Hockey

Weekly Notes Games 35-37 -- CCHA Playoffs First Round: Western Michigan at Ferris State

March 4, 2008

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    FSU Hockey FSU Hockey At A Glance: The nationally-ranked Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team begins first-round play in the 2008 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Playoffs this weekend (March 7-9) as the Bulldogs host the Western Michigan University Broncos in a best-of-three series at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. This Friday's (March 7) opener will begin at 7:36 p.m. (EST) as a result of a live FSN Detroit telecast while Saturday's (March 8) contest will commence at 7:05 p.m. (EST). This Sunday's (March 9) game, if necessary, will also get underway at 7:05 p.m. (EDT). Ferris State is the fifth seed while the Broncos are the 12th seed.

    2008 CCHA Playoff First-Round Series Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for this weekend's (March 7-9) 2008 CCHA Playoff First-Round series' 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 at all West Michigan Meijer store locations.

    The Records: Ferris State, which moved up one place into 19th in this week’s (March 2) Inside College Hockey.com’s (INCH) poll, is 15-14-5 overall and finished with a fifth-place 12-12-4 CCHA mark. The Bulldogs split a league home-and-home series against top-ranked Michigan last weekend (Feb. 29-March 1). Ferris dropped a 5-3 decision to the Wolverines last Friday (Feb. 29) at UM's Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich., but then registered a 4-3 overtime win last Saturday (March 1) in the regular-season finale at Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris State sports a 7-6-3 at home ledger this campaign. The Bulldogs are listed for the third consecutive week as other teams receiving votes in the U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV poll (March 3) and also cracked the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll (March 3) by being listed as others receiving votes. Ferris State was 14-22-3 overall for the 2006-07 campaign, which included a ninth-place 10-16-2 CCHA mark. The Bulldogs were 9-8-1 at home, 5-14-1 on the road, and 0-0-1 at neutral sites a season ago.

    Western Michigan concluded the regular season at 8-25-3 overall with a 12th-place 4-22-2 CCHA record. The Broncos split a league home-and-home series against nationally-ranked Notre Dame last weekend (Feb. 29-March 1). Western Michigan claimed a 3-0 home triumph over Notre Dame last Friday (Feb. 29) at WMU's Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich., before suffering a 3-1 loss to the Fighting Irish in Saturday’s (March 1) rematch at UND’s Joyce Center in Notre Dame, Ind. Western is 1-14-1 in road encounters this season. A season ago, Western Michigan compiled an 18-18-1 overall record with a sixth-place 14-13-1 CCHA ledger.

    The All-Time Series: Ferris State and Western Michigan will meet for the 116th, 117th and possibly the 118th times this weekend in a series which the Broncos lead 65-43-17. Ferris State compiled a 2-1-1 regular-season mark against WMU this campaign, sweeping a two-game home-and-home series earlier in the season (11/30-12/1) with a 4-0 home triumph and a 5-2 road victory. The Bulldogs then dropped a 4-3 decision (1/25) in Kalamazoo, Mich., before skating to a 3-3 overtime tie in a home matchup (1/26). FSU is 25-24-4 at home against Western Michigan, which includes a 7-2-1. Seven of the last 13 meetings between the two in-state schools have been decided by two goals or less with the Bulldogs compiling a 4-2-1 mark in those games. Ferris State is 21-16-2 (.564) against Western Michigan in the last 39 meetings, including going 11-5-2 at home versus the Broncos during that period. Ferris is averaging 3.51 goals per game (404 total) in the all-time series while Western Michigan has averaged 4.17 goals an outing (480 total) for a 0.66 goals per contest differential. The Bulldogs are 2-4-0 all-time in March contests, including an 0-2-0 ledger at home.

    The Coaches: Ferris StateBob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 16th season, 254-300-56 (.462) – (25-25-3 vs. Western Michigan – 14-9-2 Home, 10-15-1 Away, 1-1-0 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.

    Western MichiganJim Culhane (Western Michigan, 1987), 9th season, 136-180-33 (.437) – (15-18-1 vs. Ferris State). Culhane, who played at WMU from 1983-87, is the first former Bronco varsity player to serve as the program’s head coach. He went on to play five professional seasons, including a stint with the NHL’s Hartford Whalers in 1989-90..

    About Western Michigan: The Broncos have seven skaters with double-figure points totals, led by junior right wing Patrick Galivan (8-22=30) along with junior left wing Jeff LoVecchio (9-12=21) and freshman center Max Campbell (6-14=20). Sophomore Riley Gill (6-16-2, 3.19 GAA, .903sv%) is Western's primary netminder with 26 games played in and freshman Jerry Kuhn (2-9-1, 2.75 GAA, .916sv%) has made 13 appearances between the posts this campaign. The Broncos are the fourth most penalized team in the nation to date with an average of 19.7 penalty minutes per contest while Ferris State ranks eighth with a 17.8 average.

    30th Anniversary – The 2007-08 season represents the 30th anniversary for the Ferris State men’s ice hockey program competing at the NCAA Division I level. The Bulldogs registered a 10-24-0 overall record in the 1978-79 season which marked their NCAA Division I debut.

    2007-08 CCHA Preseason Polls: Ferris State was selected to finish ninth with 44 points in the 2007-08 CCHA Coaches Poll while the Bulldogs were tabbed eighth by the media (279 points), which was announced Sept. 25, 2007 during the CCHA's annual media day event at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. Miami (114 points) was selected as the favorite in the coaches poll and second in the media poll. Michigan State, the 2006-07 NCAA Division I National Champions, claimed top honors in the media balloting with 701 points. A total of 63 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.

    On The Radio: All of Ferris State's 2007-08 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 2007-08 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 2007-08 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.

    30th Anniversary – The 2007-08 season represents the 30th anniversary for the Ferris State men’s ice hockey program competing at the NCAA Division I level. The Bulldogs registered a 10-24-0 overall record in the 1978-79 season which marked their NCAA Division I debut.

    Successful Regular Season – Ferris State’s fifth-place CCHA regular season finish (12-12-4 CCHA - 28 league points) represents the program’s highest placing since the 2002-03 CCHA regular-season championship season in which the Bulldogs compiled a 22-5-1 league mark with a 45-league points total. 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).

    Better Than Before – The Bulldogs’ 15 victories (15-14-5 overall) this season surpasses their win total of 14 (14-22-3 overall) a season ago. Ferris has won at least 10 games per campaign for 30 straight seasons to date. Miller Time – Senior center Adam Miller (Livonia) netted the game-winner in Ferris’ 4-3 overtime win over top-ranked Michigan last Saturday (March 1) in Big Rapids. The goal was the fifth game-winner of his career and his two game-winning tallies in 34 games this season equals his career season-best output in 40 outings for the 2005-06 campaign. Miller’s 22 points (7-15=22) in 34 contests this season matches his career single-season high of 22 points (10-12=22) set in his 2005-06 sophomore campaign.

    Close Encounters – The Bulldogs’ last 12 games have been decided by two goals or less, which includes nine by a goal or less. Ferris is 5-4-3 (.542) in those 12 outings and sports a 3-3-3 mark in contests determined by one goal or less.

    Defensive Stoppers – Ferris State has allowed an average of 2.44 goals a contest (83 total) in 34 games this season compared to 3.29 goals per outing (112 total) in its initial 34 encounters a season ago. The Bulldogs have given up 28 power-play goals this campaign to date after allowing 43 such tallies last season.

    A Worthy Distinction – The Bulldogs earned the distinction of being the only CCHA team this season to post wins over three nationally-ranked league teams in Michigan (4-3 OT - 3/1), Miami (6-5 and 3-1 - 2/15-16), and Notre Dame (3-0 - 10/27 and 5-3 - 2/8). FSU went 5-2-1 (.688) against these opponents.

    Among The Best – Junior goaltender Mitch O’Keefe (Almonte, Ontario), a third-year senior, currently ranks second in goals-against average (2.69) among FSU’s all-time leaders while tying for second in shutouts (six), third in save percentage (.902), fifth in minutes played (4,824), sixth in both saves (1,996) and games played (82), and seventh in victories (29). O’Keefe is the all-time record holder for career ties (15). O’Keefe, the 2005-06 FSU Rookie of the Year, is one win away from tying Mike Williams (1986-90) and Craig Lisko (1990-94) for fifth place on Ferris’ all-time wins leaders chart.

    Hot Hands – Junior right wing Justin Lewandowski (Naperville, Ill.) has notched at least a point in six of his last eight contests, which included a three-game (2/15-22) point string. Lewandowski has seven points (5-2=7) in those eight games. He has compiled a career season-high 12 points (10-2=12) in 29 contests this season and 13 of his 21 career points have been lamplighters. His older brother (Phil) was a member of the 2002-03 CCHA Regular-Season Championship team and played at FSU from 1999-03.

    CCHA Playoff History – Ferris is 17-47-3 (.276) all-time in CCHA Playoff action, which includes a 15-39-3 (.289) first-round record. The Bulldogs are 8-0-0 at home, 7-43-0 on the road, and 2-4-0 at neutral sites. Ferris State is 0-3-0 all-time versus Western Michigan in the CCHA Playoffs with the last meeting occuring in the 1990-91 season (3/9) as the Bulldogs dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Broncos in the consolation game of the 1991 CCHA Championships at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. Ferris State was swept by Western Michigan in a 1986 CCHA Playoff Quarterfinal-Round series (2/28-3/1) by 4-3 and 12-2 scores at Kalamazoo, Mich.

    Daniels In The CCHA Playoffs – Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels has compiled a 12-26-0 (.316) bench mark in CCHA Playoff competition dating back to his first season (1992-93) at the helm. 6-0-0 in home encounters, Daniels is 4-24-0 in road contests, 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? – Ferris State is 8-0-0 all-time in home CCHA Playoff contests and is averaging 5.0 goals per game (40 total) to the opponent’s 2.0 goals a contest (16 total) average for a +3.0 goals differential.

    No Place Like Home – Ferris State is averaging 3.06 goals in 16 home encounters this season (49 total) to its opponent’s 2.75 markers (44 total), a difference of 0.31 goals an outing. The Bulldogs are operating at 20.5% (17-83) on the power play and 82.3% (77-93) in penalty-kill efficiency. FSU has outscored the opposition 17-to-13 in the each of the first two periods while the opponent holds an 18-14 edge in the third period. Ferris has 125 more shots on goal than its opponent (589-to-464) this campaign at the Ewigleben Ice Arena, which includes a 62 shots margin (217-to-155) in the second period alone.

    The Big Three – Ferris State’s current top three points leaders this season, Cody Chupp (8-18=26), Adam Miller (7-15=22), and Brendan Connolly (11-10=21) have combined for 28.9% (69-239) of the team’s points production and 27.9% (26-93) of the Bulldogs’ goal-scoring output.

    March Magicians – Seniors Adam Miller (2-4=6, 12 GP) and Adam Welch (0-5=5, 12 GP) are Ferris State’s career points leaders in March contests. Mitch O’Keefe is 4-3-0 with a 2.63 goals-against average (19 goals allowed) and a .913 save percentage (199 saves) in seven appearances.

    Strong Starts – The Bulldogs have scored the game’s first goal in 10 of their last 15 outings and are 5-3-2 in those 10 matchups. Mike Fillinger has tallied the game’s initial marker in three of those contests.

    Playoff Scoring – In its last 19 CCHA Playoff First-Round contests to date since the 1999-00 season, the Bulldogs are averaging 3.05 goals per game (58 total) while the opposition has averaged 3.21 goals (61 total) during that period for a 0.16 goals margin.

    Best Season – Five of team’s 16 returning skaters from the 2006-07 campaign have established career single-season bests in points this campaign. Blair Riley is tops with 19 points (12-7=19) in 31 games this season compared to nine points (3-6=9) in 34 contests last season. Justin Lewandowski’s career season-best 12 points (10-2=12) in 29 outings this campaign surpasseshis five points (1-4=5) set in 17 encounters a season ago.

    Young Guns – Ferris State’s 12 underclassmen (seven freshmen and five sophomores) have accounted for 56.9% (53-93) of the team’s goal production this season. Sophomore Blair Riley’s 12 lamplighters leads the way while sophomore Cody Chupp and freshman Mike Fillinger have eight tallies apiece.

    Second-Half ProducersBlair Riley has totaled a team-high 13 points (6-7=13) in 15 2008 contests compared to six points (6-0=6) in 16 2007 outings. Mike Fillinger’s nine points (7-2=9) in 16 2008 games betters his two points (1-1=2) in 10 2007 appearances.

    A Helping GloveMitch O’Keefe has chalked up a career season-high four assists this season which represent the first helpers of his three-year collegiate career. The FSU netminder has posted helpers at Ohio State (11/4), vs. Michigan State (12/7), vs. Western Michigan (1/26), and at Notre Dame (2/8).



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