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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will take on the nationally-ranked Michigan State University Spartans this week in a home-and-home Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series. Ferris visits the Spartans this Tuesday (Nov. 7) at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich, before hosting MSU this Friday (Nov. 10) in the series finale at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Both league encounters are slated for 7:05 p.m. (EST) opening faceoffs.
The Records: Ferris State, which was idle last week, sports a 3-5-0 overall mark and is 1-3-0 in the CCHA. The Bulldogs dropped a pair of close league decisions (2-1 and 4-2) to the Alaska Nanooks two weeks ago (Oct. 27-28) at UA's Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. Ferris is 1-2-0 on the road and 2-3-0 in home encounters this season.
Michigan State is currently 4-2-0 overall and 2-2-0 in the CCHA following a home-and-home league series split with their archrivals the Michigan Wolverines this past weekend (Nov. 3-4). MSU claimed a 7-4 home win in last Friday's (Nov. 3) series opener in East Lansing before being dealt a 6-2 loss by the Wolverines in Saturday's (Nov. 4) finale at UM's Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Spartans are ranked fourth nationally this week by Inside College Hockey.com (INCH) while being listed fifth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and sixth in the U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV poll.
The Series: Michigan State has a 60-24-13 lead in the all-time series which started in the 1979-80 season. Ferris is 14-36-4 on the road, 9-23-8 at home, and 1-1-1 at neutral sites versus the Spartans. FSU went 1-0-1 in last season's two meetings, skating to a 2-2 overtime tie at Big Rapids (11/8) before registering a 2-1 win at MSU's Munn Ice Arena in the rematch (1/24). Ferris is 5-7-4 all-time in November encounters - 2-2-1 on the road and 3-5-3 at home. Fifty-six of the 97 meetings have been decided by two goals or less, including 11 of the last 14 encounters.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 15th season, 228-269-48 (.462) – (9-29-6 vs. Michigan 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 ACHA's Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year.
Michigan State – Rick Comley (Lake Superior State, 1972), 5th season, 95-62-16 (.595); Career: 692-538-87 (.558) – (5-2-1 vs. Ferris State at MSU and 42-15-3 vs. FSU all-time). Comley currently ranks fifth all-time in career victories and is third among active coaches behind Boston College's Jerry York and Boston University's Jack Parker. With eight more wins, Comley will become the fifth collegiate coach to record 700 hockey coaching victories.
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. Alaska was chosen seventh in the coaches 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.
His Month – Sophomore center Dan Riedel (Rochester Hills), a 2005-06 CCHA All-Rookie Team selection, recorded a season-best 13 points (2-11=13) in nine November outings a season ago. Junior center Adam Miller (Livonia) posted eight points (4-4=8) in last November for his most productive month of the 2005-06 campaign. November also was the Bulldogs’ best month a season ago as they compiled a 5-2-2 record (.667).
One Point Shy – Sophomore left wing-center Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta) is one point shy of matching his 2005-06 season’s production. Connolly, who has currently totaled at least a point in five of his last seven contests this season, has compiled six points (2-4=6) this year after tallying seven points (1-6=7) in 36 outings last season.
Closing In A Milestone – Head coach Bob Daniels, the program’s all-time winningest coach, remains two victories shy of attaining his 100th career road decision. The Bulldogs were 8-8-3 on the road last season, which included a 5-6-3 road ledger against CCHA competition.
If You Remember – Bob Daniels’ 100th career win at Ferris State was against his alma mater Michigan State as the Bulldogs posted a 2-1 conference triumph over the Spartans at Munn Ice Arena in the 1998-99 regular season finale (3/6). Daniels (1982) and assistant coach Mark Kaufman (1984) are both graduates of Michigan State.
Seven Is His Magic Number – Sophomore goaltender Mitch O’Keefe (Almonte, Ontario) is seven saves away from recording his 1,000th career save and presently ranks 14th among Ferris State’s all-time saves leaders. O’Keefe, who has made 993 career stops in 41 appearances, is 174 saves shy from tying Dave Swierpel (1975-77; 1,167 career saves) for 13th place on the all-time charts.
On The Shelf – Senior left wing Mark Bomersback (Rochester, Alberta), Ferris State’s top returning points leader from 2005-06 with 32 points (16-16=32) in 40 games, suffered a broken leg in this season’s opener against Union (10/6) and will be sidelined until mid-December.
Shooting Gallery – Ferris State has presently outshot the opposition in seven of its eight contests this season and posted a combined 58-to-48 shots on goal advantage in the Alaska series two weeks ago (10/27-28). The Bulldogs have currently 86 more shots on goal (284-198) than their opponents this season. Ferris is averaging 35.5 shots on net this campaign (284 total shots) compared to a 29.0 shots on goal average (232 total shots) in its initial eight outings a season ago.
Did You Know? – Senior defenseman Joe Van Culin (Monticello, Minn.) went 26 games last season before registering his third point of the season. Van Culin, who had six points (1-5=6) in 36 outings for the 2005-06 campaign, registered his third point this year with a power-play goal at Alaska (10/28) and has three points (2-1=3) in eight contests to date.
The Big 50 – Senior left wing Matt Verdone (Summerstown, Ontario) is two points shy of notching his 50th career point. Verdone, who had a career season-high 23 points (15-8=23) in 38 outings a season ago, has compiled 48 career points (25-23=48) in 112 contests.
Match Game – Junior defenseman Jim Jorgensen’s (Sault Ste. Marie) two goals (2-2=4) in eight contests this season already matches his single-season career best goals output (2-4=6) set in 35 outings during his freshman year in the 2004-05 campaign.