Bulldogs Open Season Hosting Canisius; 19 Regular-Season Home Dates On Tap

The 2008-09 Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will face a competitive 37-game regular season schedule with 19 of those contests to be held at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena. The announcement was made by Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels.

Hockey Celebration
The 2008-09 season schedule for the Ferris State hockey team will be an exciting one with several nationally-ranked teams and new opponents on the slate.
The 2008-09 slates features 28 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contests and three non-league series along with Ferris State's first-ever appearance in Vermont's Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup on Jan. 2-3 in Burlington, Vt. The Bulldogs, who will be celebrating their 30th season of NCAA Division I intercollegiate competition this upcoming season, will be skating against seven teams which either finished among the top 20 or received votes in the final 2007-08 U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV Division I Men's Ice Hockey Poll.

Ferris State posted an 18-16-5 overall record a season ago and placed fifth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) with a 12-12-4 league mark (28 points). FSU's 18 victories and fifth-place league showing were the program's highest since the school-record 2002-03 campaign.

"I like the challenges which our schedule presents," said Daniels, who will begin his 17th year at Ferris State in the 2008-09 season and is the program's all-time winningest coach. "We have games against teams from five of the six Division I conferences and I'm really thrilled about us competing in Vermont's holiday tournament for the first ever.

"Our league schedule is always tough being a member of the CCHA. We have nationally-recognized programs like Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State coming to our place this season which will be exciting for our fans," added Daniels.

Ferris State, which was listed among others receiving votes in the final 2007-08 USCHO.com/CSTV Poll, begins play on Oct. 5 with an exhibition encounter versus Windsor (Ont.) The annual Crimson and Gold Intrasquad Game won't be held this season as a result of the Windsor contest. The Bulldogs then officially open their regular-season schedule the following weekend, Oct. 10-11, with a two-game non-league home series against Canisius (N.Y.) in what will mark the first-ever meetings between the two schools.

FSU will travel to Pennsylvania (Oct. 17-18) for a two-game non-conference series versus Robert Morris and the Bulldogs' final non-league two-game set will be held Dec. 12-13 against Alabama-Huntsville in Big Rapids. Like Canisius, Robert Morris will be skating against Ferris State for the first time in its history. Ferris' remaining non-league matchups are in 2009 as the Bulldogs ring in the new year at Vermont's Catamount Cup Tournament (Jan. 2-3). FSU opens the holiday tourney on Jan. 2 with St. Lawrence providing the opposition before the Bulldogs square off against either host Vermont or Colgate in final-round action. The championship and consolation games will take place on Jan. 3.

The Bulldogs will play 14 of their 28 CCHA encounters at home, beginning with a home-and-home series against Western Michigan (Oct. 24-25). Ferris visits WMU in its league opener before entertaining the Broncos in the weekend series finale.

The remaining CCHA home dates for Ferris State consist of Lake Superior State (Oct. 31-Nov. 1); Alaska (Nov. 21-22); Notre Dame (Dec. 5-6); Western Michigan (Jan. 9), Ohio State (Jan. 16-17); Nebraska-Omaha (Jan. 30-31); Michigan State (Feb. 7); and Michigan (Feb. 27) in the Bulldogs' regular-season home finale. Michigan finished first in the final 2007-08 USCHO.com/CSTV national poll while Michigan State was ninth and 2007-08 national runner-up Notre Dame garnered 12th place.

The CCHA competition cluster schedule format has the Bulldogs paired with Alaska Fairbanks and Nebraska-Omaha this season. As a result, Ferris will play each of those teams four times with a pair of games at home and on the road. The Bulldogs will continue to face Western Michigan four times on an annual basis as the Broncos are FSU’s “rivalry pairing” opponent as part of the cluster scheduling format which was implemented prior to the 2002-03 season.

The first round of the CCHA Playoffs will commence Mar. 6-8 at campus sites with tourney seeds 5-8 hosting. The top four seeds each receive a opening-round bye. The CCHA Playoff Quarterfinals will be held Mar. 13-15 at campus site and the four teams who win their best two-of-three series advance to the 2008 CCHA Championships (Mar. 20-21) at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich.

Game start times for all 2008-09 Ferris State hockey home contests are 7:05 p.m. (ET) with the exceptions being Oct. 11 versus Canisius, Nov. 1 against Lake Superior State and Jan. 17 versus Ohio State. Opening faceoff for those three matchups will be at 5:05 p.m. (ET).

All game dates and times are subject to change as a result of the television broadcast schedule for the 2008-09 season yet to be announced. Please check the Ferris State Athletics website at www.ferris.edu/sports for all updates and changes.

Ferris State is expected to return 20 letterwinners from last season's squad, which includes 10 of the Bulldogs' top 11 scoring leaders.

"I'm optimistic we can have a productive 2008-09 season," said Daniels. "I like the fact we return all but a handful of our players from last season and combine them with an incoming solid freshmen class will make us an exciting team to watch."

The 2008-09 season ticket renewal forms will be mailed out in early August. For information regarding single-game tickets, please contact the Ferris State Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888, beginning in mid-September. Tickets will also be available for online purchase at www.starticketsplus.com.

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