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Friday, November 21, 2008

Bulldogs sign pair for '09-10 season

Ferris State University announced the signing of two junior-level players to National Letters of Intent to attend and suit up for the Bulldogs, beginning with the 2009-10 season, during the November early-signing period.

Joining FSU next season will be right wing Eric Alexander (Kentwood) and center-right wing Travis Ouellette (Tecumseh, Ontario).

"With the addition of these two players, we believe we've upgraded our skill level and ability to score goals at our forward positions," said Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels. "Both players have a track record of not only individual success, but team success as well."

Alexander is currently in his second season with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League under head coach Steve Poapst. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound forward has presently registered a team second-best 17 points on a squad-high 11 goals and six assists in 15 games this season. He has produced five power-play goals, one shorthanded tally and one game-winning lamplighter with a plus-3 efficiency rating for the Steel, who are 8-7-0 in the USHL's East Division this season to date. Alexander's 17-points total this campaign currently ranks tied for third among the USHL's scoring leaders.

A season ago in 49 outings for Chicago, Alexander produced 15 goals with seven assists for 22 points and was plus-6 for the 2007-08 campaign as the Steel finished with a 32-22-6 record. He netted four power-play tallies while accounting for the game-winning marker on three occasions in helping Chicago secure an USHL East Division Playoff berth. Alexander concluded the season 11th among the Steel's top points leaders while ranking tied for 111th place in league scoring. In seven playoff appearances last season, he generated all of his three points on goals with one occurring on the power play and the other resulting in the game winner.

The signing of Alexander marks the third consecutive season in which Ferris State will have a Chicago Steel alumnus skating for the Bulldogs. Alexander will join former Steel players and current Ferris State skaters left wing Mike Embach and defenseman Aaron Schmidt on the 2009-10 team.

"Eric is a protypical power forward," said associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Drew Famulak. "He's a gifted goal scorer who has a physical presence. Eric over this past year has started to round out his game to become not only a playmaker, but also an effective penalty killer.

"Overall, Eric's skill set is very high and he's another blue-chip recruit from Michigan we're elated to have in our lineup come next season."

Ouellette (pronounced OOH-lett), who's skating in his first season for the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League, is currently tied for top team scoring honors with 25 points on 12 goals and 13 assists in 26 season appearances. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound skater has tallied two power-play goals and netted two game-winning lamplighters this campaign while helping the Vees to a third-place tying 15-8-0 record in the BCHL's Interior Conference standings to date.

In the 2007-08 campaign, Ouellette totaled a league second-most 74 points on 32 goals and 42 assists in 32 contests as a member of the Western Ontario Hockey League's Tecumseh Chiefs. He also produced 15 power-play goals and garnered five game-winning lamplighters for the season. The forward's 74 assists on the season ranked second highest on the squad as did his 32 tallies and 42 helpers. Ouellette played a vital part in guiding the 34-12-2 Chiefs to both the WOHL championship title and the Sutherland Cup crown.

"Travis has above-average skills and possesses a strong presence in front of the net which gives him a high level of finishability," said Famulak. "He's a quick, agile skater who's both aggressive and heady in goal-scoring areas. Travis is a solid performer in 5-on-5 situations and can generate offense of the cycle."

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