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Dates/Start Times: Friday-Saturday (Nov. 21-22) at Big Rapids, Michigan; Friday & Saturday - 7:05 p.m. (EST)
Gametracker Links: Friday; Saturday
Radio Broadcast: WWBR-100.9 FM with Bill Beckwith calling the action. Listen
Television: Ferris Television (Nov. 21 game only - tape delayed)
Live Video Webcast: B2 Networks
FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team entertains the Alaska Nanooks this weekend (Nov. 21-22) in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs, who are currently tied for second place in the league standings, will go up against the Nanooks in a pair of 7:05 p.m. (EST) contests. As a rsult of both teams being clustermates this season, Ferris State and Alaska will square off again in late February 2009 for a pair of league tilts at Fairbanks, Alaska.
2008-09 Bulldog Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2008-09 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.
Meijer Family Hockey Night: This Friday's (Nov. 21) home contest against Alaska represents a Meijer Family Hockey Night promotional game. The Meijer Family Hockey Night promotion features four game tickets, four sodas and two bags of popcorn for $32. Meijer Family Hockey Night coupons are available at the Big Rapids Meijer and can be redeemed at the FSU Athletics Ticket Office 24 hours prior to the game’s start time.
The Records: Ferris State is 5-4-3 overall and 4-2-2-0 in the CCHA this season after splitting a league two-game set against Nebraska-Omaha last weekend (Nov. 14-15) at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb. FSU pulled out a 3-2 victory against the Mavericks in last Friday's (11/14) series opener before being dealt a 4-2 loss in Saturday's (11/15) rematch. The Bulldogs are listed this week (11/17) among other teams receiving votes in the U.S. College Hockey Online/CBS College Sports, USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine, and Inside College Hockey.com polls. FSU currently sports a 3-2-0 mark in home contests this campaign. Ferris State concluded the 2007-08 season with an 18-16-5 overall record and placed fifth in the final CCHA regular-season standings at 12-12-4 (28 points).
Alaska is 5-4-1 overall and 3-3-0-0 in CCHA play after splitting a two-game league series with nationally-ranked Michigan two weeks ago (Nov. 7-8) at UA’s Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Nanooks claimed a 4-1 victory over the Wolverines in the opener (Nov. 7) before suffering a 3-2 setback in the series finale (Nov. 8). Alaska, which was idle last weekend (Nov. 14-15), is 1-1-0 in road outings this campaign. A season ago, Alaska posted a 9-21-5 overall record with a ninth-place 8-16-4 CCHA mark.
The All-Time Series: Ferris State and Alaska will faceoff for the 48th and 49th times this weekend. The Bulldogs have a 23-21-3 lead in the all-time series which dates back to the 1984-85 season. FSU is 13-5-2 at home, 8-16-1 on the road, and 2-0-0 at neutral sites versus Alaska. The Nanooks produced a 1-0-1 mark versus the Bulldogs a season ago (1/11-12) at Big Rapids, claiming a 4-3 series-opening triumph and then skating to a 2-2 overtime tie against Ferris in the finale. The Bulldogs are 1-9-2 (.167) in their last 12 meetings with the Nanooks after generating a 13-3-0 mark (.813) in the previous 16 encounters. Nine of the last 12 contests have been decided by two goals or less with Ferris State owning a 1-6-2 record in those matchups. Ferris is 9-3-2 in its last 14 home outings against Alaska, which included a nine-game winning streak (11/11/97-1/2/04) at one point. In the last five contests at FSU’s Ewigleben Ice Arena, the Bulldogs have averaged 2.0 goals a game (10 total) to the Nanooks’ 3.6 goals per outing average (18 total). Ferris State is 6-3-1 all-time in November encounters, which includes registering a 3-1-1 home ledger.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 17th season, 262-306-59 (.465) – (19-20-3 vs. Alaska – 11-4-2 Home, 8-16-1 Away, 0-0-0 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. He was one of three finalists for the 2007-08 CCHA's Coach of the Year Award.
Alaska – Dallas Ferguson (Alaska, 1996), 1st season, 5-4-1 (.550) – (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Ferguson was named Alaska’s eighth head coach in May 2008 after serving the four previous years as an assistant coach. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Nanooks (1992-96) and currently ranks 21st on UA’s career scoring list.
About Alaska: The Nanooks are presently led in scoring this season by junior center Dion Knelsen (5-4=9), who ranks tied for 47th nationally in goals per game (0.50 avg.). Knelsen along with senior right wing Braden Walls (4-3=7) and senior center Adam Naglich (3-4=7) are Alaska’s leading points producers to date. Senior goaltender Chad Johnson (3-4-1, 1.87 GAA, .929sv%) has started eight games while freshman Scott Greenham (2-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000sv%) has started in both of his two appearances. Johnson is listed 14th among the national leaders in goals-against average and is 19th in save percentage. Nationally, Alaska ranks 40th in scoring offense (2.30 gpg.), tied for fourth in scoring defense (1.50 gpg.), 10th in penalty-kill efficiency (91.8%), 17th in scoring margin (0.80), 49th in power-play efficiency (08.9%), and 55th in penalty minutes (10.8 avg.).
2008-09 CCHA Preseason Polls: Ferris State was chosen sixth in the 2008-09 CCHA Coaches Poll with 84 points and was tabbed the same placing by the media with a 529 points total. Both the preseason CCHA Coaches and Media Polls were announced Sept. 30, 2008 during the CCHA's annual media day event at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. Notre Dame (128 points) was the favorite in the coaches poll and second (915 points) in the media poll as the Fighting Irish finished national runner up for the 2007-08 national championship. Michigan, which captured both the 2007-08 CCHA Regular Season and CCHA Tournament titles, earned a league-best 945 points with 43 first-place votes in the media balloting. A record 83 media members ranked the 12 CCHA teams in projected order of finish for the regular season. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, but were excluded from ranking their own team.
On The Radio: All of Ferris State's 2008-09 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 2008-09 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 2008-09 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.
Within The Friendly Confines – Ferris State is averaging 3.4 goals per game (17 total) in its five home contests this season while the opposition has averaged 2.8 lamplighters an outing (14 total). The Bulldogs hold a 207-to-138 advantage in shots and are averaging 41.4 shots a contest to their opponent’s 27.6 shots per game average.
Nate’s Netter – Sophomore left wing Nate Hennig (Macomb) tallied his first collegiate points with a goal and an assist in last Friday’s (11/14) 3-2 league victory at Nebraska-Omaha. Hennig scored a power-play marker late in the second period and earned the second assist on the winning goal in the third period.
Early Riser – Junior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) has totaled five points (3-2=5) of his nine points this season in the game’s opening period. The Bulldog assistant captain amassed 10 points (4-6=10) a season ago in the initial 20 minutes of a contest.
Streak Snapped – Senior right wing Justin Lewandowski (Naperville, Ill.) had his five-game points streak snapped after not producing a point in Saturday’s 4-2 setback at Nebraska-Omaha. Lewandowski has presently totaled at least a point in seven of 11 outings played in this season.
So Close – Freshman goaltender Taylor Nelson’s (Regina, Saskatchewan) 29 saves at Nebraska-Omaha last Friday (11/14) were two shy of equalling his season-best 31 stops set at Miami (Ohio) the previous week (11/7). Three of Nelson’s four appearances this campaign have been on the road where the Bulldog netminder is 1-0-2 with a 2.53 goals-against average (eight goals allowed) and a .906 save percentage (77 saves)?in over 189 minutes of action.
Notable Lamplighter – Sophomore left wing Mike Embach (Orland Park, Ill.) produced his first career game-winning lamplighter with a third-period marker in last Friday’s 3-2 triumph at Nebraska-Omaha. Embach, who has three points (2-1=3) in nine outings this season, is four shy of matching his seven points total (1-6=7) in 25 contests for the 2007-08 campaign.
Approaching A Milestone – Blair Riley is eight points away from recording his 50th career point. The FSU forward currently has chalked up 42 points (21-21=42) in 82 contests with a career season-best 24 points (14-10=24) coming last season in 36 games.
Road Warrior – Six of sophomore defenseman Scott Wietecha’s (Wolverine Lake) seven points (2-5=7) in 12 contests this season have been in road encounters. Wietecha, who has six points (2-4=6) in seven road outings this campaign, has generated at least a point in five FSU away contests with a season-high two points (0-2=2) at Nebraska-Omaha last Friday (11/14).
The Second Time Around – The Bulldogs are 3-1-0 in the second game of a CCHA series this season compared to 1-1-2 in league set openers. Ferris has outscored its opponent 13-10 in those series finale contests while operating at 96.2% (25-26) efficiency in penalty killing. Sophomore goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) is 3-1-0 with a 2.25 goals-against average (nine goals allowed) and a .926 save percentage (112 saves) in four second-game appearances.
Lamplighter Louie – Junior center Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) produced his team-best sixth goal of this season at Nebraska-Omaha last Friday (11/14). Lewicki, who was the team’s 2007-08 Scholar-Athlete Award recipient, has already surpassed his four goals in 39 outings last season and is three shy of matching his career single-season nine markers set in 32 contests during his 2006-07 freshman campaign.
Successful Season – Ferris State’s 18 victories (18-15-5 overall) for the 2007-08 season not only exceeds its win total of the previous 2006-07 campaign (14-22-3 overall), but surpasses the 17-win total (17-15-8 overall) in the 2005-06 season which is the Bulldogs’ most successful season since the historic 2002-03 season. Ferris has won at least 10 games per campaign for 30 straight seasons to date. The 1999-00 squad compiled a 21-16-2 overall mark.
Taking The Fifth – Ferris State’s fifth-place CCHA finish last season (12-12-4 CCHA - 28 league points) represented the program’s highest placing since the 2002-03 CCHA regular-season championship season in which the Bulldogs were 22-5-1 in the CCHA (45 league points). Besides the 2002-03 campaign, the 1990-91 squad finished with a third-place 15-12-5 league mark (35 league points). The 2007-08 squad bettered the 2005-06 team’s sixth-place tying 27 league points (10-11-7 CCHA).
Home Improvement – The Robert L. Ewigleben Ice Arena, presently in its 34th season of operation, underwent a 3.3 million dollar renovation project this past summer. Renovations included new rink slabs for both the main and half ice sheets along with new dasher boards and installation of tempered glass panels. Locker room renovations, new lighting along with new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment were installed.
Returning Firepower – Ferris State returns 14 of its top 15 points leaders from last season, including junior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids), who had a career-high and squad-best 30 points (11-19=30) in 39 games a season ago. Overall, the Bulldogs welcome back 88.9% (97-109) of their goal-scoring output and 80.6% (224-278) of their points production from last season.
Seeing Red – Sophomore defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City), a 2007-08 CCHA All-Rookie Team pick and FSU’s 2007-08 Rookie of the Year Award winner, led all Bulldog defensemen in scoring last season with 19 points (6-13=19) in 37 contests. He placed sixth in team scoring and produced the second-highest points total among Ferris’ freshmen a season ago. Redmond, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft with the 184th overall pick by the Atlanta Thrashers, attained honorable mention honors on the 2008-09 CCHA Preseason All-Conference Team as selected by the league’s 12 head coaches.
2008-09 Captains – For the first time in three seasons, Ferris State will have a different skater wearing the captain’s ‘C’ this campaign. Cody Chupp, who was an assistant captain on last season’s squad, replaces three-time team captain Adam Welch. Zach Redmond along with junior left wing Blair Riley will serve as the Bulldogs’ assistant captains this season.
Impressive Frosh Class – The Bulldogs’ freshman class is ranked 15th in the nation by Inside College Hockey.com (INCH). INCH compiled its 2008 recruiting rankings with extensive input from college and junior coaches along with professional scouts. Individually, goaltender Taylor Nelson is rated the fourth-best incoming rookie netminder in the 2008 national rankings after sophomore Pat Nagle earned a fourth-place listing a season ago.
CCHA Honor Roll – Zach Redmond along with center Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) and goaltender Pat Nagle were all named to the 2007-08 CCHA All-Rookie Honorable Mention Team. Center Aaron Lewicki was FSU’s CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year representative and Bob Daniels was among three finalists for the CCHA's Coach of the Year Award.
2008-09 Yearbook Available Online: The 2008-09 Ferris State University Men's Ice Hockey Yearbook is available to view online in a PDF format. The 84-page publication features such information as 2008-09 player rosters, season outlook, player biographies, coaching staff information, 2007-08 season statistics, career and season statistical records, series records, game records, etc. Visit the FSU athletics website at www.ferris.edu/sports to find the publication online.