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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ferris State signs two forwards, two 'D'

Ferris State University announced four student-athletes have signed NCAA Letters of Intent to attend FSU and play hockey for the Bulldogs starting with the 2007-08 season.

Ferris has received commitments from left wing Pat Maroon, right wing Todd Pococke (Saginaw), defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) and defenseman Scott Wietecha (Wolverine Lake) during the November early-signing period.

"We're (coaching staff) encouraged about the four players we signed during the early-signing period," said FSU head coach Bob Daniels, who's currently in his 15th year at Ferris State and is the Bulldogs' all-time winningest coach. "We believe they will lay the groundwork for a strong class coming in the fall of 2007."

"I believe we've once again attracted some of the top Michigan prospects," stated associate head coach Drew Famulak. "This group of freshmen are not only talented, but their personalities in terms of work ethic both on and off the ice will fit in extremely well with next season's team. All these guys not only possess good character, but are solid student-athletes and will serve as quality representatives of our program."

Maroon, a 6-4, 225-pound forward, is presently in his first season with the St. Louis (Mo.) Bandits of the North American Hockey League (NAHL)and has a squad-best 32 points on 13 goals with 19 assists in 19 contests. He also has tallied four power-play lamplighters and three short-handed markers. His 32-points total currently ranks third among the NAHL's overall points leaders. Maroon played the 2005-06 season at Texarkana (Ark.) and was named the Bandits' Rookie of the Year after finishing third in team scoring with 60 points on 23 goals and 37 assists in 57 games. Maroon, who was a juniors teammate of current Ferris State skaters Casey Haines and Aaron Lewicki at Texarkana, is listed on the National Hockey League's Central Scouting Service's 'B' prospects list. The NHL Central Scouting rates the 'B' prospects are those players who are potential late-round selections in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

"Pat is a big, strong left winger with good hands and vision," said Famulak. "He has the ability to finish around the net. With continued off-ice conditioning, he should be able to step in immediately and contribute offensively."

Like Maroon, Pococke is also currently skating for the St. Louis (Mo.) Bandits. The 6-2, 200-pounder has notched five goals and six assists for 11 points in 18 games. Pococke has produced two game-winning markers this season in helping St. Louis compile a NAHL South Division first-place 18-2-1 record, which is also tops in the NAHL overall standings. Prior to juniors, Pococke competed for Honeybaked at the midget level.

"Todd is a good character kid," said Famulak. "He's another big and strong individual who competes hard every night. He skates well and will add energy to our lineup."

The 6-1, 200-pound Redmond is midst his second season with the United States Hockey League's Sioux Falls Stampede. Redmond has posted seven points with two goals and five assists in 14 outings to date this campaign and is tied for first in team points among the Stampede's defensemen. In the 2005-06 campaign, Redmond totaled 11 points on four goals with seven helpers in 48 contests which represented the fifth-highest output for the squad's blueliners. Sioux Falls claimed both the Western Division title and were crowned the Anderson Cup Champions in 2005-06 as a result of being the overall league champion. Redmond played for the Compuware Ambassadors prior to competing in the junior ranks.

"Zach has the ability to create scoring opportunities from the offensive blueline," Famulak said. "He also has the skills to be a capable defender along with generating offense. Zach possesses a good shot and can be effective on the power play through his on-ice vision."

Wietecha, a 6-1, 205-pound defender, has presently registered four goals on two goals and assists apiece in seven 2006-07 games with the Cedar Rapids (RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League. In his first season (2005-06) with the RoughRiders, Wietecha garnered four points on a goal and three assists in 39 encounters. Before his arrival to Cedar Rapids, he helped Victory Honda to a first-place finish in the Midwest Elite League and a Michigan midget state title in 2004-05.

"Scott is a big, strong physical-type of defenseman who can dominate play in the defensive zone," said Famulak. "He has a great one-time slapshot from the offensive blueline."

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