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Beat the Blue

by Published: Nov 28, 2012

Brothers Gotta Hug: Left to right: Junior right wing Justin DeMartino and sopho­more defense­man Travis White cel­e­brate after a Bulldog goal. Photo By: Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor

Ferris has had two weeks of men­tal prepa­ra­tion behind them to sharpen their skates before enter­ing Ewigleben Ice Arena for their fifth two-game con­fer­ence series of the sea­son, sched­uled this week­end against the Michigan Wolverines.

Whether you’re a casual fan of hockey, a stu­dent with spirit, a sports writer, a hockey hound, one of the loud mouths that sit in front of the Bulldogs’ press­box or Dom Hennig, there is one thing that’s clear: this weekend’s series should not be missed.

“It’s def­i­nitely great to get a chance to test our­selves this early in the sea­son against Michigan, hope­fully it’s a big week­end for us and every­one that sup­ports us,” senior for­ward Kyle Bonis said.

Ferris’ his­tory with Michigan is rich in spilt blood. The Bulldogs have only won 28 of 99 games between the two dat­ing back to 1982, and have not swept the Wolverines since 1985.

“Going in, our goal is to win the Friday night game,” Ferris Coach Bob Daniels said. “I know with the ros­ter they have this year they will be a for­mi­da­ble opponent.”

Ferris will uti­lize the tal­ented youth that have risen to the chal­lenge of defend­ing the Bulldogs’ ice against the Wolverines. Though Michigan has strug­gled to main­tain a .500 win per­cent­age, they have been ranked as high as third in the nation dat­ing back to Oct. 1, accord­ing to U.S. College Hockey Online.

The Wolverines have 11 draftees who plan to enter the National Hockey League when their career is com­plete at Michigan.

“Playing Michigan is kind of a unique ani­mal, because they have bet­ter team speed than just about any­one we’ll face all year. One of their trade­marks is they have tremen­dous ath­letes and tremen­dous speed,” Daniels said.

Ferris has zero draftees on this year’s team.

Junior defense­man Scott Czarnowczan made a return to the ice against Bowling Green State after recov­er­ing from an injury. He added three points from assists and four blocks to his sea­son sta­tis­tics after com­plet­ing his first series of the season.

“It’s great to have a great player and leader like Scott in our defen­sive zone to help develop our young defen­sive core,” Bonis said.

Czarnowczan aided Ferris with 77 blocked shots in last year’s run to the national tour­na­ment and will be wel­comed by sopho­more goal­tender CJ Motte, who has han­dled a puck pound­ing from Ferris’ opponents.

The Bulldogs have faced tougher oppo­nents than the Wolverines at this point in the season.

The nation­ally 17th-ranked Bulldogs have com­piled a rat­ings per­cent­age index that is ranked 24th in the nation, while Michigan is still receiv­ing votes in USCHO’s national poll with a nation­ally 35th placed RPI of the 58 col­leges com­pet­ing in NCAA Division I College Hockey.

The Wolverines are 3−5−1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Michigan’s team defense has allowed 3.33 goals per game against con­fer­ence oppo­nents, which places them at the bot­tom of the con­fer­ence in the statistic.

The Bulldogs and Wolverines share two things in com­mon this sea­son: they have defeated Bowling Green State and split a series with Miami (Ohio).

Ferris will enter this match-up with a sweep behind them and a three-game win­ning streak, while Michigan was just handed a 5–1 loss from 13th-ranked Cornell (USCHO).

This year marks the last time the two will match-up in con­fer­ence com­pe­ti­tion. Ferris will have an oppor­tu­nity to visit the newly ren­o­vated Yost Arena as their last series before the CCHA Tournament.