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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will wrap up Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) play for the 2006 calendar year this weekend (Dec. 8-9) as the Bulldogs host the Lake Superior State University Lakers in a two-game set at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. This Friday's (Dec. 8) contest will begin at 7:05 p.m. (EST) while Saturday's (Dec. 9) series finale is slated for a 5:05 p.m. (EST) opening faceoff.
The Records: Ferris State is currently 4-10-1 overall and 2-8-1 in the CCHA after suffering a pair of league losses to nationally-ranked Miami (Ohio) last weekend (Dec. 1-2) at MU's new Steve Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio. Ferris dropped a 5-3 decision in last Friday's (Dec. 1) series opener and then was dealt a 7-2 setback in Saturday's (Dec. 2) finale. The Bulldogs are 3-6-0 at home this season to date.
Lake Superior State improved to 10-5-1 overall and 5-4-1 in the CCHA last weekend (Dec. 1-2) with a CCHA home-and-home series sweep of Upper Peninsula rival Northern Michigan. The Lakers posted a 2-0 victory in last Friday's (Dec. 1) series opener at LSSU's Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. LSSU then claimed a 5-2 triumph over the Wildcats in last Saturday's (Dec. 2) game at NMU's Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich. Lake Superior State, which is 4-1-1 in its last six outings, is 4-4-1 in away contests this campaign. The Lakers are ranked 20th this week in both the U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV and Inside College Hockey.com polls.
The Series: Lake Superior State has a 57-38-11 advantage over Ferris State in an all-time series which started back in the 1977-78 season. Ferris State is 20-27-4 at home versus the Lakers and is 7-1-1 in its last nine appearances at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. FSU recorded a 1-0-3 mark in last season's four-game series as the Bulldogs skated to a pair of overtime ties (4-4 and 1-1) at LSSU (10/21-22/05). Ferris then finished in a 2-2 overtime deadlock in game one (1/20/06) at Big Rapids before claiming a 3-1 home victory over the Lakers the next evening (1/21/06). Nineteen of the last 25 meetings have been decided by two goals or less with Ferris tallying a 7-7-5 record (.500) in those outings. FSU is 2-6-1 all-time in December encounters, which includes a 2-4-0 home ledger.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 15th season, 229-274-49 (.459) – (14-21-7 vs. Lake Superior 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.
Lake Superior State – Jim Roque (Lake Superior State, 1987), 2nd season, 25-19-8 (.558) – (0-1-3 vs. Ferris State). Roque became the ninth coach in the 40-year history of the Lakers' hockey program in June 2005. He's the second former Laker player to take the helm of the LSSU program.
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.
Teddy Bear Toss – The annual Teddy Bear Toss for Toys For Tots will be held this Saturday (12/9) in conjunction with Ferris State’s game versus Lake Superior State. Fans are encouraged to bring a teddy bear and throw onto the ice between the first and second periods. The teddy bears collected on the ice will be picked up by the Marines Toys For Tots and distributed to needy children in the local area for the Christmas Holiday.
Time Change – The starting time for Ferris State’s CCHA series contest against Northern Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 6, has been changed from 7:35 p.m. to 8:05 p.m. (EST) in order to accomodate live coverage of the game by College Sports Television (CSTV). CSTV will also televise the Bulldogs’ Jan. 26th league tilt at Michigan.
No Place Like Home – Senior left wing Matt Verdone (Summerstown, Ontario) has produced a team-best eight points (3-5=8) in nine home outings this season. In comparison, he has been scoreless in six away encounters. Verdone posted a team-high four points (3-1=4) in last season’s four-game series versus Lake Superior State.
Forward Switch – Senior defenseman Joe Van Culin’s (Monticello, Minn.) last three game appearances have been as a member on a forward line. Three of his season’s six points (3-3=6) are the result of goals, which included his most recent lamplighter last Friday (12/1) at Miami (Ohio). His current points total this campaign already equals his 2005-06 season’s production of six points (1-5=6) in 36 games.
The Soo Connection – A pair of Bulldogs, junior defenseman Jim Jorgensen (Sault Ste. Marie) and junior goaltender Derek MacIntyre (Stanwood) both played juniors (2002-04) for the Soo Kewadin Indians of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Associate head coach Drew Famulak, who’s in his 14th season at FSU, lettered two years at Lake Superior State (1986-88) and was inducted into the Lakers’ Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the LSSU 1987-88 national championship team on Oct. 22, 2005.
Streak Extended – Jim Jorgensen extended his current scoring streak to three with an assist in last Friday’s (12/1) game at Miami (Ohio) and then added two more helpers in Saturday’s (12/2) rematch against the RedHawks. Jorgensen has also tallied three lamplighters in 14 outings this campaign, which already represents a personal career single-season high. He scored two goals in 34 games as a freshman in the 2004-05 season.
On Ice Improvement – Sophomore left wing Brendan Connolly’s (Canmore, Alberta) eight points (3-5=8) in 14 contests this season marks a personal career best, bettering his seven points (1-6=7) in 36 outings a campaign ago. His power-play goal in last Saturday’s (12/2) game at Miami (Ohio) snapped an 10-game goal-scoring drought.
Double-Digit Scorers – Senior right wing Zac Pearson (White Lake) and sophomore center Dan Riedel (Rochester Hills), the Bulldogs’ two skaters with double-digit points to date this season, have combined to generate 19.3% (21-109) of the squad’s present points production. Riedel (11-20=31) and Pearson (6-20=26) finished third and fourth in 2005-06 team scoring, respectively.
Pearson’s Points – Zac Pearson, who had a goal and an assist in last Friday’s (12/1) Miami game to go with another helper in Saturday’s (12/2) affair, has produced five points (2-3=5) during his current three-game point string. He has totaled at least a point in eight of 13 contests this campaign.