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Schempp Special

Freshman forward rockets into the lineup

by Published: Nov 13, 2013

SchempCutoutThe Ferris State Hockey team is under­go­ing a youth move­ment that has reen­er­gized the Bulldogs.

Freshman for­ward Kyle Schempp is giv­ing the Bulldogs a push that now has them atop the new Western Collegiate Hockey Association and ranked No. 14 in the Nation after their sec­ond con­fer­ence series.

The 6-foot-tall, 178-pound fresh­man has played an expan­sive role effec­tively. His four goals and three assists have him tied for fourth on the team in points. Schempp has played in all nine games so far and is the only fresh­man to do so.

“I think the first year play­ing in the NAHL [Traverse City 2011-12] was really the first step towards play­ing col­lege hockey,” Schempp said. “I think last year [USHL Sioux Falls] was a major step that I grew phys­i­cally and more mature on the ice and it really helped me develop my game.”

Ferris is known more for turn­ing raw tal­ent into solid play­ers than it is for bring­ing in flashy col­lege prospects, and Schempp has fit the bill in just nine games.

Schempp posted 14 goals and 27 assists in his most recent stop with the Sioux Falls Stampede in 64 games where he helped them to their win­ningest sea­son in team history.

Despite the win­ning ways he expe­ri­enced, he was used to being in the top tal­ent pool much far­ther back than juniors.

“I’d say I had a stand­out year when I played travel hockey in Midland,” Schempp said. “Probably sixth or sev­enth grade where I could start see­ing matu­rity dif­fer­ences skill-wise between the other play­ers. That’s when I decided I wanted to take the next step in hockey.”

Schempp sees time as a top-nine for­ward on a nightly basis and most impor­tantly is show­ing sta­tis­ti­cal growth.

His growth is begin­ning to sup­ple­ment the team when their most depend­able scor­ers have started the sea­son slowly, which has allowed them to burst ahead of the pack after just two con­fer­ence series.

“Kyle has a very good work ethic,” room­mate and fel­low fresh­man for­ward Chad McDonald said. “When you mix that with his phys­i­cal and men­tal abil­i­ties it cre­ates one scary player for the opposition.”

Schempp’s accli­ma­tion to the team has been made easy, as he has iden­ti­fied with head coach Bob Daniels.

“I love him; I think he’s a great coach,” Schempp said. “He’s a player’s coach; he’s not going to play mind games with you where you don’t know what he’s doing. He never yells really; it’s really a learn­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion process. No one really likes to get screamed at.”

Schempp recently earned WCHA Rookie of the Week Honors fol­low­ing the Bulldogs’ Nov. 1–2 series at Alabama-Hunstville, where he posted a goal in each contest.

Though gen­er­ally quiet, McDonald admits his room­mate has a lighter-spirited side.

“I would say he’s a mix between the two. He’ll crack some jokes with the guys and engage in con­ver­sa­tion,” McDonald said. “But he’s also able to change gears when it comes time to focus and get prepared.

The Bulldogs will play their sec­ond straight home series vs. Bowling Green State University on Nov. 15–16, where Schempp’s per­fect atten­dance in the line up will be on the line.