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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team will go up against the Ohio State University Buckeyes this weekend (Feb. 2-3) in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series at Big Rapids, Mich. The puck will drop for both contests at 7:05 p.m. (EST). The two-game set represents the first and only meetings between the two teams for the 2006-07 regular season.
The Records: Ferris State is presently 7-18-3 overall and 4-14-2 in the CCHA following a pair of league losses (9-4 and 6-2) to the nationally-ranked Michigan Wolverines last weekend (Jan. 26-27) at UM’s Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Bulldogs, who are 3-7-0 in their last 10 contests, have recorded a 4-8-1 home mark this season.
Ohio State is 10-11-5 overall and 8-8-4 in the CCHA after gaining a split last weekend (Jan. 26-27) in a two-game league series versus the nationally-ranked Lake Superior State Lakers at LSSU’s Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. OSU dropped a 4-2 decision to the Lakers in last Friday’s (Jan. 26) opener before registering a 5-3 triumph over LSSU in Saturday’s (Jan. 27) series finale. The Buckeyes, who are listed among others receiving votes in this week’s U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV poll, are 6-3-2 in their last 11 encounters. OSU is 5-4-2 on the road, 5-6-3 at home and 0-1-0 at neutral sites this campaign.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 15th season, 232-282-51 (.456) – (18-26-3 vs. Ohio State). Daniels has the distinction of being the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State history. He was honored as the 2002-03 CCHA Coach of the Year and the Inside College Hockey (INCH) Coach of the Year, but the crowning highlight of his coaching career was being chosen as the recipient of the 2003 Spencer Penrose Award as the American Hockey Coaches Association's (AHCA) Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year.
Ohio State – John Markell (Bowling Green State, 1979), 12th season, 225-203-42 (.523) – (23-15-2 vs. Ferris State). Markell, who's the seventh head coach in OSU history, was named the 1998 CCHA Coach of the Year and a runner-up for national coach of the year honors. He has directed the Buckeyes to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2003-05) and a Frozen Four appearance in 1998.
The Series: Ferris State trails Ohio State 55-37-11 in the all-time series which dates back to the 1978-79 season. Ferris has won the last two meetings (3/3-4/06) with 3-0 and 2-1 home victories over the Buckeyes in the opening round of the 2006 CCHA Tournament. FSU posted an 0-1-1 record during the 2005-06 regular season, skating to a 3-3 overtime tie (2/17) before dropping a 3-2 decision the next evening (2/18) at OSU's Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Ferris State is 25-21-3 at home against Ohio State, which includes a 7-3-1 mark in its last 11 home appearances. Ten of the last 11 meetings between the two teams have been decided by two goals or less with the Bulldogs registering a 3-6-1 record in those contests. Ferris State is 10-15-1 all-time in February encounters versus the Buckeyes, including going 6-5-0 in home affairs.
2006-07 CCHA Preseason Polls: Ferris State was selected to finish ninth (55 points) in the 2006-07 CCHA Coaches Poll and seventh in the media poll (437 points), which was announced Sept. 27, 2006 during the CCHA's annual media day event at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. Michigan State (177 points) was the favorite in the coaches poll while Michigan (845 points) claimed top honors in the media balloting, finishing one point ahead of second-place Michigan State (844 points). A total of 77 media members ranked the 12 CCHA teams in projected order of finish for the regular season. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school. Ohio State was picked to place fourth in the CCHA Coaches Poll and sixth, one place and four points ahead of Ferris State, in the CCHA Media Poll.
On The Radio: All of Ferris State's 2006-07 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contests can be heard live on Big Country WWBR (100.9 FM) with Bill Beckwith handling the play-by-play duties.
On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics’ official web site can be found at www.ferris.edu/sports. The site features information on all of FSU’s varsity athletics programs including rosters, statistics, yearbooks and more.
Live Stats: “Live Stats” of all 2006-07 Ferris State men's ice hockey home contests will be provided via the internet. Visit http://ccha.cstv.com/ and click on “GT” to access the GameTracker live statistics feature in the Schedules/Results section.
Goal Scorer – Senior left wing Eric Vesely’s (Woodstock, Ill.) last six points have all been goals, which included a season-best tying two lamplighters in at Michigan last Friday (1/26). His team-high tying eight goals in 28 games this season is two shy of his career-best 10 markers set a season ago in 40 contests. Vesely has amassed 35 career points in 111 contests with 60% (21-35) being goals scored.
Streak Continues – Senior left wing Matt Verdone (Summerstown, Ontario) extended his point streak to a career-best seven games with a pair of assists at Michigan last Saturday (1/27). Verdone, who picked up a helper at Michigan last Friday (1/26), has accumulated eight points (3-5=8) during the seven-game period.
No Place Like Home – Senior right wing Zac Pearson (5-6=11) and Matt Verdone (5-5=10) have combined to produce 22.3% (21-94) of the Bulldogs’ points production in 13 home encounters this campaign. A season ago, Pearson totaled eight points (2-6=8) in 18 home outings while Verdone produced eight points (5-3=8) in 18 Ewigleben Ice Arena appearances.
Approaching An Arena Milestone – Ferris State enters this weekend’s (2/2-3) home series against Ohio State needing two victories to attain its 250th victory at the Ewigleben Ice Arena since the 1979-80 season. The Bulldogs, who started playing in the facility in 1979-80, are currently 248-206-49 (.542) all-time. FSU’s best home mark was in the 1979-80 campaign as the Bulldogs posted a 16-5-0 ledger. Ferris has attained double-digit home victories in a season 12 times with the most recent occurring in the 2003-04 campaign (10-6-2). FSU registered an 8-6-4 home ledger last season.
One For All – All 18 Ferris State skaters in last Friday’s (1/26) game at Michigan recorded a shot on goal with Matt Verdone’s six shots leading the way. The Bulldogs concluded the contest with 40 shots on net, which represented the sixth time FSU has racked up 40 shots or more in a game. Ferris posted a season-high 50 shots on goal versus Lake Superior State earlier this season (12/8).
Vote For Joe – Senior defenseman Joe Van Culin (Monticello, Minn.) has been selected as finalist for the Pontiac Frozen Four Skills Challenge on April 6 as part of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four to be held at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. Van Culin, who has nine points (4-5=9) in 28 contests this season, was among 89 hockey student-athletes chosen by the selection committee. Voting is presently underway through Feb. 12 and fan votes will be used to help the committee decide the 32 skills challenge participants (16 male and 16 female). Ferris State fans can vote online at www.ncaasports.com or through the link on the hockey homepage at www.ferris.edu/Sports/Hockey. Van Culin was FSU’s 2004-05 CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year honoree.
Productive February – Senior center Mark Bomersback (Rochester, Alberta) generated a team-best tying eight points (3-5=8) in eight February 2006 contests while junior center Adam Miller (Livonia) garnered seven points (2-5=7) in eight games. Bomersback has compiled 10 points (3-7=10) in 19 career February encounters while Miller has notched 12 points (2-10=12) in 14 career February appearances.
Blueline Scoring – Ferris State’s eight defensemen have combined to produce 55 points on 13 goals and 42 assists in 28 games this season to date, which represents 27.9% (55-197) of the team’s points output. Sophomore Chris Zarb’s (Waterford) 14 points (1-13=14) is tops among the Bulldogs’ blueliners. A season ago in its initial 28 outings, FSU’s defensive corps had combined for 39 points with three goals and 36 assists. Junior Jim Jorgensen (Sault Ste. Marie) had a squad-high 13 points (1-12=13) in 25 contests at this time last season.