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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team will put its two-game winning streak up against the nationally-ranked Michigan State University Spartans this Friday (Feb. 9) evening in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) matchup at MSU's Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. A 7:35 p.m. (EST) starting time is scheduled for the contest which will be televised live on FSN Detroit.
Television Broadcast: Ferris State will be making its second of three scheduled 2006-07 regular-season appearances on FSN Detroit this Friday (Feb. 9). The game will available for viewing on your local cable channel along with DirecTV channel 636 and Dish Network channel 430 per your subscription. Ken Daniels will serve as the play-by-play announcer with Fred Pletsch serving as analyst. Shireen Saski is the rinkside reporter.
The Records: Ferris State improved to 9-18-3 overall and 6-14-2 in the CCHA as a result of a two-game league series sweep of Ohio State this last weekend (Feb. 2-3) at FSU’s Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs posted a 4-2 win over the Buckeyes in last Friday's (Feb. 2) series opener and then claimed a 6-2 victory in Saturday's (Feb. 3) rematch. Ferris, which is 3-3-0 in their last six encounters to date, has compiled a 3-10-1 road mark this campaign.
Michigan State is 17-8-2 overall and 13-6-2 in the CCHA after posting a 1-0-1 mark against Nebraska-Omaha last weekend (Feb. 2-3) in a two-game league series at the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb. The Spartans recorded a 5-1 victory over the Mavericks in last Friday’s (Feb. 2) series opener and then skated to a 3-3 overtime tie in Saturday’s (Feb. 3) finale. MSU ranks fifth nationally this week in Inside College Hockey.com’s (INCH) poll while the Spartans are listed sixth in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV polls. MSU is 10-1-1 at home this season and the Spartans are midst a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1).
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 15th season, 234-282-51 (.458) – (9-30-7 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 American Hockey Coaches Association's (AHCA) Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year.
Michigan State – Rick Comley (Lake Superior State, 1972), 5th season, 108-68-18 (.603); Career: 705-543-89 (.547) – (6-2-2 vs. Ferris State at MSU and 43-15-4 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. Earlier this season, Comley became the fifth collegiate coach to record 700 hockey coaching victories.
The Series: Michigan State has a 61-24-14 lead over Ferris State in the all-time series which started in the 1979-80 season and this Friday's (Feb. 9) matchup will mark the 100th meeting between the two schools. Ferris is 14-36-5 on the road, 9-24-8 at home, and 1-1-1 at neutral sites versus the Spartans, who are 7-1-2 in their last 10 meetings against the Bulldogs. FSU is 0-1-1 to date this season versus the Spartans as a result of skating to a 2-2 overtime tie at MSU (11/7) before suffering a 6-0 home setback (11/10) at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris is 2-5-1 in its last eight appearances at Munn Ice Arena. Seven of the last nine encounters have been determined by two goals or less with the Bulldogs sporting a 1-4-2 record in those contests. FSU is 5-10-2 all-time in February games against Michigan State, which includes a 3-6-0 road ledger.
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. Michigan State was selected as the favorite to win the league in the CCHA Coaches Poll and was picked to place second in the CCHA Media Poll while totaling 38 first-place votes.
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.
Congrats! – Freshman defenseman Matt Case (Plymouth, Minn.) has been named this week’s CCHA?Rookie of the Week for his career-best two-goals performance in last Friday’s (2/2) win over Ohio State in which he garnered first star honors. He blocked four shots and helped Ferris kill off 10 power-play chances in Saturday’s (2/3) 6-2 triumph versus OSU. He joins junior Jim Jorgensen (Sault Ste. Marie) and sophomore goaltender Mitch O’Keefe (Almonte, Ontario) as FSU players to receive weekly league recognition this season. The pair were selected the CCHA’s Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week, respectively earlier this campaign (11/27).
Count’em Nine – Senior left wing Matt Verdone’s (Summerstown, Ontario) point streak was extended to a career-high nine games as he posted a three-point game (2-1=3) last Saturday’s (2/3) against Ohio State. Verdone has racked up 12 points (5-7=12) in his last nine contests.
First One – Sophomore defenseman Evan Case (Grosse Pointe Woods) tallied his first collegiate goal with Saturday’s (2/3) initial marker early in the first period. Case, who appeared in four games a season ago, has totaled two points (1-1=2) in 19 outings this season to go with a +6 efficiency rating.
Milestone Reached – Ferris State’s 6-2 victory over Ohio State last Saturday (2/3) represented the Bulldogs’ 250th win at the Ewigleben Ice Arena since the 1979-80 season. The Bulldogs, who started playing in the facility in 1979-80, are currently 250-206-49 (.544) all-time in that arena. 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.
Season High – Mitch O’Keefe’s 35 saves in last Friday’s (2/2) contest against Ohio State represented a season best, bettering his 34 stops vs. Michigan (11/17). The 2005-06 FSU Rookie of the Year’s career high is 44 saves versus Ohio State last season (3/3/06) in a CCHA Tourney First-Round series-clinching game. O’Keefe currently ranks fourth among FSU’s all-time leaders in goals-against average (2.88), fifth in save percentage (.895), ninth in minutes played (3,398), and 11th in saves (1,395).
Our Month – 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 a year ago. Miller has accumulated 16 points (4-12=16) in 16 career February encounters while Bomersback has 12 points (4-8=12) in 21 career February appearances. Matt Verdone (6-6=12) and senior right wing Zac Pearson (2-10=12) have also been productive in February throughout their career.
Powering Up – Ferris State is operating at 26.3% (10-38) efficiency on its power play the last six outings after producing a 14.7% (5-34) rate on the man advantage in its previous six contests. The Bulldogs are at 17.4% (32-184) in their initial 30 games this season compared to 17.8% (38-213) at this time last season.
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 at the 2007 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four in St. Louis, Mo. Van Culin, who has nine points (4-5=9) in 29 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. Van Culin, FSU’s 2004-05 CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year honoree, has matched his career season-high with 11 points (4-7=11) in 30 games this season to equal his 11 points (3-8=11) in 39 outings as a sophomore in the 2004-05 season.