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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will get back on the ice following a two-week layoff as the Bulldogs compete in the 16th annual Dodge Holiday Classic this weekend (Dec. 29-30) at the University of Minnesota's Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. FSU battles the nationally-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen in Friday’s (Dec. 29) semifinal-round opening contest at 5:07 p.m. (EST) while the nationally-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers host the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in the 8:07 p.m. (EST) second semifinal-round game. Both the tournament’s third-place and championship contests will be held Saturday (Dec. 30) at 5:07 p.m. and 8:07 p.m. (EST), respectively.
The Records: Ferris State is 4-11-2 overall and 2-9-2 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) to date this season. The Bulldogs are 1-3-1 in their last five outings and 1-7-2 in the last 10 appearances.
Massachusetts, which is 8-5-2 overall and 5-4-1 in the Hockey East Association, presently ranks 15th nationally in Inside College Hockey.com’s (INCH) poll and is listed 16th by U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV. The Minutemen, who are 2-2-1 in their last five encounters, split a home-and-home league series (Dec. 8-9) with nationally-ranked Boston College.
Minnesota, which is ranked number one in all three national college hockey polls this week and is midst an 18-game unbeaten streak (16-0-2), has a 15-1-3 overall record and is 9-0-3 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). The Golden Gophers swept a league series at Michigan Tech (Dec. 8-9) in its last ice action and haven’t lost a contest this season since dropping a 3-1 season-opening game to Maine (Oct. 6) in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. UM has won 10 of the 15 Dodge Holiday Classic titles, including the last seven to date.
Alabama-Huntsville is 5-12-1 overall and 3-7-0 in College Hockey America (CHA) to date. The Chargers suffered a pair of league road losses to nationally-ranked Bemidji (Minn.) State in their most recent action (Dec. 15-16). UAH is 3-4-0 in its last seven appearances, which includes a 1-3-0 record in their last four contests.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 15th season, 229-275-50 (.458) – (0-0-0 vs. Massachusetts; 1-2-0 vs. Minnesota; 0-1-0 vs. Alabama-Huntsville). 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.
Massachusetts – Don Cahoon (Boston University, 1972), 7th season, 88-124-19 (.422); Career: 20th season, 268-293-55 (.479) –
(0-0-0 vs. Ferris State).
Minnesota – Don Lucia (Notre Dame, 1981), 8th season, 204-87-29 (.683); Career: 20th season, 483-242-58 (.654) – (2-0-0 vs. Ferris State).
Alabama-Huntsville – Doug Ross (Bowling Green State, 1976), 25th season, 446-261-41 (.624); Career: 28th season, 502-296-43 (.622) – (1-0-0 vs. Ferris State).
About Massachusetts: The Minutemen are led in scoring by sophomore forward Cory Quirk (8-8=16) and senior forward Chris Capraro (4-11=15). Sophomore forward Chris Davis (6-7=13), junior forward P.J. Fenton (6-5=11), and freshman forward Will Ortiz (2-8=10) also have double-figure points totals. Sophomore goaltender Jon Quick (7-5-2, 2.22 GAA, .929sv%) ranks fifth nationally in save percentage and is 13th in goals-against average.
About Minnesota: The Golden Gophers feature the nation’s top-ranked scoring offense (4.42) and power-play unit (24.1%). UM has nine skaters with double-digit points totals, paced by freshman forward Kyle Okposo (15-8=23) along with junior defenseman Alex Goligoski (6-16=22) and senior forward Tyler Hirsch (4-18=22). Okposo is tied for third nationally in goals per game (0.83). Sophomore Jeff Frazee (8-1-1, 1.98 GAA, .900sv%) and senior Kellen Briggs (7-0-2, 2.07 GAA, .918sv%) are both ranked among the nation’s top eight in goals-against average.
About Alabama-Huntsville: Senior center Grant Selinger (9-10=19) is tops among six players with double-digit points. Senior center David Nimmo (6-11=17), senior right wing Brett McConnachie (8-7=15), and senior defenseman Shaun Arvai (2-13=15) are also leading scorers for the Chargers. Senior Marc Narduzzi (4-9-0, .403 GAA, .874sv%) is UAH’s top netminder.
The All-Time Series: Ferris and Massachusetts will meet for the first time ever. The Bulldogs are 1-2-0 against Minnesota with all previous meetings taking place at Mariucci Arena. UM claimed a 7-4 win over Ferris State in the 2003 NCAA West Regional title game (3/29/03) in the last meeting between the two schools. Ferris State is 0-1-0 versus Alabama-Huntsville as the Chargers pulled out a 5-4 overtime victory in the opening round (12/29/02) of the 2002 Connecticut Classic at Storrs, Conn. The Bulldogs went on to claim third place with a 5-0 win over host UConn (12/30/02).
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.
Broadcast Information: No local Big Country WWBR100.9 FM radio broadcast is scheduled for the Bulldogs' Dodge Holiday Classic contests. However, Ferris State's opening-round matchup versus Massachusetts will be broadcast by WRNX 100.9 FM and fans may tune in to listen at this site http://www.sportsjuice.com/. Minnesota's final-round contest this Saturday (Dec. 30) will be televised live on FSN North (DirecTV channel 641).
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.
At The Dodge Holiday Classic – The Bulldogs have appeared twice before at the Dodge Holiday Classic. Ferris claimed the 1993 tourney title with a 4-1 win over St. Lawrence (1/3) after registering a 6-4 triumph against host Minnesota in the semifinal round (1/2). FSU made a return trip to the holiday tournament in the 2001-02 campaign (12/28-29/01)?where the Bulldogs suffered losses to Minnesota (3-2) and Western Michigan (6-3).
Regular-Season Tourneys – Ferris State is 17-15-3 (.529) all-time in regular-season tournaments to date with head coach Bob Daniels sporting a 13-8-1 mark in regular-season tourney action. The Bulldogs were 2-1-1 in tourney play last season. Ferris started the 2005-06 campaign at the Mutual of Omaha Maverick Stampede (10/14-15), dropping a 4-2 decision to New Hampshire before posting a 5-2 win over Army in the third-place game. FSU went 1-0-1 at the Wells Fargo Denver Cup (12/30-31), skating to a 3-3 overtime tie with Boston College and then claiming a 3-2 victory over host Denver in the tourney’s consolation game. Ferris won the Wisconsin Badger Hockey Showdown title in back-to-back years (2004 and 2005) and also claimed the 1999 Minnesota-Duluth Silverado Shootout title.
Ferris Firepower – The Bulldogs are averaging 34.6 shots on goal (588 total)?in its first 17 contests this season compared to 32.5 shots average (553 total) at this time a season ago. Ferris holds a 41 shots advantage over its opponent in the third period this year (208-to-167) after being outshot by seven (161-to-154) in its initial 17 2005-06 encounters. FSU has outshot the opposition in 12 outings this season and tallied a combined 93 to 50 shots on goal margin in its two-game set vs. Lake Superior State (12/8-9).
Going Back – Ferris State is making its first trip back to Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena since the 2002-03 season when the Bulldogs received the program’s first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament and entered the West Regional as the number two seed. Ferris, which also claimed its first-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship title in 2002-03, skated to a 5-2 victory over North Dakota (3/28) before having its historic season come to a close with a 7-4 setback to Minnesota (3/29) in the regional title game. The Bulldogs finished 31-10-1 overall and 22-5-1 in the CCHA for the 2002-03 season due primarily to the efforts of Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist and first-team All-American Chris Kunitz.
Top Tourney Performers – Senior right wing Zac Pearson (White Lake) is the Bulldogs’ top points leader in regular-season tournaments with nine career points (2-7=9) in eight contests. Pearson totaled a team-high five points (0-5=5) in four tourney games a season ago. Senior left wing Matt Verdone (Summerstown, Ontario)> has racked up six career points (4-2=6) in seven outings, which included four points (4-0=4) last season all against Army (10/15).
Double-Digit Scorers – Zac Pearson (5-7=12) and sophomore center Dan Riedel (3-8=11) are the only two Ferris State skaters with double-figure points totals to date this season. The pair have combined for 20.4% (23-113) of the team’s points production this season. Riedel (11-20=31) and Pearson (6-20=26) placed third and fourth, respectively among the Bulldogs’ top points getters a season ago.
Against Hockey East – FSU is 5-4-0 (.556) all-time versus Hockey East schools. The Bulldogs skated to a 3-3 overtime tie against Boston College at the 2005 Wells Fargo Denver Cup in the most recent meeting (12/30/05) against a Hockey East opponent.