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Dates/Start Times: Friday-Saturday (Dec. 5-6) at Big Rapids, Michigan; Friday & Saturday - 7:05 p.m. (EST)
Gametracker Links: Friday; Saturday
Radio Broadcast: WWBR-100.9 FM with Bill Beckwith calling the action. Listen
Television: Ferris Television (Dec. 5 game only - tape delayed)
Live Video Webcast: B2 Networks
FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey will square off against the nation's top-ranked team this weekend (Dec. 5-6) as the Bulldogs host the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Both contests, which represent the only regular-season meetings between the two teams during the 2008-09 season, are slated for 7:05 p.m. (EST) start times.
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.
Annual Teddy Bear Toss: The Ferris State Athletics Department will hold its annual Toys For Tots' Teddy Bear Toss this Saturday (Dec. 6) during the Bulldog men's ice hockey contest versus Notre Dame. Fans are encouraged to bring a teddy bear to throw onto the ice between the first and second periods. The teddy bears collected on the ice will go directly to benefit needy children in the local area for the Christmas Holiday. The U.S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots Program was formed to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year and then distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the local community. The program is aimed at helping needy children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas along with the message of hope to needy youngsters that will movitate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders. For more information, please contact the Big Rapids Area Toys For Tots program coordinator, Eric Siewert at 231-580-6123.
FSU Hockey Sports Memorabilia Auction: A sports memorabilia auction will be held this weekend (Dec. 5-6) as a fundraiser for the Bulldog Hockey program at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Professional and college photographs, player autographs, etc. will be auctioned off with all proceeds going directly to the FSU Hockey program.
Friday Is "White Out" Night: This Friday's (Dec. 5) contest against Notre Dame is "White Out" Night as everyone is encouraged to wear white in support of the Bulldog Hockey team.
Meijer Family Hockey Night: This Friday's (Dec. 5) tilt versus Notre Dame is a Meijer Family Hockey Night promotional game. The Meijer Family Hockey Night promotion features 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.
The Records: Ferris State improved to 7-6-3 overall and 6-4-2-0 in the CCHA this season with a pair of league victories over Northern Michigan last weekend (Nov. 28-29) at NMU’s Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich. The Bulldogs claimed a 6-4 decision in last Friday’s (Nov. 28) opener to end a three-game losing skid and then registered a 2-1 win over the Wildcats in Saturday’s (Nov. 29) series finale. FSU, which is currently 4-3-1 in its last eight outings, has compiled a 3-4-0 home mark this campaign. The Bulldogs are listed among other teams receiving votes in this week’s (Dec. 1) U.S. College Hockey Online/CBS College Sports poll. 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).
Notre Dame is presently 10-3-2 overall and 6-2-2-2 in the CCHA this season after picking up four league points versus Western Michigan last weekend (Nov. 28-29) in a two-game CCHA set at UND’s Joyce Center in Notre Dame, Ind. The Irish notched a 4-1 win over the Broncos last Friday (Nov. 28) and then prevailed in a 3-3 overtime shootout against WMU in Saturday’s (Nov. 29) weekend series finale. UND, which is 8-0-2 in its last 10 contests to date, is 5-1-0 in road matchups this campign. The Fighting Irish are listed number one this week in all three national collegiate hockey polls – Inside College hockey.com, U.S. College Hockey Online/CBS College Sports, and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine. A season ago, Notre Dame posted a 27-16-4 overall record which included a fourth-place 15-9-4 CCHA mark. UND made its third NCAA Tournament appearance in the program’s history and advanced to the national championship game (4/12) where the Irish suffered a 4-1 loss to Boston College.
The All-Time Series: Ferris State and Notre Dame will meet for the 64th and 65th times this weekend in a series which the Bulldogs currently lead by a 37-20-6 margin. The Bulldogs are 13-8-2 at home versus the Irish in the all-time series, which originated in the 1981-82 season. Last season, the two teams met seven times as the series evened out at 3-3-1. In the regular season, Ferris had a 2-1-1 edge as the Bulldogs split at home (10/26-27) before going 1-0-1 at Notre Dame (2/8-9). The teams would square off again in the second round of the 2007-08 CCHA Playoffs with Ferris winning 2-1 in game one before the Irish would take 6-3 and 2-1 victories to win the best-of-three series and advance to the CCHA Semifinals at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. Ferris State is 16-10-3 (.603) in its last 29 meetings against Notre Dame, which includes a 3-2-1 mark at home, 11-8-2 record on the road, and 2-0-0 at neutral sites. Nine of the last 15 contests against Notre Dame have been decided by two goals or more with the Bulldogs generating a 4-5-0 mark (.444) in those encounters. Ferris State is 4-1-1 all-time in December matchups against Notre Dame, which includes a 2-1-0 home ledger.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 17th season, 264-308-59 (.465) – (26-18-5 vs. Notre Dame – 7-6-1 Home, 17-12-4 Away, 2-0-0 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. He was one of three finalists for the 2007-08 CCHA's Coach of the Year Award.
Notre Dame – Jeff Jackson (Michigan State, 1978), 4th season, 82-45-13 (.632); Career: 264-97-38 (.709) – (6-4-1 vs. Ferris State). Jackson, who was named the 2007 Spencer Penrose Award recipient as the NCAA Division I’s National Coach of the Year, also has been selected as the CCHA’s Coach of the Year (1990-91, 2006-07). He posted a 17-1-3 mark against FSU in his six seasons (1990-96) as head coach at Lake Superior State.
About Notre Dame: The Irish rank second nationally in scoring offense (3.87 gpg.) and are seventh in scoring defense (1.80 gpg.). Senior center Christian Hanson (9-9=18) and sophomore left wing Calle Ridderwall (7-11=18) lead the team in scoring. Hanson and Ridderwall are both tied for 24th among the national statistical leaders in points per game (1.20 avg.). Hanson is listed in a 13th-place tie with freshman right wing Billy Maday (9-6=15) with a 0.60 goals a game average. Junior center Kevin Deeth (3-11=14) along with junior defenseman Brett Blatchford (0-14=14), who ranks 11th nationally in assists per outing (0.93), are among the Irish's top points getters. Senior goaltender Jordan Pearce (9-3-2, 1.82 GAA, .930sv%) ranks 10th nationally in goals-against average and is 15th in save percentage.
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.
Four Score – Senior left wing Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta) registered a career single-game high four points (2-2=4) at Northern Michigan last Friday (11/28), which bettered his previous best of three points (1-2=3) set at Notre Dame last season (2/23/07).
Making Them Count – The Bulldogs scored eight times on 30 total shots in the series sweep at Northern Michigan last weekend (11/28-29) for a 26.7% shooting success rate. Ferris State netted six goals, which included five power-play tallies, on 18 shots in last Friday’s (11/28) series opener and then produced two goals on 12 shots in Saturday’s (11/29) tilt despite being outshot 61-30 in the two-game set.
Point Producer – Senior right wing Justin Lewandowski (Naperville, Ill.) has earned at least a point in nine outings this season to date, which includes a career game-high three points (2-1=3) at Northern Michigan (11/28). Lewandowski, who currently has accumulated 12 points (7-5=12) in 15 outings this season, is within four points of matching his career season-best 16 points (11-5=16) in 34 games a season ago.
Crazy Eights – Junior left wing Casey Haines’ (Indiana, Pa.) eight points (3-5=8) in 16 contests this campaign already equals his career best of eight points (4-4=8) set in 33 outings for the 2007-08 season.
Powering Up – Ferris State’s five power-play goals in a 6-4 series opening triumph at Northern Michigan last Friday (11/28) were the most scored by the Bulldogs in a game since Feb. 24, 1996, when FSU generated six in an 8-0 victory at Illinois-Chicago. The team record is seven scored against Canadian-opponent Laurentian in an 9-0 season-opening home triumph on Oct. 10, 1995.
Productive Night – Junior defenseman Matt Case (Plymouth, Minn.) three points (1-2=3) at Northern Michigan last Friday (11/28) represented a career game-high, eclipsing his two-point game effort on six prior occasions. Case, who also recorded his first points of this season in the contest, last generated two points in a 2007-08 game (10/27/07) against Notre Dame.
A Season Ago – Ferris State turned in a 3-2-0 record (.600) last December while the Bulldogs were paced in scoring by junior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) and sophomore center Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) each totaled five points (0-5=5) apiece. Junior left-right wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) posted all of his four points for the month on lamplighters.
Memorable Goal – Freshman center Jordie Johnston’s (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) first collegiate goal at Northern Michigan last Saturday (11/29) also proved to be the game winner. His initial college point came on an assist at Robert Morris (10/18).
Notable Start – Senior center Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) is midst his best offensive start in a FSU jersey this season with a team third-place 11 points (7-4=11) in 15 appearances to date. Lewicki is four points shy of equalling his career season-best 15 points (9-6=15) set in 32 outings as a freshman in the 2006-07 campaign and is two away from matching last season’s 13-points output (4-9=13) in 39 contests.
Season’s Comparison – Ferris State, which is 7-6-3 overall this season compared to 7-8-1 a season ago after its initial 16 games, has scored 44 goals (2.75 avg.) this campaign while allowing 44 markers (2.75 avg.). The 2007-08 team produced 42 lamplighters (2.63 avg.) and gave up 37 total (2.31 avg.).
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.
Returning Firepower – Ferris State returns 14 of its top 15 points leaders from last season, including junior right wing Cody Chupp, who had a career-high and squad-best 30 points (11-19=30) in 39 games a season ago. Overall, the Bulldogs welcome back 88.9% (97-109) of their goal-scoring output and 80.6% (224-278) of their points production from last season.
Seeing Red – Defenseman 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. 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 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 (Regina, Saskatchewan) is rated the fourth-best incoming rookie netminder in the 2008 national rankings after sophomore Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) 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.