Weekly Notes Games 29-30 -- Ferris State vs. Michigan State
Bulldogs Face Spartans In Home-And-Home Set; Friday's Opener On FSN Detroit
February 3, 2009
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Date/Time: Friday (Feb. 6) at East Lansing, Mich. - 7:35 p.m. (EST); Saturday (Feb. 7) at Big Rapids, Mich. - 7:05 p.m. (EST); B2 Networks (Saturday Game Only)
Gametracker Links: Friday; Saturday
Radio Broadcast: WWBR-100.9 FM with play-by-play announcer Bill Beckwith. Listen
Television: FS Detroit (Feb. 6 Game Only)
Live Video Webcast: No webcast available (Friday Game Only)
FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team opens the final month of the 2008-09 regular season this weekend (Feb. 6-7) with a home-and-home Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series versus the Michigan State Spartans. This Friday's (Feb. 6) series opener against the Spartans will be held at MSU's Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich., and the 7:35 p.m. (EST) tilt will be televised live by FS Detroit. Following the contest, Ferris State and Michigan State will face off again on Saturday (Feb. 7) in a 7:05 p.m. (EST) game at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. This weekend's two-game league set represents the only regular-season meetings between the two teams for the 2008-09 season.
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.
FS Detroit Season Debut: Ferris State will be making its first live appearance on regional television this Friday (Feb. 6) as the Bulldogs' CCHA contest at Michigan State will be aired by FS Detroit. Ken Daniels will call the action with Fred Pletsch providing color analysis.
Saturday Game Promotion: Fans attending this Saturday's (Feb. 7) home game versus Michigan State who donate their Spartans apparel to the Ferris State Pro Shop will receive 10% off any FSU Bulldog item.
The Records: Ferris State is 11-11-6 overall and 8-8-4-1 in CCHA play to date this season as a result of registering a 1-0-1 mark in a league home series against Nebraska-Omaha last weekend (Jan. 30-31) at FSU’s Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs claimed a 7-1 decision over the Mavericks in the series opener (Jan. 30) and then posted a 2-1 shootout win after the two teams skated to a 1-1 overtime tie in the finale (Jan. 31). FSU is 5-2-3 on the road and 6-8-2-(1) at home this campaign. 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).
Michigan State is presently 7-18-3 overall and 4-14-2-2 in the CCHA this season after suffering a pair of league setbacks to Lake Superior State last weekend (Jan. 30-31) at LSSU’s Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The Lakers handed the Spartans a 2-0 loss in last Friday’s (Jan. 30) matchup and then produced a 4-2 victory over MSU in Saturday’s (Jan. 31) rematch. The Spartans, who are midst a five-game losing skid, are 4-3-2 (2) at home and 2-13-1 on the road this campaign. Michigan State concluded the 2007-08 campaign at 25-12-5 overall, which included a third-place 19-6-3 CCHA ledger.
The All-Time Series: Michigan State leads Ferris State 64-25-14 in the series which dates back to the 1979-80 season. The Bulldogs are 14-38-5 on the road, 10-25-8 at home, and 1-1-1 at neutral sites versus the Spartans. MSU swept last season's (12/7-8) home-and-home series as the Spartans skated to a 4-3 series-opening decision (12/7) in Big Rapids and then recorded a 4-1 home triumph the next evening (12/8) in East Lansing. Sixty of the 103 meetings have been determined by two goals or less, including 15 of the last 20. In those 60 games, the Bulldogs are 20-26-14 (.450). Ferris State is 2-10-2 in its last 14 meetings versus Michigan State, which includes a 1-6-1 road mark. The Bulldogs are averaging 1.60 goals per game (eight total) in their last five away encounters to the Spartans’ 2.60 goals a contest (13 total) for a 1.00 goals differential. FSU is 6-11-2 all-time in February matchups, which includes a 3-7-0 road ledger and a 3-4-2 home mark.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 17th season, 268-313-62 (.465) – (10-33-7 vs. Michigan State – 7-19-1 Away, 2-13-5 Home, 1-1-1 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 among three finalists for the 2007-08 CCHA Coach of the Year Award.
Michigan State – Rick Comley (Lake Superior State, 1972), 7th season, 149-103-27 (.582); Career: 36th season, 746-578-98 (.559) – (9-3-2 vs. Ferris State at MSU and 46-16-4 vs. FSU in career). Comley, who spent 26 seasons (1976-2002) as the first head coach at Northern Michigan, is just one of three head coaches to win NCAA titles at two different institutions and is among the top five coaches all-time in collegiate victories. He has twice (1980 and 1991) received the Spencer Penrose Award as the ACHA's Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year along with being a two-time (1980 and 1981) CCHA Coach of the Year and a two-time (1989 and 1991) Western Collegiate Hockey Associaton (WCHA) Coach of the Year. Comley directed Northern Michigan to a national championship in 1991 and Michigan State in 2007.
Scouting Michigan State: Senior forward Matt Schepke (12-5=17) leads seven Spartans in double-digit points this season. Senior foward Tim Crowder (4-9=13) and freshman forward Daultan Leveille (7-5=12) are also among MSU’s leading point getters. Senior Jeff Lerg (6-16-1, 3.02 GAA, .916sv%), a 2007-08 All-CCHA First-Team selection and the 2006-07 USA Hockey College Player of the Year, is the Spartans’ primary goaltender and is backed up by freshman Drew Palmisano (1-2-2, 3.02 GAA, .908sv%). MSU currently ranks 57th nationally in scoring offense (1.68 gpg.) and 41st in scoring defense (3.14 gpg.).
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 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.
CCHA Weekly Honors – Senior left wing Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta) and freshman goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) have been chosen as this week’s (2/2) CCHA Offensive Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively. Connolly concluded the two-game set against Nebraska-Omaha with four points (2-2=4) while Nelson had a .970 save percentage (64 saves) and a 0.96 goals-against average (two goals allowed) in 125 minutes.
Opponents See Red – Sophomore defenseman Zach Redmond’s (Traverse City) career season-best 21 points (3-18=21) in 28 games this season surpassed his 19 points total (6-13=19) in 37 2007-08 outings. Redmond has currently generated nine points (2-7=9) in has last seven appearances, which included a four-game (1/10-30) points streak (2-4=6).
Seven Heaven – Ferris State’s seven-goal outburst against Nebraska-Omaha in last Friday’s (1/30) 7-1 league home triumph represented the most goals by the Bulldogs in a game since Jan. 13. 2007, when FSU skated to a 7-3 non-league decision at Wayne State.
Got Shorty – Sophomore center Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) and senior right wing Justin Lewandowski (Naperville, Ill.) both tallied a short-handed goal in last Friday’s (1/30) win versus Nebraska-Omaha. Menke’s short-hander represents the second of his career after producing a shortie against Notre Dame (10/27) a season ago. For Lewandowski, his short-handed goal marked a career first. The last time Ferris State scored two short-handed goals in a contest was Nov. 25, 2005 in a 6-3 non-league win at Mercyhurst when Eric Vesely and Matt Frank produced such lamplighters.
Productive Month – The Bulldogs’ top two points producers in eight January outings, Zach Redmond (2-7=9) and Mike Embach (6-2=8) combined for 26.2% (17-65) of the FSU’s points production and 33.3% (8-24) of the squad’s goal scoring.
Fit To Be Tied – Ferris State extended its undefeated string in overtime games to 14 straight (3-0-11 record) with a 1-1 overtime tie against Nebraska-Omaha last Saturday (1/31) in Big Rapids. The Bulldogs haven’t lost an extra-session encounter since Feb. 9, 2007 at Michigan State (2-1). FSU is 1-0-5 on the road and 2-0-5-(1) at home during the 14-game span. The Bulldogs are currently 0-0-6-(1) in overtime contests this season, which includes two of the team’s last three outings to date.
Sweet Sixteen – Sophomore goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) is 83 saves away from moving into a 16th-place tie among Ferris State’s all-time saves leaders. Nagle, who has presently compiled 793 career saves in 33 outings, would tie Norm Young’s (1982-85) 876 career saves total for 16th place. Nagle’s 14 career wins currently represents the 16th highest total in FSU history and is one shy of tying Derek MacIntyre’s (2004-08) 15th-place 15 career victories.
Consistent Points Producer – Brendan Connolly’s team-leading 22 points (7-15=22)?in 25 contests this season represents the third consecutive season in which the Bulldog skater has netted at least 20 points in a campaign. Connolly tallied 24 points (13-11=24) in 38 contests a season ago after garnering 22 points (11-11=22) in 38 encounters for the 2006-07 season.
Humanitarian Award Nominee – Junior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) is one of 21 nominees for the 2009 The Bank of New York Mellon Hockey Humanitarian Award, which is given annually to college hockey’s finest citizen. The Ferris State team captain is among five players from a CCHA-member school to be listed in the group of nominees. The finalists for the award will be announced in mid February and the award’s 14th recipient will be named in a ceremony on Friday, April 10 at the NCAA Frozen Four.
Making His Point – Senior right wing Corey Couturier (Traverse City) has registered at least a point in seven of his last 10 appearances, which includes four multi-point game efforts. Couturier has accumulated a combined 11 points (4-7=11) points in that 10-game stretch. In his previous 18 contests this season, he recorded four points (3-1=4). Couturier’s 15 points (7-8=15) in 28 games this campaign equals a career season high, matching his 15 points (8-7=15) in 35 2005-06 season outings.
Career High – Junior center Aaron Lewicki’s (Livonia) 16 points (9-7=16) in 27 games this season represents a career high, eclipsing his 15 points (9-6=15) in 32 outings as a freshman in the 2006-07 season. Half of his 44 career points (22-22=44) in 98 appearances have resulted in goals scored. Lewicki was Ferris State’s 2007-08 CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year representative and also the team’s Scholar-Athlete award winner a season ago.
A Year Ago – Ferris State compiled a 4-3-2 record (.556) last February 2008 as the Bulldogs were 2-3-2 on the road and 2-0-0 at home. During the month, FSU put together a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2 record). The Bulldogs posted a 1-0-1 mark at then nationally eighth-ranked Notre Dame (2/8-9), winning 5-3 and tying 2-2. Ferris State then swept a home series against nationally second-ranked Miami the following weekend (2/15-16), winning 6-5 and 2-1 over the RedHawks. In the 2006-07 season, FSU went 6-2-0 in February contests and turned in a four-game (2/13-23) winning string.
A Comparison – Ferris State has netted 78 goals in its initial 28 outings this season while allowing 74 lamplighters to the opposition. A season ago following their first 28 contests, the Bulldogs generated 74 goals while giving up 66 markers. The 2008-09 squad currently features 11 individuals with double-figure points totals while last season’s team had seven skaters in double-digit points at this juncture.
Midseason Kudos – Zach Redmond was recently selected to the Inside College Hockey.com’s First Half All-CCHA Team in its 2008-09 CCHA Midseason Review. Redmond was tabbed as the CCHA’s Defenseman of the Week earlier this season (10/27) and was a 2008-09 CCHA Preseason All-Conference Honorable Mention Team selection.
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 Improvement – The 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.
Talented Defender – 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. Junior right wing-center 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 (Kamloops, British Columbia) 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 is rated the fourth-best incoming rookie netminder in the 2008 national rankings after sophomore Pat Nagle earned a fourth-place listing a season ago.
CCHA Honor Roll – Zach Redmond along with center Justin Menke 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.