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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team will face off against the nationally-ranked Michigan State University Spartans this Tuesday (Feb. 13) night in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contest at MSU's Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. Game time is set for 7:35 p.m. (EST) and the CCHA tilt will be televised live on FSN Detroit.
Television Broadcast: Ferris State will be featured for the third and final time this 2006-07 regular season on FSN Detroit and the contest represents the first live televised one in the regular season at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena since Oct. 17, 1986. The game will available for viewing on your local cable channel along with DirecTV channel 636 and Dish Network channel 430 per your subscription. Fred Pletsch will call the action with Lyle Phair providing color commentary. Shireen Saski is the rinkside reporter. The Bulldogs made a home FSN Detroit appearance last season in the opening game of their 2006-07 CCHA Tournament First-Round series against Ohio State. FSU claimed a 3-0 victory over the Buckeyes on March 3, 2006 and would go on to win the best two-of-three playoff series.
The Records: Ferris State will bring a 9-19-3 overall record and 6-15-2 CCHA mark into the contest. The Bulldogs suffered a 2-1 overtime league loss to Michigan State last Friday (Feb. 9) at MSU's Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. The Bulldogs, who are 3-4-0 in their last seven outings to date, sport a 6-8-1 home ledger.
Michigan State is 18-8-3 overall with a 14-6-3 record in the CCHA as a result of skating to a 3-3 overtime tie against archrival Michigan last Saturday (Feb. 10) in a CCHA matchup at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. The Spartans, who are midst a nine-game (7-0-2) unbeaten streak, registered a 2-1 overtime league victory over Ferris State last Friday (Feb. 9) at MSU's Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. MSU remained in fifth place nationally in this week's Inside College Hockey.com’s (INCH) poll while the Spartans stayed in sixth in the U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV poll and moved up one place into fifth in this week's USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. The Spartans are 5-7-1 on the road, 11-1-1 at home, and 2-0-1 at neutral sites this campaign.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 15th season, 234-283-51 (.458) – (9-31-7 vs. Michigan State). 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.
Michigan State – Rick Comley (Lake Superior State, 1972), 5th season, 109-68-19 (.605); Career: 706-543-90 (.561) – (7-2-2 vs. Ferris State at MSU and 44-15-4 vs. FSU all-time). Comley currently ranks fifth all-time in career victories and is third among active coaches behind Boston College's Jerry York and Boston University's Jack Parker. Earlier this season, Comley became the fifth collegiate coach to record 700 hockey coaching victories.
The Series: Michigan State has a 62-24-14 lead over Ferris State in the all-time series which started in the 1979-80 season. Ferris State is 9-24-8 at home, 14-36-5 on the road, and 1-1-1 at neutral sites versus the Spartans, who are 8-1-2 in their last 11 meetings against the Bulldogs. FSU is 0-2-1 in its three previous meetings this season versus the Spartans. The two teams skated to a 2-2 overtime tie in East Lansing (11/7) before the Bulldogs suffered a 6-0 setback (11/10) at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Eight of the last 10 meetings have been decided by two goals or less with Ferris State notching a 1-5-2 record in such contests. FSU is 5-11-2 all-time in February games against Michigan State, which includes a 2-4-2 home record.
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. Michigan State was selected as the favorite to win the league in the CCHA Coaches Poll and was picked to place second in the CCHA Media Poll while totaling 38 first-place votes.
On The Radio: All of Ferris State's 2006-07 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contests can be heard live on Big Country WWBR (100.9 FM) with Bill Beckwith handling the play-by-play duties.
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.
Ten and Counting? – Senior left wing Matt Verdone’s (Summerstown, Ontario) current point streak has reached a career-best 10 games as a result of his short-handed tally in last Friday’s (2/9) 2-1 overtime loss at Michigan State. In those 10 outings, Verdone has accumulated 13 points (6-7=13). He’s also one point shy of matching his career single-season best 23 points (15-8=23) set in 38 contests last season and has 22 points (10-12=22) in 31 encounters to date this campaign.
He Likes The CCHA – Sophomore left wing Brendan Connolly (Canmore, Alberta) has compiled a career-best 17 points (10-7=17) in 30 contests this season with 14 (8-6=14) occurring in CCHA play. Connolly produced seven points (1-6=7) in 36 games for the 2005-06 season.
Career High – Senior defenseman Joe Van Culin’s (Monticello, Minn.) 12 points (4-8=12) in 31 contests this season represents a career high, eclipsing his 11 points (3-8=11) in 39 outings for the 2004-05 campaign. Van Culin, who has tallied at least a point in three (0-4=4) of his last four contests, was selected as a finalist for the Pontiac Frozen Four Skills Challenge at the 2007 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four (April 6) in St. Louis, Mo. Voting concluded Feb. 12 and the participants will be announced in mid to late February. Van Culin, FSU’s 2004-05 CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year, had three points (1-2=3) in 27 games a season ago in the squad’s first 31 contests.
Productive 2007 – Junior goaltender Derek MacIntyre (Stanwood) is 4-1-0 with a 3.80 goals-against average (21 goals allowed) and .878 saves percentage (151 saves) in six 2007 contests. MacIntyre, a 2004-05 CCHA All-Rookie Honorable Mention Team selection, is coming off a season-high 38-saves performance in a 6-2 home victory over Ohio State (2/3). The 2004 eighth-round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks began the new year with three consecutive victories – at Northern Michigan (1/6), at Wayne State (1/13), and versus Nebraska-Omaha (1/20) with 35 stops. MacIntyre appeared in just one 2006 contest during the 2005-06 campaign and had 20 saves in a 5-0 loss at Northern Michigan (1/13).
On The Shelf – Sophomore defenseman Chris Zarb (Waterford) will be sidelined indefinitely after suffering an injury at Michigan State last Friday (2/9). Zarb is the team’s top-scoring defenseman this season with a career-high 14 points (1-13=14) in 29 games and is a 2004 fifth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers. He generated 10 points (0-10=10) in 29 contests as a freshman last season.
A Season’s Comparison – The Bulldogs are averaging 2.71 goals (84 total) in their initial 31 games this season compared to 3.09 (96 total) a season ago. Defensively, Ferris has allowed 3.48 goals (108 total) this campaign after giving up an average of 2.87 (89 total) last season at this time.
Last Three Home Games – Ferris State has posted an 8-9-0 (.471) record in its last three regular-season home encounters per campaign dating back to 2000-01. The Bulldogs went 1-1-1 in their final three regular-season outings last season, which included a 7-2 win over Western Michigan (2/4) and a 3-3 overtime tie versus Michigan (2/24) in FSU’s regular-season home finale.
The Power Play – Ferris State went zero for seven in power-play chances at Michigan State last Friday (2/9) after registering at least one power-play lamplighter in its previous six outings. The Bulldogs were operating at 26.3% (10-38) efficiency during man-advantage situations in that six-game span. Ferris is at 23.8% (5-21) in its three games this month after converting 17.3% (9-52) in its nine January encounters.
Seniors To Be Honored – The Bulldogs will honor its six seniors prior to this Saturday’s (2/17) Bowling Green contest. The class is comprised of forwards Mark Bomersback, Zac Pearson, Matt Verdone, and Eric Vesely along with defensemen Jeremy Scherlinck and Joe Van Culin.