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Date/Time: Friday (March 6) at Omaha, Neb. - 8:05 p.m. (EST); Saturday (March 7) at Omaha, Neb. - 8:05 p.m. (EST); Sunday (March 8) at Omaha, Neb. - 8:05 p.m. (EDT) (If Necessary)
Gametracker Links: Friday; Saturday; Sunday (If Necessary)
Radio Broadcast: WWBR-100.9 FM with play-by-play announcer Bill Beckwith. Listen
Live Video Webcast: B2 Networks
FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team begins first-round play in the 2009 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Playoffs this weekend (March 6-8) as the Bulldogs visit the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks in a best-of-three series at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb. The puck will drop for the opening two matchups at 8:05 p.m. (EST). This Sunday's (March 8) game, if necessary, will also get underway at 8:05 p.m. (EDT). Ferris State enters the league tourney as the ninth seed while the Mavericks are the eighth seed.
The Records: Ferris State wrapped up the regular season at 12-17-7 overall and posted a ninth-place 9-14-5-2 CCHA mark. The Bulldogs were swept in a league home-and-home series against nationally-ranked Michigan last weekend (Feb. 27-28). Ferris State suffered a 6-1 series-opening loss to the Wolverines last Friday (Feb. 27) at FSU’s Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs then closed out the regular season with a 4-0 setback to Michigan at UM’s Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. This season, Ferris has compiled a 6-6-4-(1) record in away encounters. 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).
Nebraska-Omaha concluded the regular season at 13-15-8 overall with an eighth-place 8-13-7-3 CCHA record. The Mavericks skated to a 2-2 non-conference overtime tie against Minnesota State last Tuesday (Feb. 24) in their most recent action at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb. UNO is 0-9-5 in its past 14 outings with the last triumph occuring Jan. 9 in a 4-3 home league victory over Northern Michigan. The Mavericks are 8-6-5 at home this campaign. Nebraska-Omaha compiled a 17-19-4 overall mark, which included an eighth-place 11-13-4 CCHA mark last season.
The All-Time Series: Ferris State and Nebraska-Omaha will square off for the 27th, 28th and possibly the 29th times in a series which UNO leads 14-9-3 and dates back to the 1999-00 campaign. The two teams meet four times during the 2008-09 regular season with the Bulldogs compiling a 2-1-1 mark against the Mavericks. In the first two-game series (11/14-15) at Omaha, Neb., Ferris State posted a 3-2 victory (11/14) before suffering a 4-2 setback in the series finale (11/15). FSU and UNO met again (1/30-31) but this time in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs would notch a 7-1 series-opening triumph (1/30) before the teams skated to a 1-1 overtime tie in the rematch (1/31) with FSU going on to claim a 2-1 decision in the shootout. In the last five meetings, FSU sports a 2-2-1 ledger versus the Mavericks. Ferris State is 4-8-0 all-time in road encounters at UNO and 11 of those 12 away contests have been determined by two goals or more with the Bulldogs owning a 3-8-0 mark in those 11 outings. FSU is 1-0-0 all-time in March outings as a result of producing a 4-0 home triumph back in the 2002-03 campaign (3/1).
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 17th season, 269-319-63 (.462) – (9-14-3 vs. Nebraska-Omaha – 4-8-0 Away, 5-6-3 Home, 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 among three finalists for the 2007-08 CCHA Coach of the Year Award.
Nebraska-Omaha – Mike Kemp (Gustavus Adolphus, 1975), 12th season, 192-221-57 (.469) – (14-9-3 vs. Ferris State). Kemp, who was the 2004-05 CCHA Coach of the Year, has been the only head coach in the program’s 12-year history. He was a finalist for the CCHA Coach of the Year and the Spencer Penrose Trophy for National Coach of the Year honors in 1999-00. Kemp was a finalist for national coaching honors in three of his first eight seasons. He directed the Mavericks to their first-ever NCAA Tourney berth in the 2005-06 season.
Scouting Nebraska-Omaha: The Mavericks are led in scoring by junior defenseman Eddie Del Grosso’s 31 points (5-26=31) while senior forward Dan Charleston (9-16=25) and senior forward Tomas Klempa (14-9=23) are also among the team’s top points producers. Del Grosso ranks 19th nationally in assists (0.74 avg.). Senior Jerad Kaufman (7-8-3, 2.35 GAA, .915sv%) and junior Jeremie Dupont (6-7-5, 2.68 GAA, .909sv%) both received action in goal for UNO. The Mavs rank 42nd nationally in scoring offense (2.50 gpg.), 19th in scoring defense (2.64 gpg.), 30th in power play (16.2), and 33rd in penalty killing (83.7).
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.
On The Road – Ferris State is averaging 2.38 goals in its 16 away encounters this season (38 total) to the opposition’s 2.69 goals an outing (43 total), a difference of 0.31 goals an outing. The Bulldogs have compiled a 6-6-4 road mark this campaign. FSU is operating at 18.2% (14-77) efficiency on the power play and 84.0%?(84-100) in penalty killing.
Opponents See Red – Sophomore defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) is midst his most productive season at Ferris State this campaign with a team second-best 24 points (3-21=24) in 36 contests. Redmond, who has notched at least a point in 19 games to date this season, produced 19 points (6-13=19) in 37 outings a season ago.
Best For Last – Senior left wing Brendan Connolly’s (Canmore, Alberta) squad-high 26 points (8-18=26) in 33 games this season represents a career single-season high, surpassing his 24 points (13-11=24) in 38 appearances last season. Connolly now has amassed at least 20 or more points in his last three seasons to date, which started in 2006-07 with 22 points (11-11=22) in 38 contests.
Best Season – Nine of the team’s 17 returning skaters from the 2007-08 campaign have established career single-season bests in points this campaign. Junior center Casey Haines (Indiana, Pa.) is tops eith 16 points (6-10=16) in 36 games this season compared to eight points (4-4=8) in 33 outings last season. Sophomore left wing Mike Embach’s (Orland Park, Ill.) career season-best 13 points (9-4=13) in 32 contests this campaign surpasses his seven points (1-6=7) in 25 games a season ago.
March Magicians – Senior right wing Justin Lewandowski (Naperville, Ill.), junior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids), and Brendan Connolly are Ferris State’s career points leaders in March contests. Lewandowski has totaled a team-high nine points (4-5=9) in 10 appearances while Chupp has recorded eight points (3-5=8) in nine outings and Connolly has produced seven points (2-5=7) in 13 encounters.
Second-Half Scoring Surge – The sophomore class has accounted for 36.9 of the team’s scoring since the start of the 2009 CCHA regular-season. In those 14 league matchups, the eight sophomores have 27 of FSU’s 73 points while also producing 55.6% (15 goals) of the squad’s 27 total goals. The five-member senior group has produced 31.5% (23-73) of the Bulldogs’ points production and 22.2% (6-27) of their goal-scoring output. The six-member junior class has totaled 21.9% (16-73) of FSU’s scoring and 11.1% (3-27) of the team’s goal production in the second-half of the 2008-09 season.
Overtime Streak Ends – Ferris State’s 15 overtime game unbeaten streak (3-0-12 record) came to an end with a 3-2 overtime loss at Alaska on Feb. 21. Prior to that outcome, the Bulldogs’ last extra-session setback was Feb. 9, 2007 at Michigan State (2-1). FSU is 1-1-6-(1) on the road and 2-0-5-(1) at home in its last 16 overtime contests.
Closing In – Justin Lewandowski is one point shy of matching his career season-high 16 points (11-5=16) set last season in 34 games. The forward has presently compiled 15 points (8-7=15) in 34 outings this campaign. Senior defenseman Evan Case’s (Grosse Pointe Woods) six points (1-5=6) in 36 contests this season is one away from equalling his career-best seven points (2-5=7) in 39 appearances a season ago. Meanwhile, sophomore center-left wing Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) is within two points of tying his career season high of 21 points (8-13=21) set in 39 games last season. Menke has generated 19 points (5-14=19) in 34 contests to date this season.
CCHA Playoff History – Ferris State is currently 20-49-3 (.299) all-time in CCHA Playoff action. The Bulldogs are 8-45-0 on the road, 10-0-0 at home, and 2-4-0 at neutral sites. FSU’s opening-round playoff matchup against Nebraska-Omaha will represent the first-ever between the two teams. A season ago (3/7-8), the Bulldogs swept Western Michigan in a best-of-three first-round playoff series at Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris State registered a 4-3 overtime decision in the series’ opener (3/7) and then posted a series-clinching 6-3 triumph over the Broncos (3/8).
Daniels In The CCHA Playoffs – Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels has compiled a 15-28-0 (.349) bench mark in CCHA Playoff competition dating back to his first season (1992-93) at the helm. Daniels is 5-26 in road contests, 8-0 in home encounters, and 2-2 at neutral sites. He guided the Bulldogs to a 1993 CCHA Championship semifinal appearance (3/20 – 4-3 overtime loss to Miami) at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena and then to the 2003 CCHA Super 6 Championship title game (3/22 – 5-3 loss to Michigan) at Joe Louis Arena.
Playoff Scoring – In its last 21 CCHA Playoff First-Round contests to date since the 1999-00 season, the Bulldogs are averaging 3.24 goals per game (68 total) while the opposition has averaged 3.19 goals (67 total) during that period for a 0.05 goals margin.
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.
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.