Ferris State Defenseman To Compete In 2007 NCAA Frozen Four Event

Joe Van Culin
Ferris State's Joe Van Culin will be competing for Team West in this Friday's Pontiac Frozen Four Skills Challenge at St. Louis, Mo.

Senior defenseman Joe Van Culin (Monticello, Minn.) of the 2006-07 Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will be going to St. Louis, Mo., this weekend to compete in the 2007 NCAA Pontiac Frozen Four Skills Challenge.

Van Culin will suit up for Team West in the skills challenge, which will be held this Friday (April 6) at the Scottrade Center starting at 8:30 p.m. (EDT). The Frozen Four Skills Challenge will be preceded by the Hobey Baker Memorial Award presentation at 7 p.m. (EDT) and the Hockey Humanitarian Award at 7:35 p.m. (EDT). Both the Pontiac Frozen Four Skills Challenge and the Hobey Baker Memorial Award presentation will be televised live on ESPNU.

The skills challenge will involve puck control relay, fastest skater, hardest shot, rapid fire shooting, accuracy shooting and penalty shot. Each participant will receive a complete set of equipment and a full uniform from Nike Bauer Hockey. Van Culin will be participating in a minimum of one event and specific event assignments will be determined once all participants arrive in St. Louis.

Joining Van Culin on the West Team from Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA)-member schools are Michigan's T.J. Hensick, Marty Guerin of Miami, Notre Dame's David Brown, and Lake Superior State's Jeff Jakaitis.

Van Culin was initially named an alternate, but was selected to compete in the event as a result of the original participants withdrawing from the competition due to other commitments such as their team's participation in the NCAA Frozen Four and signing professional contracts.

The Bulldog senior concluded his four-year career this season with a career single-season best 14 points on five goals and nine assists in 39 games. His goals and assists totals both represented personal career season highs. He placed tied for eighth on Ferris' points leaders list while sharing top scoring honors among the Bulldogs' defensemen. Van Culin tallied three power-play goals and produced one multiple-point game outing, which occurred on a pair of assists versus Ohio State (Feb. 3).

Van Culin, who was Ferris' 2004-05 CCHA Scholar-Athlete, amassed 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 career points in 134 outings. He registered a plus three efficiency rating while producing four power-play lamplighters and two game-winners in his collegiate career.

The participation of Van Culin at the Frozen Four Skills Challenge marks the second year in a row in which a Ferris State hockey player will compete in the event. Former Bulldog goaltender Tom Mueller participated in the inaugural Frozen Four Skills Challenge in 2006 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis. Like Van Culin, Mueller was originally named as a West Team alternate.

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