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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will skate against the Western Michigan University Broncos for the third time in the 2006-07 season this Tuesday (Nov. 21) evening in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contest at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
The Records: Ferris State is 3-8-1 overall with a 1-6-1 CCHA mark after dropping a pair of league contests to nationally-ranked Michigan last weekend (11/17-18) in Big Rapids. FSU fell 3-2 to the Wolverines in last Friday's (11/17) series opener and then was dealt a 5-1 setback in Saturday's (11/18) finale. The Bulldogs are 2-6-0 at home this season.
Western Michigan has a 5-5-1 overall record to date, which includes a 4-5-1 CCHA ledger. The Broncos gained a split in last weekend's (11/17-18) home league series versus nationally-ranked Northern Michigan at WMU's Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich. WMU suffered a 7-2 loss to the Wildcats last Friday (11/17) before claiming a 3-2 overtime victory on Saturday (11/18). Western is 2-3-1 in away encounters this campaign.
The Series: Western Michigan has a 63-40-6 all-time series lead advantage over Ferris State although the Bulldogs have won 11 of the last 16 meetings to date. The teams split a series earlier this season (10/20-21) as FSU posted a 2-1 CCHA-opening win at Western Michigan (10/20) before the Broncos turned the tables with a 5-3 triumph on the Bulldogs' home ice the next night (10/21) which snapped a six-game series losing skid. Ferris State sports a 23-24-3 home mark versus the Broncos and has won 7-2-0 in its last nine home outings. The Bulldogs are 5-13-0 all-time in November contests, which includes a 4-4-0 home record.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 15th season, 228-270-49 (.459) – (22-23-2 vs. Western Michigan). 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.
Western Michigan – Jim Culhane (Western Michigan, 1987), 8th season, 115-142-30 (.453) – (13-15-0 vs. Ferris State). Culhane owns the second-longest head coaching tenure at WMU and has directed the Broncos to a fifth place or higher finish in overall CCHA team scoring in five of seven seasons.
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.
Milestone Reached – Senior left wing Matt Verdone (Summerstown, Ontario) recorded his 50th career point with an assist in Saturday’s (11/18) home loss to Michigan. Verdone has 50 career points (26-24=50) in 116 contests, including a career season-high 23 points (15-8=23) in 38 outings last season.
Better At Home– The Bulldogs are averaging 2.9 goals per game (23 total) in their eight home games this season compared to 1.8 goals a contest (seven total) in four road outings for a +1.1 goals differential.
Familiar Foes – Six of Ferris’ last eight games have been against teams in its scheduling cluster (Michigan, Michigan State and Western Michigan) and the Bulldogs are 1-4-1 this season in those outings. The lone win was a 2-1 decision at Western Michigan (10/20). FSU compiled a 6-3-3 mark (15 points) in its 2005-06 CCHA cluster which included Northern Michigan, Lake Superior State and WMU.
Getting The Point – Senior right wing Zac Pearson (White Lake) has a point in five of his 10 contests this season and has tallied at least a point in three of his last five outings (1-2=3) to date. Pearson had a pair of three-game point strings last season, which included five points (0-5=5) in his initial three games.
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.
The First Time – Ferris State was outshot by the opposition for the first time this season in last Friday’s (11/17) 3-2 loss to Michigan as the Wolverines compiled a 37-to-35 shots on goal advantage. The Bulldogs are averaging 34.9 (419 total shots) in their 12 encounters this campaign while the opposition has averaged 26.4 shots on net (317 total shots) during that 12-game span.
Back On The Ice – Senior defenseman Jeremy Schlerlinck (Grosse Pointe) made his 2006-07 season debut this past weekend (11/17-18) in the Bulldogs’ series against Michigan after being sidelined the first 10 games due to an injury. Scherlinck picked up his first point this season with an assist in Saturday’s (11/18) game versus Michigan. Scherlinck, a 2002-03 CCHA All-Rookie Honorable Mention Team pick, is the lone holdover from the Bulldogs’ 2002-03 CCHA Championship team.
Freshmen Production – Ferris’ freshmen forwards – Blair Riley (3-3=6), Cody Chupp (2-4=6), Aaron Lewicki (2-3=5), and Casey Haines (2-1=3) have generated 24.1% (20-83) of the Bulldogs’ points output and 30.0% (9-30) of their goal-scoring production this season.
Blueliner Nearing Last Season’s Total – Sophomore defenseman Chris Zarb (Waterford) is within four points of reaching his 2005-06 season points total (0-10=10). Zarb, a 2004 National Hockey League (NHL) fifth-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, has a point (all assists) in three of his last five contests.