Hockey

Weekly Notes Games 15-16 -- Ferris State at Northern Michigan

Bulldogs Head To Michigan's Upper Peninsula For Thanksgiving Weekend Series

November 25, 2008

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    Dates/Start Times: Friday-Saturday (Nov. 28-29) at Marquette, Michigan; Friday & Saturday - 7:35 p.m. (EST)
    Gametracker LogoGametracker Links: Friday; Saturday
    Radio Broadcast: WWBR-100.9 FM with Bill Beckwith calling the action. Listen
    TVTelevision: None
    VideoLive Video Webcast: B2 Networks

    FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will venture to Michigan's Upper Peninsula this weekend (Nov. 28-29) for a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series against the Northern Michigan Wildcats in Marquette, Mich. The puck will drop for both contests at 7:35 p.m. (EST) inside NMU's Berry Events Center in what represents the only regular-season meetings between the two teams for the 2008-09 campaign.

    FSU Hockey 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.

    The Records: Ferris State is 5-6-3 overall and 4-4-2-0 in the CCHA this season to date after dropping a pair of league home contests to Alaska last weekend (Nov. 21-22) at FSU’s Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris lost a 3-2 decision to the Nanooks in last Friday’s (Nov. 21) series opener and then was dealt a 2-0 loss in Saturday’s (Nov. 22) finale. The Bulldogs are midst a current three-game losing skid and have registered a 2-2-3 mark in away encounters this season. 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).

    Northern Michigan is presently 3-8-1 overall and 2-7-1-0 in the CCHA following a league home series split against Ohio State last weekend (Nov. 21-22) at NMU’s Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich. The Wildcats recorded a 3-1 victory over the Buckeyes last Friday (Nov. 21) before suffering a 2-0 loss in Saturday’s (Nov. 22) rematch. NMU is 1-6-0 in its last seven outings after starting out the 2008-09 campaign going 2-2-1. The ‘Cats have produced a 3-5-0 home ledger this season. Northern Michigan compiled a 20-20-4 overall record with a sixth-place 12-13-3 CCHA mark a season ago.

    The All-Time Series: Ferris State and Northern Michigan will meet for the 66th and 67th times this weekend with NMU maintaining a 45-18-2 all-time series advantage. Last season, the two teams split a league series (1/18-19) on Ferris' home ice with the Bulldogs capturing a 3-2 victory in the series opener (1/18) before suffering a 4-1 series-finale loss to the Wildcats in a nationally-televised contest (1/19). Ferris State is 9-26-0 in road encounters versus NMU to date, which includes a 5-3 triumph in its most recent appearance (1/6/07) at Marquette. Five of the last 12 meetings have been decided by two goals or less with Ferris State sporting a 1-4-0 (.200) record in those contests. Ferris State is 3-7-0 (.300) in its last 10 away encounters against Northern Michigan and tThe Bulldogs are averaging 2.40 goals per game (24 total) in their last 10 away outings to the Wildcats’ 2.90 goals a contest (29 total) for a 0.50 goals differential. FSU sports a 2-3-1 all-time mark in November contests, which includes a 2-1-0 road ledger.

    The Coaches: Ferris StateBob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 17th season, 262-308-59 (.463) – (14-20-1 vs. Northern Michigan – 8-10-0 Away, 5-10-1 Home, 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. He was one of three finalists for the 2007-08 CCHA's Coach of the Year Award.

    Northern MichiganWalt Kyle (Northern Michigan, 1981), 7th season, 125-112-22 (.525) – (10-5-0 vs. Ferris State). Kyle is the second head coach in NMU’s 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 sophomore forward Gregor Hanson (3-4=7) and sophomore defenseman Erik Gustafsson (0-7=7) along with senior forward Nick Sirota (2-4=6). Sirota earned honorable mention All-CCHA recognition a season ago while Gustafsson attained league all-rookie accolades. In goal for NMU this season are junior Brian Stewart (2-7-1, 2.39 GAA, .920sv%) and freshman Devan Hartigan (1-1-0, 1.98 GAA, .946sv%). Stewart, who was honored as the CCHA’s Goaltender of the Week two weeks ago (Nov. 17), currently ranks 32nd among the national statistical leaders in save percentage and is 33rd in goals-against average.

    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 FSU Hockey 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.

    Consistent Performer – Senior left wing Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta), who has played in 13 of Ferris State’s 14 games this season, has generated a team-high tying 10 points (2-8=10) to date. A season ago in FSU’s initial 14 contests, Connolly had compiled a squad-best tying 11 points (5-6=11).

    Top Line – FSU’s top forward line of junior left wing Blair Riley (4-5=9), sophomore center Justin Menke (0-7=7), and junior right wing Cody Chupp (4-3=7) have totaled 24.7% (23-93) of the squad’s points output this season to date. In league action, the trio has generated 25.0% (14-56) of the Bulldogs’ scoring production.

    Scoring Leaders – Ferris State’s top two leading points producers this season, Brendan Connolly and sophomore defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City), have combined to account for 21.5% (20-93) of the Bulldogs’ points. Connolly has tallied at least a point in eight of 13 outings this campaign while Redmond has generated a point or better in eight of 14 contests.

    Goal Scorer – Junior center Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) netted his team-leading seventh (7-2=9) goal of this season against Alaska last Friday (11/21) and is two shy of matching his career single-season best nine lamplighters set in 32 2006-07 season outings. Lewicki, who was the team’s 2007-08 Scholar-Athlete Award winner a season ago, is six points away from equalling his career-high 15 points total (9-6=15) set in the 2006-07 campaign. Seven (6-1=7) of Lewicki’s nine points this season have occurred in CCHA action. The FSU forward has generated at least a point in eight of his 13 appearances this campaign.

    Notable Start – Senior right wing Justin Lewandowski’s (Naperville, Ill.) nine points (5-4=9) in 13 games this season equals his combined points output (3-6=9) in his initial two seasons (2005-06 and 2006-07). Lewandowski registered a career season-high 16 points (11-5=16) in 34 contests last season.

    Final Two – Ferris State has compiled a 7-7-2 (.500) record in its final two November contests dating back to the 2000-01 season, which includes a 2-5-1 road mark. Last season, the Bulldogs dropped a 2-0 decision at Nebraska-Omaha (11/18) before skating to a 4-0 home triumph over Western Michigan (11/30).

    Scoreless – Ferris State’s 2-0 loss to Alaska last Saturday (11/22) represented the first time in which the Bulldogs have been held scoreless since Nov. 18, 2007 when FSU dropped a 2-0 league decision at Nebraska-Omaha.

    Just One More – Sophomore defenseman Scott Wietecha (Wolverine Lake) produced his third goal of this season with a third-period marker versus Alaska last Friday (11/21) and is currently one lamplighter shy of matching his career season-best four total in 36 outings last season.

    Close Encounters – Six of Ferris State’s last eight games to date have been decided by one goal or less with the Bulldogs posting a 3-2-1 record in those six encounters.

    Eight Is EnoughBlair Riley is within eight more points from racking up his 50th career point at Ferris State. The Bulldogs’ assistant captain currently has recorded 42 points (21-21=42) in 84 contests, which includes a career season-best 24 points (14-10=24) in 36 games a season ago.

    Double DigitsBrendan Connolly’s 10 points (2-8=10) in 13 games this season represents the third consecutive season in which the FSU skater has reached the double-digit plateau in points. Connolly had 24 points (13-11=24) last season after netting 22 points (11-11=22) the previous 2006-07 campaign.

    Road Warrior – Six of Scott Wietecha’s eight points (3-5=8) in 14 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 (11/14).

    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 ImprovementThe 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 – Defenseman Zach Redmond, 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 (Regina, Saskatchewan) is rated the fourth-best incoming rookie netminder in the 2008 national rankings after sophomore Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) earned a fourth-place listing a season ago.

    CCHA Honor RollZach 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.



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