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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team begins Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Playoff First-Round action this weekend (March 2-4) versus the Lake Superior State University Lakers in a best-of-three series at LSSU's Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. A 7:35 p.m. (EST) start time is slated for this Friday's (March 2) matchup while Saturday's (March 3) contest will begin at 7:05 p.m. (EST). If necessary, the third and deciding series game on Sunday (March 4) will take place starting at 7:05 p.m. (EST). The Bulldogs are seeded ninth in the league post-season tournament while the host Lakers are the eighth seed.
The Records: Ferris State is currently 13-20-3 overall and finished 10-16-2 in CCHA play following a 2-0 regular-season league finale setback to nationally number-one ranked Notre Dame last Saturday (Feb. 24) at UND’s Joyce Center in Notre Dame, Ind. Ferris State, which has presently won six of its last eight games, won its fourth consecutive game with a 5-2 league win over top-ranked Notre Dame in last Friday’s (Feb. 23) opener on the Fighting Irish’s home ice. FSU is 4-12-1 on the road, 9-8-1 at home and 0-0-1 at neutral sites this season to date.
Lake Superior State concluded the regular season at 17-16-3 overall and 11-14-3 in the CCHA after posting a 4-3 regular-season finale victory versus Western Michigan last Saturday (Feb. 24) in CCHA action at LSSU’s Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The Lakers dropped a 3-1 home decision to the Broncos in last Friday’s (Feb. 23) series opener. LSSU, which is 3-5-0 in its last eight encounters, is among other teams receiving votes in this week’s (Feb. 26) U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV poll. The Lakers are 11-5-1 in home games this campaign.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 15th season, 238-284-51 (.459) – (14-22-8 vs. Lake Superior State). Daniels, who sports a 6-10-4 bench mark on the road against Lake Superior State, 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, 32-30-10 (.514) – (1-1-4 vs. Ferris State). Roque became the ninth coach in the 40-year history of the Lakers' hockey program in June 2005. He's only the second former Laker player to take the helm of the LSSU program. Roque ranks 19th place among LSSU's career scoring leaders and was also a member of the first Laker squad to advance to the NCAA Division I Tournament in 1985.
The Series: Lake Superior State has a 58-38-12 advantage over Ferris State in an all-time series which started back in the 1977-78 season. Ferris State is 17-29-6 on the road versus the Lakers and is 3-2-31 in its last eight outings at LSSU's Taffy Abel Arena. LSSU registered a 1-0-1 mark against the Bulldogs during the 2006-07 regular-season series with both games being held at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The two teams skated to a 1-1 overtime tie in the series opener (Dec. 8) before the Lakers claimed a 4-1 victory in the finale (Dec. 9). Twenty of the last 27 meetings have been decided by two goals or less as the Bulldogs sport a 7-7-6 record (.500) in such encounters. Five of the last eight meetings have went into overtime with all resulting in a tie. Ferris is 3-3-0 all-time in March matchups with the Lakers, which includes a 1-2-0 road record.
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. Lake Superior State was picked to place 10th in both the CCHA Coaches and Media Polls.
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.
A Strong Finish – Ferris State has won six of its last eight contests and had its season-best four-game winning streak come to an end last Saturday (2/24) in the Bulldogs’ 2-0 regular-season finale loss at Notre Dame. Ferris averaged 3.13 goals per game to the opposition’s 1.75 goals an outing (25-to-14) during those eight appearances which all occurred in February.
Productive Month – The Bulldogs posted a 6-2-0 record in the month of February this season which was not only the team’s most successful month of the 2006-07 campaign, but also the best since the 2002-03 regular-season championship season when Ferris State won all of its six February contests.
Mark Is Back – Senior center Mark Bomersback (Rochester, Alberta) returned to the lineup last Friday (2/23) at Notre Dame after missing the three previous games due to an injury. He had a career-high tying and season-best three-point (2-1=3) outing in the Bulldogs’ 5-2 league triumph at nationally number-one ranked Notre Dame and has registered at least a point in five of his last seven encounters to date with a combined eight points (5-3=8) in that span.
The First Ones – Ferris State became the first CCHA team this season to win on Notre Dame’s home ice as a result of last Friday’s (2/23) 5-2 win over the top-ranked Fighting Irish. The setback was only ND’s second on its home ice this campaign – 4-2 non-league loss to Robert Morris (1/7).
Big Mac – Junior goaltender Derek MacIntyre (Stanwood) has registered a 7-2-0 mark between the posts since the start of 2007. The 2004-05 CCHA All-Rookie Honorable Mention Team honoree has produced a 3.37 goals-against average (35 goals allowed) with a .890 saves percentage (283 saves) in 12 appearances. MacIntyre, a 2004 eighth-round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks, was selected the CCHA’s Goaltender of the Week two weeks ago (2/19) as a result of recording a .952 save percentage (80 saves) and a 1.33 goals-against average (four goals allowed) in his three league home victories of the week.
Best For Last – Senior left wing Matt Verdone’s (Summerstown, Ontario) 24 points (10-14=24) in 36 games this season is a career high, surpassing his 23-points total (15-8=23) in 38 2005-06 contests. Verdone has racked up 15 points (6-9=15) in his last 15 outings, which included a 10-game point string. He has totaled two points (0-2=2), both against Bowling Green State (2/17), in his last five contests since his career-high 10-game point streak which featured 13 points (6-7=13). Verdone was recognized as the FSU Bulldog Male Athlete of the Month for January 2007.
Miller Time – Junior center Adam Miller (Livonia) is three points shy of attaining his 50th career point. Miller, who has 13 points (9-4=13) in 28 games this season, has generated 47 career points (21-26=47) in 104 outings. His nine lamplighters is one shy of matching his career single-season best 10 markers set in 40 contests for the 2005-06 season. Miller netted his first FSU hat trick in the Bulldogs’ regular-season home finale 5-2 league victory over Bowling Green State (2/17).
Solid Stopper – Sophomore goaltender Mitch O’Keefe (Almonte, Ontario) has posted a 1.98 goals-against average (six goals allowed) and a .927 save percentage (76 saves) in his last three outings while tallying a 2-1-0 record. O’Keefe, the 2005-06 FSU Rookie of the Year Award recipient, turned aside 21 shots in last Friday’s (2/23) 5-2 win at Notre Dame. He currently ranks fourth among FSU’s career leaders in lowest goals-against average (2.85), fourth in shutouts (three), eighth in minutes played (3,520), 10th in games played (60), and 11th in saves (1,436). O’Keefe presently has registered a 20-30-10 career mark in goal, which included a school single-season sixth-best tying 14 victories for the 2005-06 campaign.
CCHA Playoff History – Ferris is 16-45-3 (.273) all-time in CCHA Playoff action, which includes a 14-37-3 (.287) record in first-round play. The Bulldogs are 6-41-0 on the road, 8-0-0 at home, and 2-4-0 at neutral sites. Ferris State is 2-2-0 all-time versus Lake Superior State in the CCHA Playoffs with the last meetings coming in the 2002-03 season (3/14-15/03) in which the Bulldogs won the best-of-three series with a pair of 6-1 victories over the Lakers. The last and only playoff series in Sault Ste. Marie was in the 1988-89 campaign (3/3-4/89) when Lake Superior State swept the Bulldogs by 5-0 and 3-0 outcomes.
Daniels In The CCHA Playoffs – Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels has compiled an 11-24-0 (.314) bench mark in CCHA Playoff competition dating back to his first season at the helm in the 1992-93 campaign. Daniels is 3-22-0 in road contests, 6-0-0 in home encounters, and 2-2-0 at neutral sites. He guided the Bulldogs to a 1993 CCHA Championship semifinal appearance (3/20 – 4-3 overtime loss to Miami) at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena and then to the 2003 CCHA Super 6 Championship title game (3/22 – 5-3 loss to Michigan) at Joe Louis Arena.
Did You Know? – The last and only time Ferris State has won a CCHA Playoff road series was in the 1979-80 season (3/7-8/80) when the Bulldogs swept Ohio State in a two-game quarterfinal-round series which was determined by total goals in the series. Ferris skated to a 4-4 overtime deadlock in the opener and then registered an 8-4 triumph over the Buckeyes in game two.
On The Road – Ferris State is averaging 2.47 goals in away outings this season (42 total) to its opponent’s 3.76 markers (64 total) in 17 road encounters to date. The Bulldogs are operating at 14.0% (15-107) on the power play and 78.4%?(91-116) in penalty-kill efficiency. FSU has been outscored 46-21 (25 goals differential) in the opening two periods and has a 21-18 goals combined advantage in both the third and overtime periods, which includes a 21-16 edge in the third frame. Ferris has been outshot by the opposition (460-455) this campaign on the road.
Top Four Scorers – Ferris State’s current top four points leaders this season, Zac Pearson (9-20=29), Matt Verdone (10-14=24), Brendan Connolly (11-9=20), and Cody Chupp (8-12=20) have combined for 35.6% (93-261) of the team’s points production and 38.8% (38-98) of the Bulldogs’ goal-scoring
A Year Ago This Month – Sophomores forwards Matt Frank (1-2=3) and Justin Lewandowski (1-2=3) are Ferris State’s top returning points producers in 2005 March contests. Each appeared in four outings for that particular month. Sophomore goaltender Mitch O’Keefe went 2-2-0 in net with a 2.52 goals-against average (10 goals allowed) and a .925 save percentage (124 saves) in four contests.
March’s Leading Point Getters – Senior defenseman Jeremy Scherlinck (0-6=6) and senior center Mark Bomersback (2-3=5) are Ferris State’s top points leaders in March encounters. Scherlinck, the lone holdover from the Bulldogs’ 2002-03 CCHA regular-season championship team, has competed in 17 career March games while Bomersback has received ice time in 13 contests.
Deuce Streak – The outcome of Ferris State’s last nine contests to date have featured the number two. The Bulldogs have held the opposition to that number four times in the nine-game span.
Playoff Scoring – In its last 16 CCHA Playoff First-Round contests to date since the 1999-00 season, the Bulldogs are averaging 3.06 goals per game (49 total) while the opposition has scored an average of 3.19 goals (51 total) during that period for a 0.13 goals margin.
Best Season – Eight of team’s current 22 skaters have established career single-season bests in points this campaign. Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta) is tops with 20 points (11-9=20) in 35 games this season compared to seven (1-6=7) in 36 2005-06 contests. Sophomore right wing J.T. Dahlinger’s (Grosse Pointe Park) seven points (1-6=7) in 31 outings this campaign betters his one point (0-1=1) in 17 encounters a season ago.
A Half-Season’s Comparison – The Bulldogs have eight individuals with double-digit points totals in 17 2007 contests to date for the 2006-07 season. In 19 games for 2006, Ferris had four skaters register double figures in points. Senior right wing Zac Pearson (White Lake) posted a team-high 13 points (5-8=13) in 17 2006 outings and then racked up a squad-best 16 points (4-12=16) in 17 2007 games.
Historic Season – Ferris State’s 31-10-1 overall record in the 2002-03 campaign represented the best mark ever in the program’s history at the NCAA-I level. The 1979-80 squad under Rick Duffett compiled a 26-11-1 overall record (11-9-0 CCHA),which marked the Bulldogs’ first season as a CCHA member. FSU was the nation’s first team to reach the 30-win plateau and participated in the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first-time ever, losing 7-4 in the West Regional Final to 2002-03 National Champion Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn. Ferris also claimed its first-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship title in 2002-03 with a first-place 22-5-1 league record (45 league points).
FSU-LSSU Ties – Current LSSU assistant coach Tim Christian starred at Ferris State (1991-95) and currently ranks 15th among the Bulldogs’ career points leaders (65-75=140). FSU associate head coach Drew Famulak is a member of Lake Superior State’s 1987-88 NCAA Division I national championship team and was also inducted into LSSU’s Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 22, 2005.