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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team hosts the Northern Michigan University Wildcats this weekend (Jan. 18-19) in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The puck drops for this Friday's (Jan. 18) series opener at 7:05 p.m. (EST) while Saturday's (Jan. 19) matchup starts at 8:07 p.m. (EST) as a result of the contest being televised live by College Sports Television (CSTV). The two-game set marks the only regular-season encounters between the teams for the 2007-08 campaign.
The Telecast: This Saturday’s (Jan. 19) game will be televised live by College Sports Television (CSTV) – DirecTV channel 610 and Dish Network channel 152). Matt McConnell will be calling the action with Dave Starman providing analysis. CSTV will be making its debut at FSU’s Ewigleben Ice Arena.
2007-08 Ferris State Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2007-08 Bulldog home hockey games can be purchased by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office's normal hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) weekdays. Single-game tickets may also be purchased by contacting Star Tickets Plus at 1-800-585-3737 or online at Star Tickets Plus' website: www.starticketsplus.com. Tickets are also available at all Meijer store locations in West Michigan.
The Records: Ferris State is currently 9-9-2 overall and 6-7-1 in the CCHA after compiling a 0-1-1 mark last weekend (Jan. 11-12) in a two-game league home set against the Alaska Nanooks in Big Rapids. FSU suffered a 4-3 setback in last Friday's (Jan. 11) series opener before skating to a 2-2 overtime tie with Alaska in Saturday's (Jan. 12) series finale. The Bulldogs, who are 4-3-1 in their last eight outings to date, are listed this week among other teams receiving votes by U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV. The Bulldogs are presently 3-5-2 at home, 5-4-0 on the road, and 1-0-0 at neutral sites this season. Ferris State compiled a 14-22-3 overall record for the 2006-07 campaign, which included a ninth place 10-16-2 CCHA mark. The Bulldogs were 9-8-1 at home, 5-14-1 on the road, and 0-0-1 at neutral sites a season ago.
Northern Michigan is 9-14-1 overall and 6-10-0 in the CCHA after suffering a pair of non-league losses to Wayne State last weekend (Jan. 11-12) at NMU’s Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich. The Wildcats dropped a 4-1 decision to the Warriors last Friday (Jan. 11) and then were dealt a 3-2 overtime setback in Saturday’s (Jan. 12) finale to extend their current losing skid to three games. NMU is 8-6-1 in its last 15 contests to date while sporting a 5-5-0 road mark this campaign. The Wildcats are 5-5-0 on the road, 3-8-1 at home and 1-1-0 at neutral sites this season. Northern Michigan posted a 15-24-2 overall record with a 10th-place 10-17-1 CCHA mark for the 2006-07 season.
The Series: Ferris State and Northern Michigan will meet for the 64th and 65th times this weekend in a series which the Wildcats hold a 44-17-2 all-time series lead. Ferris State is 7-17-2 at home, 9-26-0 on the road, and 1-1-0 at neutral sites versus the Wildcats in the series which started in the 1976-77 season. The teams split last season's two-game set (1/5-6) at NMU's Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich., as the Bulldogs dropped a 4-1 decision in the opener (1/5) before coming back to register a 5-3 series finale (1/6) victory in a game which was televised live by CSTV. Seven of the last 11 meetings have been decided by two goals or less with Ferris State sporting a 3-8-0 record in those contests. Ferris State is 2-7-1 in its last 10 home encounters versus Northern Michigan as the Bulldogs are averaging 2.40 goals per game (24 total) to the Wildcats’ 3.20 goals (32 total) an outing for a 0.80 goals margin. FSU is 5-11-0 all-time in January encounters, which includes a 2-5-0 home mark.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 16th season, 248-295-53 (.461) – (13-19-1 vs. Northern Michigan - 4-9-1 Home; 8-10-0 Away; 1-0-0 Neutral). 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 ACHA's Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year.
Northern Michigan – Walt Kyle (Northern Michigan, 1981), 6th season, 111-98-18 (.529) – (9-4-0 vs. Ferris State). Kyle is the second head coach in NMU history and served as an assistant coach for the Wildcats from 1982-92. He was the program’s top assistant in 1991 when NMU won the NCAA Division I national title.
About Northern Michigan: The Wildcats are led in scoring by junior forward Nick Sirota (12-10=22) and freshman forward Mark Olver (8-10=18), who are among seven NMU skaters with double-digit points totals. Sirota is tied for 31st nationally in goals per game (0.52 avg.) while Olver is 11th in points per game (0.95 avg.) among rookies. Sophomore forward Matt Butcher (4-10=14) and senior forward Matt Siddall (5-8=13) are also rank high on the Cats’ scoring leaders list. Sophomore Brian Stewart (5-9-1, 2.94 GAA, .893sv%) has been NMU’s primary goaltender this season while freshman Reid Ellington (4-4-0, 2.96 GAA, .893sv%) and sophomore Derek Janzen (0-1-0, 3.39 GAA, .848sv%) have also received action.
30th Anniversary – The 2007-08 season represents the 30th anniversary for the Ferris State men’s ice hockey program competing at the NCAA Division I level. The Bulldogs registered a 10-24-0 overall record in the 1978-79 season which marked their NCAA Division I debut.
2007-08 CCHA Preseason Polls: Ferris State was selected to finish ninth with 44 points in the 2007-08 CCHA Coaches Poll while the Bulldogs were tabbed eighth by the media (279 points), which was announced Sept. 25, 2007 during the CCHA's annual media day event at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. Miami (114 points) was selected as the favorite in the coaches poll while 2006-07 NCAA Division I National Champion Michigan State (701 points) claimed top honors in the media balloting. A total of 63 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. Northern Michigan, this week's opponent, was selected eighth in the coaches poll and 10th by the media.
On The Radio: All of Ferris State's 2007-08 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contests can be heard live on Big Country WWBR (100.9 FM) with Bill Beckwith providing the play-by-play.
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: All statistics for the 2007-08 Ferris State men's ice hockey home games along with all Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contests can be followed via GameTracker on Ferris State's Hockey Website at www.ferris.edu/Sports/Hockey and then click on 2007-08 Schedule/Results. GameTracker is a service of Online College Sports and is a real time update of the action. If the GameTracker logo is shown for that game then there will be a GameTracker link. For the other CCHA contests, visit http://ccha.cstv.com/ and click on “GT” to access the GameTracker live statistics feature.
Opponents Seeing Red – Freshman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) is currently the Bulldogs’ top scoring defenseman with 11 points (4-7=11) in 18 outings this season. Redmond netted his first multiple-point game performance versus Alaska last Friday (1/11) with a three-point (1-2=3) output. He has recorded at least a point in nine contests this campaign.
Leading The Way – The Bulldogs presently have four skaters with double-digit points totals this season – sophomore center-right Cody Chupp (4-11=15), junior left wing Brendan Connolly (7-7=14), Zach Redmond (4-7=11), and senior center Adam Miller (3-8=11). The group have combined for 35.4% (51-144) of the team’s points production and 33.3% (18-54) of the squad’s goal-scoring output this season.
The Streak Is Over – Senior defenseman Adam Welch (Hastings, Minn.) snapped an eight-game non-scoring streak with an assist versus Alaska last Saturday (1/12). The FSU captain picked up his first point of this campaign with a helper at Nebraska-Omaha earlier this season (11/16).
Chupp On Hobey Baker Watch List – Cody Chupp, who was the 2006-07 FSU Rookie of the Year Award recipient, is among over 70 NCAA Division I hockey players who have been nominated this season for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate hockey player. The annual Vote For Hobey program is now open and college hockey fans can go on-line to vote for their favorite candidates at hobeybaker.com. The first phase of the fan balloting will run though March 9, 2008. The 2008 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 11, 2008 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Denver, Colo. The 28th annual award announcement honoring college hockey's top player will be televised live during prime time on ESPNU. Former Ferris State All-American Chris Kunitz, who currently stars for the 2006-07 National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup Champion the Anaheim Ducks, was a 2002-03 Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist.
Better Than Last Year – The Bulldogs have generated 21 more points this season (144 total pts.) in their initial 20 contests compared to last season (123 total pts.) at this time. In goal scoring, Ferris State has racked up 54 lamplighters this campaign to date after netting 45 markers a season ago.
Got Shorty – Brendan Connolly netted his first collegiate short-handed goal in Saturday’s (1/12) overtime tie against Alaska while also compiling his fourth multiple-point game of this season in the process with two points (1-1=2). Connolly is one multi-point game outing shy of matching his career single-season five multiple-point game performances set in the 2006-07 campaign.
Moving Up – Junior goaltender Mitch O’Keefe (Almonte, Ontario) is 31 saves away from moving into a seventh-place tie with Pat Mazzoli (1990-93) for seventh place on the school’s all-time leaders list. O’Keefe currently ranks second in goals-against average (2.69), tied for second in shutouts (six), third in save percentage (.902), sixth in minutes played (4,267), eighth in games played (73), and 10th in victories (25). O’Keefe was tabbed as FSU’s Rookie of the Year for the 2005-06 season.
Defensive Stoppers – Ferris State is operating at 91.7% (22-24) on its penalty killing over the last five contests as the opposition has failed to tally a power-play marker in four of those games.