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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team will officially begin the 2008 New Year as the Bulldogs entertain the University of Alaska Nanooks this weekend (Jan. 11-12) in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. This Friday's (Jan. 11) series opener gets underway at 7:05 p.m. (EST) while the puck will drop for Saturday's (Jan. 12) rematch at 5:05 p.m. (EST). The series represents the only regular-season meetings between the two teams for the 2007-08 season.
2007-08 Ferris State Hockey Ticket Information: Tickets for all 2007-08 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.
Meijer Family Night: Both of this weekend’s (Jan. 11-12) home contests are Meijer Family Hockey Night promotional games which feature four game tickets, four sodas and two bags of popcorn for $32. Meijer Family Hockey Night coupons are available at the Big Rapids Meijer and can be redeemed at the FSU Athletics Ticket Office 24 hours prior to the game’s start time. A Meijer Goodie Bag giveaway drawing will be held during each 2007-08 family hockey night game.
The Records: Ferris State is currently 9-8-1 overall and 6-6-0 in the CCHA this season. The Bulldogs registered a 3-0 exhibition home win over the U.S. National Development Under-18 Team last Friday (Jan. 4) in Big Rapids. Prior to that contest, Ferris State posted a pair of non-league wins at the 15th annual Toyota UConn Hockey Classic (Dec. 29-30) in Storrs, Conn., to capture the holiday tournament championship title. The Bulldogs are presently 3-4-1 at home, 5-4-0 on the road, and 1-0-0 at neutral sites this season. Ferris State compiled a 14-22-3 overall record 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.
Alaska is presently 4-11-3 overall and 4-8-2 in the CCHA after splitting a two-game league series with Ohio State last weekend (Jan. 4-5) at OSU’s Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Nanooks claimed a 4-2 victory over the Buckeyes in last Friday’s (Jan. 4) opener before dropping a 5-2 decision in Saturday’s (Jan. 5) rematch. The Nanooks are 2-7-1 in away contests and 2-4-2 at home this campaign. Alaska finished the 2006-07 season at 11-22-6 overall with an 11th-place 7-16-5 CCHA ledger.
The Series: Ferris State and Alaska will faceoff for the 45th and 46th times this weekend with the Bulldogs having a 23-19-2 advantage in the all-time series which originated in the 1984-85 season. FSU is 13-3-1 at home, 8-16-1 on the road, and 2-0-0 at neutral sites versus Alaska. The Nanooks recorded a two-game home series sweep of Ferris State last season (10/27-28), winning 2-1 and 4-2 in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Bulldogs are 1-8-1 (.150) in their last 10 meetings with the Nanooks after going 13-3-0 (.813) in the prior 16 encounters. Seven of the last 10 meetings have been decided by two goals or less with Ferris State owning a 1-5-1 record in those contests. Ferris is 9-2-1 in its last 12 home outings against Alaska, which included a nine-game winning streak (11/11/97-1/2/04). The Bulldogs have compiled a 6-7-0 mark in January games versus the Nanooks, which includes a 5-2-0 home ledger.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 16th season, 248-294-52 (.461) – (19-19-2 vs. Alaska - 11-3-1 Home; 8-16-1 Away; 0-0-0 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.
Alaska – Doc DelCastillo (St. Cloud State, 1995), 1st season, 4-11-3 (.306) – (0-0-0 vs. Ferris State). DelCastillo spent the previous five seasons (2002-07) as an associate head coach at CCHA-member Nebraska-Omaha after serving as an assistant coach at St. Cloud (Minn.) State for four seasons. DelCastillo is the seventh head coach in the modern history of the Alaska Nanook's men's ice hockey program.
About Alaska: Junior defenseman Tyler Eckford (6-11=17) and sophomore center Dion Knelsen (6-11=17) are among four Alaska skaters with double-figure points totals this season. Eckford is listed third among the national leaders in points per game (0.94 avg.) among defensemen. Freshman left wing Dustin Sather (5-10=15), who presently ranks tied for 11th nationally in points per game (0.88 avg.) among rookies, and junior center Adam Naglich (2-11=13) have also compiled double-digit points. In goal for the Nanooks are senior Wylie Rogers (4-6-3, 2.62 GAA, .914sv%) and junior Chad Johnson (0-5-0, 3.40 GAA, .892sv%).
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 while 2006-07 NCAA Division I National Champion Michigan State (701 points) claimed top honors in the media balloting. 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. This weekend's opponent, the Alaska Nanooks, were chosen to place 11th in both polls.
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 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.
Tourney MVP – Sophomore left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) was named the Most Valuable Player at the 15th annual Toyota UConn Hockey Classic (12/29-30) in Storrs, Conn. Riley registered his first collegiate hat trick in the Bulldogs’ 5-0 championship game win over host Connecticut with a three-goal output. All of Riley’s six points (6-0=6) in 16 games this season have been on lamplighters. Joining Riley on the all-tourney team were freshman left wing Mike Fillinger (Grand Ledge), junior goaltender Mitch O’Keefe (Almonte, Ontario), and freshman center Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan).
January Series Openers – Ferris State is 8-6-0 (.571) in series that start the New Year dating back to the 2000-01 season. The Bulldogs split a two-game league set against Alaska in the 2003-04 campaign (1/2-3/04), winning 7-5 in the opener before suffering a 4-0 loss in the series finale.
Move Pays Off – Junior defenseman Chris Zarb (Waterford), who played right wing in both game of the 2007 Toyota UConn Hockey Classic, picked up an assist apiece in victories over Brown (12/29) and Connecticut (12/30). Prior to his helper against Brown, Zarb had went scoreless in his last 10 appearances with his last points coming at Michigan last season (1/26) with a pair of assists. Zarb also netted a third-period marker in the Bulldogs’ 3-0 home exhibition win over the U.S. National Under-18 Team last Friday (1/4).
Chupp’s Month – Sophomore center-right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) registered a monthly career-high seven points (4-3=7) in eight January outings last season. Chupp, who has racked up a team-high 15 points (4-11=15) in 18 contests this campaign, needs eight more points to match his 23 points (8-15=23) in 37 games a season ago in which he garnered 2006-07 FSU Rookie of the Year honors. The assistant captain posted seven points (3-4=7) in seven November encounters this season.
At Home This Season – The Bulldogs are averaging 3.0 goals per game (24 total) in eight home outings to date this season while the opposition has scored an average of 2.5 goals (20 total) in that period. FSU is averaging 35.5 shots a game (284 total) to its opponent’s 28.8 average (230 total). Ferris is operating at 15.4% efficiency (8-52) on the power play and 81.6% (40-49) in penalty killing.
Productive Combo – Ferris State’s top forward line of Blair Riley, Justin Menke, and Cody Chupp have combined for 22.7% (30-132) of the team’s points production and 26.5% (13-49) of the goal-scoring output to date this season. In the last five games, the trio have combined for 14 points (4-10=14) with Chupp and Menke producing five points (all assists) apiece.
Rookie Finds Scoring Touch – Left wing Mike Fillinger netted his first collegiate goal with the game-winning tally in the Bulldogs’ 2-1 win over Brown (12/29) in a 2007 Toyota UConn Hockey Classic semifinal-round game. Fillinger then picked up an assist against Connecticut (12/30) in the tourney’s title tilt which afforded him CCHA Rookie of the Week kudos for Jan. 2.
Match Game – Sophomore center Casey Haines (Indiana, Pa.), who has two points (1-1=2) in his last two outings, is one point shy from matching his five points (3-2=5) in 31 games last season. Haines has presently compiled four points (2-2=4) in 12 outings after tallying a goal at Connecticut (12/30).
Career Season Best – Goaltender Mitch O'Keefe registered his career single-season best third shutout for the 2007-08 campaign in the Bulldogs' 5-0 victory at Connecticut (12/30). O'Keefe, the 2005-06 FSU Rookie of the Year, is one shutout away from tying Vince Owen (1998-99) and Mike Brown (2002-03) for the top placing among the program's all-time single-season record holders. O'Keefe notched his sixth career shutout in the win over UConn and as a result moved into a second-place tie with Owen (1997-01) and Phil Osaer (1998-01) on the career leaders list. Brown is FSU's current record holder with 10 career shutouts.