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Polar Pucks

FSU second in CCHA, one point behind leaders

by Published: Nov 16, 2011

Split Series: FSU senior center Jordie Johnston takes a shot and scores against Lake Superior State on Nov. 11. The Bulldogs defeated the Lakers on Nov. 11 and tied on Nov. 12. The 2011-12 record is currently 9-2-1 overall. Photo By: Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor

Split Series: FSU senior cen­ter Jordie Johnston takes a shot and scores against Lake Superior State on Nov. 11. The Bulldogs defeated the Lakers on Nov. 11 and tied on Nov. 12. The 2011-12 record is cur­rently 9−2−1 over­all. Photo By: Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor

The Ferris State University men’s ice hockey team will pack its bags for Alaska after deny­ing Lake Superior State University the oppor­tu­nity to tar­nish the Bulldogs per­fect home record.

FSU remains unde­feated at Ewigleben Ice Arena after claim­ing a 5–1 vic­tory Nov. 11 over Lake Superior in the open­ing night of a two-game series between the two nation­ally ranked teams.

The nation­ally 8th-ranked Bulldogs held on in the sea­son finale, earn­ing one league point in a 1–1 tie against LSSU Nov. 12. Though, the 11th-ranked Lakers sur­passed FSU in a shootout after nei­ther team could score in over­time. LSSU earned two league points for the shootout win.

The Bulldogs improved to 9−2−1 over­all and 5−2−1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. FSU has 16 league points and are in sec­ond place in the CCHA stand­ings. The Bulldogs are one point behind league lead­ers Lake Superior State, Ohio State and Notre Dame.

The Bulldogs boast the fewest goals allowed in the CCHA. FSU has allowed only 16 goals in eight league matches and 19 goals in 12 games over­all this sea­son. Bulldog junior for­ward Kyle Bonis said the entire team takes pride in their defense.

“We real­ize five guys have to defend the net, but we’re also for­tu­nate that if a defen­sive lapse does hap­pen, we have two great goalies that we have utmost con­fi­dence in,” Bonis said.

Bulldogs Beat Lakers : FSU senior denseman Derek Graham looks for a play opportunity during the Nov. 11 game against Lake Superior State, where the Bulldogs defeated the Lakers 5-1. Photo By: Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor

Bulldogs Beat Lakers : FSU senior dense­man Derek Graham looks for a play oppor­tu­nity dur­ing the Nov. 11 game against Lake Superior State, where the Bulldogs defeated the Lakers 5–1. Photo By: Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor

According to U.S. College Hockey Online, both Bulldog goal­tenders are in the top 10 in the nation for Division I goal­tenders. FSU is third in the nation in team defense by allow­ing only 1.58 goals scored per game.

“We play our own defen­sive game and we don’t change it for any­one,” FSU senior cen­ter Jordie Johnston said. “There’s not a whole lot we need to change, we just need to cap­i­tal­ize on our chances.”

The Bulldogs will next chal­lenge the Nanooks of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nov. 18–19. FSU has returned home with series sweeps over the Nanooks three times in the past 15 years.

“Alaska is a dif­fer­ent kind of ani­mal,” Bonis said.

The Bulldogs will play the Nanooks on their Olympic sized ice rink (200 feet long and 100 feet wide). The Nanooks’ ice rink is 15 feet wider than the Bulldogs’ home ice, but Bonis thinks the Bulldogs will ben­e­fit from play­ing on the Olympic sheet.

“You really have to be on your game and watch your man. But in the offen­sive zone there are more lanes for passes and there’s more room to move,” Bonis said. “I think that plays into our strengths because we do have a really tal­ented team and really sound defen­sive team.”

The Nanooks are 0−6−2 in the CCHA and 3−7−2 over­all. Alaska is 27th-ranked nation­ally in team defense, allow­ing 2.83 goals per game, accord­ing to USCHO.

Alaska has taken both league lead­ers Ohio State and nation­ally 7th-ranked Notre Dame beyond reg­u­la­tion this sea­son. They have also faced nation­ally 5th-ranked Western Michigan, snag­ging a tie in a two-game series.

“I think Alaska is a lot bet­ter than their record shows right now,” Johnston said. “We can’t go in there think­ing they’re just going to give us the wins. We have to work hard to get them.”

The puck will drop at 11:05 p.m. both nights in Fairbanks, Alaska.