Bulldogs Ranked 17th Nationally

by Published: Dec 2, 2009

Ferris is 8–0 at home this sea­son and hosts 18th-ranked Nebraska-Omaha this weekend

Take a Shot: Senior Blair Riley (#25) shoots for a goal during Friday’s game against Ohio State. Riley earned his second career hat trick, scoring his first goal about five minutes into the game. Ferris came out victorious with a score of 8-1 on Friday and 6-5 in overtime on Saturday, bringing their record for home games to 8-0-0. Photo By: Kate Dupon | Photographer

Take a Shot: Senior Blair Riley (#25) shoots for a goal dur­ing Friday’s game against Ohio State. Riley earned his sec­ond career hat trick, scor­ing his first goal about five min­utes into the game. Ferris came out vic­to­ri­ous with a score of 8–1 on Friday and 6–5 in over­time on Saturday, bring­ing their record for home games to 8−0−0. Photo By: Kate Dupon | Photographer

The Ferris State hockey team is ranked 17th in the nation accord­ing to U.S. College Hockey Online.

The Bulldogs are 8–0 at home this sea­son and it marks the best home start in school his­tory. Ferris has outscored its oppo­nents 39–16 in eight home con­tests this season.

The team is 9−3−2 over­all and 4−2−2−2 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). The team is cur­rently fifth over­all in the CCHA with 16 points. Ferris is unbeaten in its last six con­tests and has not lost since Oct. 31. Junior defense­man Zach Redmond said every­one on the team is play­ing well together.

“All four of our lines are con­tribut­ing at dif­fer­ent times and I think every­one knows their role,” said Redmond.

The Bulldogs swept Ohio State in its last con­tests. In the first game, Ferris scored nearly at will en route to an 8–1 vic­tory. The team scored three goals in just three min­utes and 44 sec­onds to take a quick 3–0 lead.

Senior for­ward Blair Riley scored three goals for the Bulldogs for his sec­ond career hat trick. As a result of his play, Riley was also named National Player of the Week by insid​ecol​lege​hockey​.com.

Senior cap­tain Cody Chupp added a goal and two assists for the Bulldogs. Sophomore goalie Taylor Nelson stopped 20 of 21 shots and senior Jordan Barber stopped all six shots he faced in the third period.

The sec­ond game proved to be a dif­fer­ent story as the Bulldogs ral­lied from a three-goal deficit to defeat Ohio State in over­time. Ferris trailed 5–2 early in the third period. Junior defense­man Scott Wietecha said the team last year would have buck­led late in the game.

“We didn’t get down on each other and no one pan­icked,” said Wietecha.

Chupp began the come­back with a power play goal and Riley scored six min­utes later. Senior for­ward Casey Haines com­pleted the 6–5 come­back on a game-winning goal with 22 sec­onds left in the over­time ses­sion. Junior for­ward Mike Embach said the win lifted the team’s confidence.

“Winning that kind of game is huge,” said Embach. “It’s prob­a­bly the coolest game I’ve been a part of since I have been here.”

Chupp had two goals and an assist to cap off a six-point week­end. Riley had four goals and two assists on the week­end and now leads the CCHA with 12 goals scored.

Statistically, Ferris has the best offense in the CCHA, scor­ing 3.57 goals per game. The team has 50 goals through 14 games.

In addi­tion, Ferris has the top power play in the con­fer­ence, scor­ing 25.6 per­cent of the time. The team is also ranked sec­ond in scor­ing defense and third in penalty kill.

Next on the sched­ule is a home series against the University of Nebraska-Omaha, which is cur­rently ranked 18th nation­ally. The Mavericks are 7−4−3 over­all and 4−4−2−1 in con­fer­ence play. Embach said Nebraska-Omaha can score goals quickly.

“We can’t give them a lot of power plays,” said Embach, “They’re a really skilled offen­sive team.”

Ferris went 2−1−1 last sea­son against the Mavericks, includ­ing the school’s first shooto. Nebraska-Omaha defeated Ferris in the first round of the CCHA play­offs last season.