top 20 in scoring in the BCHL. Zech was also the leading scorer amongst defensemen in the BCHL playoffs on four goals and 19 assists for 23 points in 20 games, while leading the Wild in points as well in the Doyle Cup Finals, which the Wild won in five games. Zech also spent time from 2015-17 with the Odessa Jackalopes in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) as well as the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the United States Hockey League (USHL).

Across the Map - Largest World Footprint in Team History
While bringing in a pair of Scandanavian players, the Bulldogs secured the largest world map footprint in program history. Represented are four countries, and eight states, stretching an end-to-end span of 5,645 air miles. Oskar Andren (Daneryd, Sweden) and Roni Salmenkangas (Tampere, Finland) represent the European delegation for the Bulldogs. Across North America, Ferris State goes coast-to-coast. Nate Kallen hails from San Diego, California, while Justin Kapelmaster, from Coral Springs, Florida. Other states represented include Missouri (St. Louis), Illinois (Rockford, Crystal Lake), Ohio (West Chester), and Georgia (Woodstock). Four Bulldogs (Hetz, Recktenwald, Mackin) hail from Pennsylvania, and 12 from Michigan, and three more hail from Canada (all in Ontario). Canadian home towns include Wawa, Windsor, and London, while Pennsylvania home towns include Glenshaw, Venetia and Philadelphia.

Home Sweet Home
To open the 2018-19 Regular Season, Ferris State will play 10 of their first 12 games (two exhibition) inside the friendly confines of Ewigleben Ice Arena. Of their two road games, they will not travel farther from home than East Lansing, Michigan to take on the Michigan State Spartans on Nov. 2. Ferris State will play six of those 12 games in non-conference action (two vs. Western Michigan, Michigan State, and Mercyhurst). Of the 38-game schedule (two exhibition games included), 20 will be played at Ewigleben Ice Arena with 16 on the road. The 20 home dates represents the most in 10 seasons for the Bulldogs. Prior to the holiday break, Ferris State will play 12 home games and seven road games.

New Dawgs on the Block
Ferris State's newest group of Bulldog hockey players includes seven members of the class of 2022:

Freshmen: Cooper Zech comes to Big Rapids having been the top defenseman in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) with the Wenatchee Wild, as he thrived north of the border, potting 11 goals and 58 assists for 69 points in 58 games. Forward Hunter Wendt (NAHL All-First Team, Fairbanks) and defenseman Justin Smith (Topeka, NAHL) are both second generation Bulldogs. Wendt's father, Tim, played in from 1981-85, while Smith's uncle Doug played a pair of seasons under Coach Daniels in his first two seasons (1992-94). Forwards Jake Transit (Dubuque, USHL), Ethan Stewart (Springfield,  NAHL), and Justin Michaelian (Victoria, BCHL), round out the forward group. Goaltender Roni Salmenkangas (Tampere, Finland) posted a .930 save percentage with a 1.58 goals against average with HPK U-20 in Jr. A SM-lliga. Salmenkangas is the first born and trained Finnish player in program history.

Non-Freshman Newcomers Join the Bulldogs
The Bulldogs cap their nine-man incoming crew witha pair of non-freshmen. Redshirt junior Oskar Andren transferred to Ferris State from Boston University last season and becomes eligible following the transfer for the 2018-19 campaign. Andren played a pair of seasons for Boston University, and was a part of the Terrier unit that played in the 2015-16 NCAA West Regional in which Ferris State competed from the opposite side of the bracket. Prior to Boston University, Andren was a teammate of Cam Clarke (BOS) with Lone Star Brahmas in the NAHL. NAHL leading goal scorer of 2016-17 Frankie Melton opens with Ferris State as a sophomore this season after potting 35 goals and being named the South Division MVP with Shreveport in 2016-17.

On this Date in Bulldog Hockey History
The magical 2002-03 run to the most single-season wins in program history (31) had just dawned. The Bulldogs blitzed the nationally 10th ranked St. Cloud State Huskies with a 6-3 victory in which six different Bulldogs scored a goal including, as per usual, Chris Kunitz. Ferris State scored three in the third after leaving the second period deadlocked at 3-3. Kunitz was on his way to a team record 79 points, as well as a 35 goal season and a team record 44 assist campaign. Also enjoying prolific seasons in 2002-03 were linemates Jeff Legue (59 Points) and Derek Nesbitt (54). Kunitz's 35 single-season goals are second most only to "Rocket" Rod Taylor's 41 in the 1990-91 season.