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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team concludes its 2006-07 regular season this weekend (Feb. 23-24) as the Bulldogs take on nationally number-one ranked the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series at UND's Joyce Center in Notre Dame, Ind. This Friday's (Feb. 23) contest will start at 7:35 p.m. (EST) and the puck will drop for Saturday's (Feb. 24) regular-season finale and Comcast Local telecast outing at 7:05 p.m. (EST). The games represent the first and only regular-season meetings between the two teams for the 2006-07 campaign.
The Records: Ferris State is 12-19-3 overall and 9-15-2 in CCHA play after recording a pair of league victories against the Bowling Green State Falcons last weekend (Feb. 16-17) at FSU’s Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Ferris posted a 2-1 triumph in last Friday's (Feb. 16) weekend series opener and then skated to a 5-2 win over the Falcons in Saturday's (Feb. 17) finale. The Bulldogs have currently won five of their last six outings and are midst a three-game winning streak. FSU is 3-11-1 on the road, 9-8-1 at home and 0-0-1 at neutral sites this season.
Notre Dame improved to 26-5-3 overall and 20-3-3 in the CCHA as the Fighting Irish captured its first-ever CCHA regular-season championship title with a two-game league series sweep of the Alaska Nanooks last weekend (Feb. 16-17) at UA’s Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. UND claimed a 1-0 win versus Alaska in last Friday’s (Feb. 16) series opener and then extended its unbeaten streak to nine games (7-0-2) with a 3-2 overtime decision in Saturday’s (Feb. 17) rematch. The Irish are the nation’s top-ranked team this week in all three polls – U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV, USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine, and Inside College Hockey.com (INCH). UND is 10-1-2 at home, 12-4-1 on the road, and 4-0-0 at neutral sites to date this campaign.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 15th season, 237-283-51 (.459) – (22-14-4 vs. Notre Dame). Daniels, who sports a 14-9-3 bench mark on the road against Notre Dame, 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.
Notre Dame – Jeff Jackson (Michigan State, 1978), 2nd season, 39-24-7 (.607); Career: 221-76-32 (.720) – (2-0-0 vs. Ferris State). Jackson ranks first among active Division I coaches in winning percentage. He guided Lake Superior State to two NCAA Championship titles (1992 and 1994) in his six years at LSSU and was also named the 1990-91 CCHA Coach of the Year. Jackson also served as national coach and senior director of the U.S. National Development Program (1996-2000) and was the head coach of the 1996-97 U.S. Junior National Team which won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships. Jackson registered a 17-1-3 record against Ferris State while serving as LSSU's head coach.
The Series: Ferris State and Notre Dame will square off for the 55th and 56th times this weekend with the Bulldogs leading 33-16-5 in the all-time series. Ferris is 19-9-3 on the road, 12-7-2 at home, and 2-0-0 at neutral sites versus the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame won last season's (2/10-11) two-game series against FSU, winning 4-1 at home (2/10) and 3-2 on the road (2/11). The Bulldogs are 2-3-0 (.400) in their last five road appearances at UND and are averaging 2.40 goals (12 total) in that five-game period. Seven of the last 12 meetings at Notre Dame have been decided by two goals or less with Ferris sporting a 4-2-1 mark (.643) in those encounters. The Bulldogs are 5-9-0 all-time in February contests, which includes a 5-5-0 away mark.
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. Notre Dame was selected to finish sixth in the CCHA Coaches Poll and eighth in the CCHA Media Poll.
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.
A Warm Spell – Ferris State has won five of its last six contests and is midst a season-best tying three-game winning streak. Ferris is averaging 3.33 goals per game in its last six outings. The Bulldogs have outscored the opposition 20 to 10 in that span.
Hats Off To Miller – Junior center Adam Miller (Livonia) recorded his first career hat trick, including two third-period markers, in last Saturday’s 5-2 home regular-season finale win over Bowling Green State. Miller’s nine goals in 26 games to date is one shy of equaling his career season-high of 10 goals in 40 games last season. Prior to Miller’s feat, the last Bulldog to register three goals in a game was Dan Riedel a season ago (1/16) in FSU’s 6-5 league win at Bowling Green State.
Productive Month – The Bulldogs’ current 5-1-0 February record is not only the team’s most successful month this campaign, but also the best since the 2002-03 regular-season championship season when Ferris State won all of its six February contests.
The Final Two – Ferris State is 22-28-4 (.444) all-time in its final two regular-season games, which includes a 7-8-1 ledger (.469) since the 1998-99 campaign. A season ago, the Bulldogs went 1-0-1 in a two-game home-and-home series (2/24-25) versus Michigan. FSU posted a 3-3 overtime tie against the Wolverines at home (2/24) and then notched a 4-3 overtime road victory (2/25) thanks to senior right wing Zac Pearson’s (White Lake) game-winning goal 42 seconds into the extra frame.
Weekly CCHA Honoree – Junior goaltender Derek MacIntyre (Stanwood) has been selected as this week’s (2/19) CCHA Goaltender of the Week for his performance last week in the Bulldogs’ three victories. MacIntyre, a 2004-05 CCHA All-Rookie Honorable Mention Team pick and a 2004 eighth-round draft pick of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, blocked 80-of-84 shots on net for a .952 save percentage and also posted a 1.33 goals-against average (four goals allowed) in 179:56 minutes of action. MacIntyre previously earned the league honor on one occasion during his 2004-05 sophomore season.
Four More – Zac Pearson’s four points (1-3=4) against Bowling Green (2/17) represents a career best, eclipsing his three-point game totals on as many occasions. Pearson, who tallied three points (2-1=3) versus Nebraska-Omaha (1/20), has produced both a team-leading and career-high 29 points (9-20=29) in 32 games this campaign. He had 26 points (6-20=26) in 40 outings last season.
There’s No Place Like Home – The Bulldogs will close out the 2006-07 regular season with a six-game home winning streak at the Ewigleben (A-VAH-glave-in) Ice Arena. FSU was able to outscore the opposition by a 25-to-11 margin with Zac Pearson’s 10 points (3-7=10) and Adam Miller’s nine (7-2=9) leading the way in those six home affairs.
A Happy New Year – Derek MacIntyre has compiled a 7-1-0 mark since the start of 2007. The Ferris netminder has a .902 save percentage (231 saves) and a 2.93 goals-against average (25 goals allowed) in 511:25 of action. MacIntyre made 27 saves in a 5-3 victory at Northern Michigan (1/6) and was victorious in his next two appearances – at Wayne State (1/13) and against Nebraska-Omaha (1/20). In his current personal four-game win streak, MacIntyre has a 1.50 goals-against average (six goals allowed) and a .952 save percentage (118 saves). Four of the opposition’s six goals have been on the man-advantage.
Best For Last – Senior left wing Matt Verdone’s (Summerstown, Ontario) 24 points (10-14=24) in 34 games this season is a career high, surpassing his 23-points total (15-8=23) in 38 2005-06 contests. Verdone has racked up 15 points (6-9=15) in his last 13 outings, which included a 10-game point string.