Showing posts with label WCHA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WCHA. Show all posts

Monday, April 28, 2014

Whitten to take helm of Lakers

By Michael David/LSSU Beat Writer

Over the weekend Lake Superior State University held a press conference to name Damon Whitten the new head coach of the hockey program. He is the 10th coach in the history of Laker hockey. Whitten was an assistant coach at WCHA rival Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI, before taking the LSSU job. He has also worked as director of hockey operations at Michigan State under form Laker player and coach Rick Comley, and has also served as an assistant coach at Wayne State and Alaska-Anchorage.

"He has surrounded himself with some of the best that college hockey has to offer with who he was coached with, coached for and coached under," LSSU Athletic Director Kris Dunbar stated at the press conference. "I'm really excited for his time now to be a head coach here."

In his younger years, Whitten hoped to don the anchor and play for the Lakers, but was not made an offer by then head coach Jeff Jackson.

"Over 20 years ago, I sat up in Taffy Abel in his office waiting for an offer from Jeff Jackson to be a Laker, and had he offered me at the time, I would have been a part of this family back then," Whitten said. "It's 20 years later and I'm finally joining the Laker family and I'm very excited to do that."

I hate to point out, however, that the arena was not dubbed Taffy Abel 20 years ago, it was just the Norris Center before the renovations Jackson initiated, and his office was located in the other athletic department staff across from the gymnasium.

Anyway, the Brighton, MI, native decided to be a walk-on at Michigan State and play for another former Laker coach, Ron Mason. Whitten went on to serve as an assistant captain his senior year and become part of the most successful class in Spartan hockey history.

"That four years with Coach Mason was a huge influence on me as a player and as a coach in my development and my aspiration to get to this level. What struck me is looking up an seeing Ron Mason, the founder of this program, up on the walls," Whitten stated. "He handed this program off to Rick Comley, who was his first captain, and Rick took over as the second head coach in Laker hockey history. Jeff Jackson built this into a powerhouse program."

I think we'd have to give Frank Anzalone some credit for programs success, too. I do wish Whitten and the Lakers all the best of luck this coming season. The team failed to make the WCHA playoffs, and we're hoping Whitten can right the ship here at Lake State and be competitive.

"Our job will begin immediately to reach out to alumni, fans, recruits, and the community during our quest to restore Laker hockey. Our family is very excited to join the Sault Ste. Marie community and become part of the Laker hockey family."

Photos courtesy of LSSU Athletic Dept.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

FSU secures NCAA bid despite loss in finals

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

There's no shame in losing, especially when you have the clout that Ferris State has amassed throughout the season.

The Bulldogs bounced past Alaska Anchorage in the WCHA semifinals with a 5-4 overtime win, before being ousted by Minnesota State 4-1 in the championship game.

But the loss comes without consequence, as Ferris State's overall record of 28-10-3 and WCHA regular season title was enough to merit a spot amongst the 16 teams vying for the NCAA Championship.

In their journey to make it to the NCAA tournament, the Bulldogs first had to cross paths with the Seawolves in Friday's semifinal, whom they previously beat twice during the regular season.

Ferris State however found out quickly that this was no walk in the park, after seeing their 2-0 lead in the first disappear with four consecutive goals by Alaska Anchorage by the midpoint of the following period.

Senior forward Garrett Thompson helped spark the Bulldogs' comeback at 12:50, scoring his team-high 16th goal of the campaign courtesy of a 2-on-1 situation. Earning helpers on that play were Justin Buzzeo and Scott Czarnowczan.

Less than three minutes later, another senior came through in the clutch for Ferris State, with Andy Huff finding the back of the net for the game-tying goal.

The Bulldogs needed just 2:38 seconds of the overtime session to finish the job, which came courtesy of a Gerald Mayhew shot from between the faceoff circles that trickled past Seawolves' netminder Chris Kamal.

Goaltender C.J. Motte finished with 34 saves for Ferris State, while Rob Gunderson surrendered four goals on 12 shots for Alaska Anchorage in the first two periods before being pulled. In his 23:38 seconds of relief duty, Kamal had 10 stops to his credit.

Saturday's tournament final was a much tougher challenge for the Bulldogs, who found themselves in a 2-0 hole against the Mavericks after just 20 minutes of action.

It wasn't until the final minute of the second frame that Ferris State responded, thanks to Mayhew's diving effort from outside the crease that cut the deficit in half. Helping to set-up the scoring play were Cory Kane and Huff.

Any chance of a Bulldog comeback was put to rest in the third period, as Brett Knowles notched an insurance goal at the 8:38 mark, followed by Teddy Blueger's empty-netter with four seconds remaining.

Motte (27-8-3) held a narrow edge over counterpart Cole Huggins in the saves department, 28-25.

Mayhew was the only Ferris State player named to the WCHA Final Five All-Tournament Team, joining the likes of Minnesota State's Bryce Gervais, Brett Stern, Blueger and Huggins (tournament MVP).

Up next for the Bulldogs is a first-round draw in the Midwest Regional against Colgate on March 28 at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. The winner of that game will face either North Dakota or Wisconsin the following night in the regional final.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bulldogs advance to WCHA Semifinals

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Never judge a book by its cover.

It's a lesson that Bemidji State learned the hard way this past weekend, when Ferris State defenseman Scott Czarnowczan rifled the game-winning shot from the blueline in double overtime to help the Bulldogs move onto the second round of the WCHA Tournament.

A senior, Czarnowczan has shown time and again that he plays much bigger than his 5-foot-10, 176 pounds frame may suggest. After an injury-plagued junior season, Czarnowczan has rebounded to become Ferris State's top scoring defenseman with 24 points (six goals, 18 assists) in 37 games, ranking him fifth overall on the team. In addition, the team captain was also recently named to the WCHA All-Second Team alongside classmate Garrett Thompson.

Czarnowczan's goal capped a run that saw the No. 6 ranked Bulldogs bounce back from a 2-1 deficit, which began with sophomore Matt Roberton's game-tying goal with 45 seconds left in regulation to force the extra session.

Ferris State took the initial lead on Saturday night following Brandon Anselmini netting his fifth goal of the campaign with 3:50 elapsed in the contest.

An untimely hit to Cory Kane later in the frame caused the glass boards to shatter behind the Beavers' net, causing a lengthy delay in action.

The Bulldogs' momentum would come to a temporary halt in the second period, when Phil Brewer evened-up the score at the 1:17 mark, followed by Nate Arentz's go-ahead marker a mere five minutes later.

Junior netminder C.J. Motte logged nearly 85 minutes of action to pick-up his 26th win of the season, collecting 34 saves in the process.

There was less dramatics on the previous night, as Ferris State coasted to an 8-0 decision in which six different players lit the lamp.

Forwards Justin Buzzeo and Kyle Schempp gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage midway through the opening stanza, scoring their goals nearly two minutes apart. The duo would also find themselves on the score-sheet later in the game, with Buzzeo's coming at 16:15 in the second and Schempp equaling the feat 5:23 into the third.

Junior defenseman Travis White made it a 3-0 affair just shy of the 11-minute mark of the second, blasting a knuckle-puck from the right slot that found its way past Bemidji State goaltender Andrew Walsh.

35 seconds after Schempp netted his second goal of the evening, Kane upped the Bulldogs lead to six off a costly turnover by the Beavers in their defensive zone. The play began with Gerald Mayhew chipping the puck out from along the boards and onto the stick of Andy Huff, who then flipped it up-ice for Kane to finish the tic-tac-toe play.

Robertson centered to puck to sophomore Kenny Babinski from down-low to make it a 7-0 affair at 12:47, before Huff finished off Ferris State's scoring binge a minute later.

Motte recorded 26 saves en route to his fourth shutout of the season, while Walsh stopped 15 shots on 23 opportunities.

Ferris State (27-9-3 overall) faces off with Alaska Anchorage in the WCHA Semifinals this Friday at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The winner of that contest will meet either Bowling Green State or Minnesota State in the WCHA Championship Game the very next night.

WCHA announces 2013-2014 honors

WCHA Press Release
MADISON, Wis.University of Alaska forward Cody Kunyk was chosen as Western Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year and the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Chad Brears earned WCHA Outstanding-Student Athlete of the Year honors to highlight 2013-14 men’s awards announced by the conference today.
The league’s five other major individual awards went to University of Alaska defenseman Colton Parayko as WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, Lake Superior State University forward Alex Globke as WCHA Rookie of the Year, Alaska’s Cody Kunyk as WCHA Scoring Champion, Minnesota State University’s Cole Huggins as WCHA Goaltending Champion, and Bob Daniels of Ferris State University as WCHA Coach of the Year.
Kunyk (Sherwood Park, AB) finished the regular season of his senior campaign as the WCHA scoring champion, accruing 34 points on 17 goals and 17 assists in Alaska’s 28 conference games. In the 34-game regular-season schedule, he scored a single-season career-high 42 points with a WCHA-high 22 goals to go with 20 assists. Also named to the All-WCHA First Team and to the WCHA All-Academic Team, Kunyk has recorded five multiple-goal outings this season, including a career-best four goals in the Nanooks’ victory over Alaska Anchorage on March 7. That mark was achieved by only three other collegians during the 2013-14 year. He leads the nation with seven game-winning goals, scored six power-play and two shorthanded goals and owns a stellar +14 plus/minus rating. Kunyk currently ranks 13th all-time on the program’s scoring list with 132 points (60g, 72a) in 145 career games.
Brears (Cold Lake, AB), a forward at Alabama Huntsville, was chosen by member team Faculty Representatives as WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year. Majoring in Mechanical Engineering, Brears has maintained a 4.0 GPA in one of the institution’s most difficult degree programs and despite the constant demands of being a student-athlete and the extensive travel involved as a member of the Chargers’ hockey team. He earned WCHA Scholar-Athlete honors in mid-February, is a member of the WCHA All-Academic Team, and is one of his team’s leaders both on and off the ice. He is an enthusiastic participant in mentoring activities with local school children and an all-around great representative of the ethos of college hockey. In 35 games played this season, Brears tied for third on the team in points with 10 and was second on the team in goals scored with six. Brears’ on-ice moment of the year came at Bemidji State on Feb. 28 when he fed a pretty pass to Jack Prince who scored the game-winning goal for a key road victory over a long-time rival. The WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year Award is determined from nominations made by the member institutions and each institution then has one final vote.
The league’s 10 head coaches voted Alaska defenseman Colton Parayko (St. Albert, AB) as the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year. An All-WCHA First Team selection as just a sophomore, Parayko finished his second collegiate season as one of the leading offensive defenseman in the league, ranking tied for third with 18 points (4g, 14a) in the 28-game league slate. In Alaska’s 34 regular-season outings, he tallied 23 points (4g, 19a) and led all defenders with 19 assists. Defensively, he is always matched up against the opponents’ top lines and is a leader in ice time. He blocked a nation’s second-best 2.65 blocks per game (90) and owns a standout +17 plus/minus rating. Then Nanooks went 13-5-0 when he recorded at least one point, compared to their 4-8-4 mark when he went without a point. He has had five multiple-point outings during the season and has scored all four of his goals on the power-play.
Honored by voters as the WCHA Rookie of the Year for 2013-14 is Lake Superior State University forward Alex Globke, who also earned All-WCHA Rookie Team accolades. Globke (Waterford, MI), who produced 31 points (12g, 19a) to lead the Lakers and played in all 36 games, was one of his club’s most consistent offensive players. As a freshman among a senior-laden squad, Globke produced points at a rapid pace. He lead the WCHA in freshman goals, assists, and points. He currently sits tied for seventh nationally in rookie scoring, while also finishing eighth in overall conference scoring. Globke also finished tied for sixth in overall assists in league play. He produced like an experienced veteran and helped anchor one of the most effective lines in the league with seniors Colin Campbell and Dan Radke. With center Radke out for two straight weeks and gone from the top line, Globke added four assists over the four games against conference foes Michigan Tech and Bemidji State. He has been named conference Rookie of the Week. Globke began his collegiate career with 15 points in his first 12 games including seven in his first six.
The WCHA Scoring Champion for 2013-14 is Alaska’s Cody Kunyk while the league goaltending champion is Minnesota State University rookie Cole Huggins. Huggins (Centennial, CO), who has three shutouts in his last four games played heading into the playoffs, owns an overall 17-7-1 won-loss record, a 1.96 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. He has started 15 of the last 17 games for the Mavericks, ranks ninth in the nation in goals-against average, 27th in save percentage and his school-record tying five shutouts on the year is tied for third. Huggins led the league with a 1.73 goals-against average and .794 winning percentage (he was 17-4-1 in league games), tied for the league lead with a .927 save percentage and was named WCHA Rookie of the Week following MSU’s games with Bowling Green (Nov. 15-16) and WCHA Defensive Player of the Week after the Mavericks earned a league road sweep at Lake Superior State (Feb. 28-March 1). He had a career-high 33 saves in 1-0 shutout victory vs. Bowling Green Nov. 9.
Chosen as the WCHA Coach of the Year is Bob Daniels of Ferris State University, who led the Bulldogs to the regular season title as first-year league members. In the midst of his 22nd season at the helm and a two-time National Coach of the Year Award recipient, Daniels led the Bulldogs to their second conference championship in the last three years as FSU became only the third program ever to win both the WCHA and the former Central Collegiate Hockey Association titles. The Bulldogs led the league race from wire-to-wire in claiming the fabled MacNaughton Cup and securing the number one seed for the league playoffs. During the 2013-14 season, the Bulldogs established a new school record under Daniels with a nation-leading 16-game unbeaten streak, which lasted from late October until early January. Ferris State did not drop a conference game until the middle of January and the Bulldogs finished the regular-season with a first-place 20-6-2 league slate.
Under Daniels’ leadership, Ferris State has compiled a nation-leading 25 wins (25-9-3), the fourth most in school history, and the Bulldogs own one of the country’s top marks on home ice with a 14-1-1 record inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. FSU, ranked as high as second and among the nation’s top 10 teams each of the last 15 weeks, went unbeaten at home (13-0-1) in conference action and posted its sixth-straight season with increased home attendance. This season’s average of 2,141 fans per game was its best in 32 years. Additionally, Ferris State is also presently sixth in the national PairWise and RPI rankings with the Bulldogs eyeing their third overall NCAA Tournament bid, including the second in three seasons following the memorable 2011-12 run to the national championship game at the NCAA Frozen Four.
Four conference teams – Alaska, Alaska Anchorage, Ferris State and Minnesota State – are represented on the All-WCHA First Team, with both the Nanooks and the Mavericks having two honorees each. Named to the All-WCHA First Team, with statistics for league games, were forwards Cody Kunyk (Sr., Alaska, 28 gp, 17-17=34), Matt Bailey (Sr., Alaska Anchorage, 28 gp, 12- 15=27), and Matt Leitner (Jr., Minnesota State, 26 gp, 8-25=33), defensemen Colton Parayko (So., Alaska, 28 gp, 4-14=18) and Zach Palmquist (Jr., Minnesota State, 28 gp, 3-16=19), and goaltender C.J. Motte (Jr., Ferris State, 19-6-2, 2.29, .927).
Voted to the All-WCHA Second Team were forwards Jean- Paul Lafontaine (Jr., Minnesota State, 28 gp, 16-16=32), Colton Beck (Sr., Alaska, 28 gp, 11-19=30) and Garrett Thompson (Sr., Ferris State, 28 gp, 11-7=18), defensemen Scott Czarnowczan (Sr., Ferris State, 28 gp, 4-13=17) and Kevin Czuczman (Jr., Lake Superior State, 28 gp, 6-9=15) and goaltender Cole Huggins (Fr., Minnesota State, 17-4-1, 1.73, .927).
Named to the All-WCHA Third Team for 2013-14 were forwards Tyler Morley (So., Alaska, 25 gp, 15-14=29), Zach Lehrke (Sr., Minnesota State, 24 gp, 7-18=25) and Johnny McInnis (Sr., Minnesota State, 28 gp, 17-11=28), defensemen Matt Prapavessis (Jr., Bemidji State, 28 gp, 5-12=17) and Jason Binkley (Jr., Ferris State, 26 gp, 2-16=18), and goaltender Kevin Kapalka (Sr., Lake Superior State, 8-9-0, 2.62, .924).
And voted to the All-WCHA Rookie Team were forwards Alex Globke (Fr., Lake Superior State, 28 gp, 9-12=21), Marcus Basara (Fr., Alaska, 28 gp, 9-12=21) and Kyle Schempp (Fr., Ferris State, 28 gp, 6-12=18), defensemen Shane Hanna (Fr., Michigan Tech, 28 gp, 4-18=22), Ruslan Pedan (Fr., Bemidji State, 28 gp, 3-8=11) and Sean Flanagan (Fr., Minnesota State, 24 gp, 5-6=11), and goaltender Cole Huggins (Fr., Minnesota State, 17-4-1, 1.73, .927).
A repeat all-league honoree from 2012-13 was forward Matt Leitner of Minnesota State, who was an All-WCHA First Team selection this season after being All-WCHA Third Team a season ago. Alaska forward Cody Kunyk, who was an All-WCHA First Team choice, was an All-CCHA Second Team honoree in 2011-12 while Nanooks’ forward Tyler Morley, who was All-WCHA Third Team, was a member of the All-CCHA Rookie Team in 2012-13. And Lake Superior goaltender Kevin Kapalka, an All-WCHA Third Team selection, was named to the All-CCHA Rookie Team in 2010-11.
Seven players who were named as major award winners and/or to this season’s all-league teams were also honored as WCHA Scholar-Athletes for 2013-14 back on Feb. 13. They were forward Chad Brears of Alabama Huntsville (WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year), forward Matt Bailey of Alaska Anchorage (All-WCHA First Team), defenseman Colton Parayko of Alaska (WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, All-WCHA First Team), Bemidji State defenseman Matt Prapavessis (All-WCHA Third Team), Ferris State defenseman Jason Binkley (All-WCHA Third Team), Lake Superior State defenseman Kevin Czuczman (All-WCHA Second Team) and Lakers’ goaltender Kevin Kapalka (All-WCHA Third Team). To earn recognition as a WCHA Scholar- Athlete, student-athletes must have completed at least one year of residency at their present institution prior to the current academic year and must also have a grade-point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale for the previous two semesters or three quarters, or may qualify if his or her overall GPA is at least 3.50 for all terms at his or her present institution.
Major award winners and/or members named to all-league teams who were also earned 2013-14 WCHA All-Academic Team honors were: Chad Brears of Alabama Huntsville (WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year), Matt Bailey of Alaska Anchorage (All-WCHA First Team), Alaska’s Colton Beck (All- WCHA Second Team), Cody Kunyk (WCHA Player of the Year, All-WCHA First Team), Tyler Morley (All-WCHA Third Team) and Colton Parayko (WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, All-WCHA First Team), Bemidji State’s Matt Prapavessis (All-WCHA Third Team), Ferris State’s Scott Czarnowczan (All-WCHA Second Team) and C.J. Motte (All-WCHA First Team), Lake Superior State’s Kevin Czuczman (All-WCHA Second Team) and Kevin Kapalka (All-WCHA Third Team), and Minnesota State’s Zach Lehrke (All-WCHA Third Team) and Zach Palmquist (All-WCHA First Team).
Voting for WCHA awards and all-league teams is done by member team head and assistant coaches and captains or sports information directors. Each team receives four ballots for a total of 40 voters. Points for awards and all-league teams are awarded on a 5-point (1st team vote), 3-point (2nd team vote), and 1-point (3rd team vote) basis. The WCHA Outstanding Student- Athlete of the Year award is administered by member team Faculty Athletic Representatives. The WCHA Defensive Player of the Year is chosen by the league’s 10 head coaches.
WCHA Player of the Year
Cody Kunyk • Forward, Senior, University of Alaska (Sherwood Park, AB)
WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year
Chad Brears • Forward, Sophomore, University of Alabama in Huntsville (Cold Lake, AB)
WCHA Defensive Player of the Year
Colton Parayko • Defenseman, Sophomore, University of Alaska (St. Albert, AB)
WCHA Rookie of the Year
Alex Globke • Forward, Freshman, Lake Superior State University (Waterford, MI)
WCHA Scoring Champion
Cody Kunyk • Forward, Senior, University of Alaska (Sherwood Park, AB)
WCHA Goaltending Champion
Cole Huggins • Freshman, Goaltender, Minnesota State University (Centennial, CO)
WCHA Coach of the Year
Bob Daniels • Ferris State University
2013-14 All-WCHA First Team
Pos Name Team Ht Wt Yr Hometown 2013-14 WCHA Stats
F Cody Kunyk Alaska 5-11 197 Sr Sherwood Park, AB 28 gp, 17-17=34
F Matt Bailey Alaska Anchorage 6-1 196 Sr Oakbank, MB 28 gp, 12-15=27
F Matt Leitner Minnesota State 5-9 175 Jr Los Alamitos, CA 26 gp, 8-25=33
D Colton Parayko Alaska 6-5 218 So St. Albert, AB 28 gp, 4-14=18
D Zach Palmquist Minnesota State 6-0 175 Jr South St. Paul, MN 28 gp, 3-16=19
G C.J. Motte Ferris State 6-0 190 Jr St. Clair, MI 19-6-2, 2.29, .927
2013-14 All-WCHA Second Team
Pos Name Team Ht Wt Yr Hometown 2013-14 WCHA Stats
F Jean-Paul Lafontaine Minnesota State 5-10 172 Jr Oxford, MI 28 gp, 16-16=32
F Colton Beck Alaska 5-11 187 Sr Langley, BC 28 gp, 11-19=30
F Garrett Thompson Ferris State 6-2 191 Sr Traverse City, MI 28 gp, 11-7=18
D Scott Czarnowczan Ferris State 5-10 176 Sr Macomb, MI 28 gp, 4-13=17
D Kevin Czuczman Lake Superior State 6-3 205 Jr Port Elgin, ON 28 gp, 6-9=15
G Cole Huggins Minnesota State 6-0 180 Fr Centennial, CO 17-4-1, 1.73, .927
2013-14 All-WCHA Third Team
Pos Name Team Ht Wt Yr Hometown 2013-14 WCHA Stats
F Tyler Morley Alaska 5-8 174 So Burnaby, BC 25 gp, 15-14=29
F Zach Lehrke Minnesota State 5-8 170 Sr Park Rapids, MN 24 gp, 7-18=25
F Johnny McInnis Minnesota State 6-1 195 Sr Boston, MA 28 gp, 17-11=28
D Matt Prapavessis Bemidji State 6-1 183 Jr Oakville, ON 28 gp, 5-12=17
D Jason Binkley Ferris State 5-9 191 Jr Powell, OH 26 gp, 2-16=18
G Kevin Kapalka Lake Superior State 6-1 206 Sr Mississauga, ON 8-9-0, 2.62, .924
2013-14 All-WCHA Rookie Team
Pos Name Team Ht Wt Yr Hometown 2013-14 WCHA Stats
F Alex Globke Lake Superior State 6-3 206 Fr Waterford, MI 28 gp, 9-12=21
F Marcus Basara Alaska 6-0 197 Fr Port Moody, BC 28 gp, 9-12=21
F Kyle Schempp Ferris State 6-0 178 Fr Saginaw, MI 28 gp, 6-12=18
D Shane Hanna Michigan Tech 5-11 190 Fr Salmon Arm, BC 28 gp, 4-18=22
D Ruslan Pedan Bemidji State 6-0 190 Fr Moscow, Russia 28 gp, 3-8=11
D Sean Flanagan Minnesota State 6-1 180 Fr Kindersly, SK 24 gp, 5-6=11
G Cole Huggins Minnesota State 6-0 180 Fr Centennial, CO 17-4-1, 1.73, .927

Friday, March 14, 2014

Roque out at LSSU

By Michael David/LSSU Beat Writer

Lake Superior State University announced yesterday that they will not be renewing head coach Jim Roque's contract for next season. They also stated on their official website that a national search for his successor will start immediately.

The Lakers were 16-19-1 this season, and was one of only two teams left out of the WCHA Playoffs. Roque's career record at Lake State was 136-165-1 over nine seasons. He took the helm of the Lakers in 2005, and led them to their first winning season in six years, and a year later to the team's first CCHA semifinal appearance in 11 years. Over the years Roque's team have had the habit of a strong start, only to falter later in the season. The Lakers spent many weeks this season ranked in the top 20 before the Christmas break, and their late season slide.

Roque is a former Laker himself, donning the anchor from 1983-87, and was part of the first squad to make the NCAA tournament in 1985. As an assistant coach at Lake State, he served under Frank Anzalone during their 1988 National Championship season, and Jeff Jackson during the 1992 National Championship season. He also coached under Mark Morris at Clarkson, where the Golden Knights qualified for the NCAA tournament four times.

"I appreciate how much Jim Roque loves Laker Hockey, and we thank him for what he has devoted to our program," stated LSSU Athletic Director Kris Dunbar. "I wish him the best, but at this time we are choosing to move in a different direction with our leadership."

Finding a new head coach won't be an easy task for Dunbar, either. LSSU is the smallest state college in Michigan, and finances will always be at the head of any discussion. Laker fans probably won't see an NHL caliber behind the bench at Taffy Abel Arena any time soon. To get the program back on a winning track, however, they will need to find a way to generate some funds. The first thing the Lakers will need, is a president who will back the hockey program 100%, and realize that a successful team on the ice may help to increase the enrollment. I admit, I'm not too familiar with new president Thomas Pleger, but he'll need to be on board if the Lakers are to see any success like they did in in the late '80's and early '90's.

The school will also need to reach out to their alumni. Back in the day, many former Lakers went on play hockey professionally, many in the NHL. Of all these players, only Doug Weight has given back, in the form of an endowment scholarship. There's really no reason for them not to pitch in, and help their alma mater regain some respect in the college hockey world. Even recently, three players off last year's squad left early to sign pro contracts. It will be critical to the program for them to give a little back to the school that helped get them to that level.

With the Laker rich hockey history, there are plenty of names out there with ties to the school, but unfortunately I doubt Doug Weight, Paul Jerrard, or Ron Rolston will be an option. It will be interesting to see where the search will take this program. Will Dunbar go with another Laker alumnus, or a young coach looking to make a name for himself?

One name the cold winds are blowing around the Soo is Rich Metro, who was an assistant under Roque from 2008-12. A Sault Ste. Marie native who played over at Northern Michigan, Metro left to become head coach and general manager of Villard de Lans in France. You really can't have a coaching job come along in the area without Joey Shawhan's name thrown in the hat, either. He's a Laker alumni, former assistant, and was very successful as head coach of the Soo Indians of the NAHL. Tim Christian has been an assistant for the Lakers for 12 seasons, and may be able to make a case for himself also. He's done a solid job of recruiting, as noted by the players leaving to sign pro contract. Just this week Kevin Czuczman left early to sign with the New York Islanders and goalie Kevin Kapalka signed with the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL). Christian has to take some credit for recruiting those types of players.

Whoever Pleger and Dunbar hire to captain the Lakers, fans and alumni can only hope they he can right the ship, and not into deadly waters. It's been exactly 20 years since the Lakers hoisted a National Championship trophy. While we really don't expect the program to be as dominant as it was during those glory years, being a competitive team in the WCHA is really not too much to ask for.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Bulldogs capture WCHA crown in sweep

Ferris State celebrates after winning the WCHA regular-season title
(Photo Credit: Ferris State Athletics)
By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Ferris State's transition into the WCHA this past year has been relatively flawless, but it hasn't come without a challenge or two.

Going into the final week of the regular season, the No. 7 ranked Bulldogs remained tied with Minnesota State at 38 points for the top spot of the standings.

In the ultimate mix of both luck and skill, Ferris State was able to defeat Lake Superior State on consecutive nights, while Minnesota State finished with a win and a tie against Michigan Tech. As a result, the Bulldogs were able to nab the conference championship in their inaugural WCHA run by a single point.

Action didn't pick-up until late in the first period of Friday's contest, when senior Cory Kane moved in from the right side of the net to beat Lakers netminder Kevin Kapalka with 5:35 left for his 12th goal of the campaign, which came via the power play. Earning assists on that play were defensemen Scott Czarnowczan and Jason Binkley.

Ferris State upped their lead midway though the second using a bit of trickery to find the back of the net. Senior Justin DeMartino skated in on the right wing before centering the puck to a streaking Dakota Klecha. After rifling a shot toward the net, the puck bounced off the side of Rob Schempp and trickled its way past the goal line.

It wasn't until the 12:47 mark that Lake Superior State was able to respond, with Dan Radke winning the faceoff draw to the left of the net and feeding it to Colin Campbell from just outside the circle.

Kapalka recorded 42 saves in the loss, compared to C.J. Motte's 32 stops.

Saturday's contest consisted of the Bulldogs honoring their five seniors (Czarnowczan, DeMartino, Andy Huff, Kane and Garrett Thompson) prior to the start of the game, which was a fitting tribute considering that three of them accounted for all of Ferris State's points in their 2-1 decision.

The Bulldogs jumped on their opposition early, using a 4-on-3 situation to their advantage with Thompson finishing off a pass from Czarnowczan just 1:03 into the contest for his 15th marker of the year.

A mere 51 seconds later Czarnowczan was able to light the lamp himself, courtesy of a nifty set-up pass by DeMartino.

Despite being a man down to start the middle stanza, the Lakers were able to generate some offense, with Campbell netting his second goal in as many nights with 29 seconds elapsed.

Motte improved to 24-7-3 as a starter with 24 saves to his credit, while Kapalka collected 29 at the other end of the ice.

Despite being tied with Bemidji State for eighth place in the WCHA standings, Lake Superior State lost the tiebreaker and will not participate in the WCHA Quarterfinals. The Lakers finish the 2013-2014 season with an overall record of 16-19-1 and were 12-16-0 in conference play.

Ferris State (25-9-3 overall, 20-6-2 WCHA) enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed and will host Bemidji State in a best-of-three series beginning Friday at 7:07 pm.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Bulldogs tamed by Alaska

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

In their quest to capture the WCHA regular season title, the No. 4 ranked Ferris State Bulldogs hit a bump in the road this past weekend after suffering a pair of losses to Alaska.

Following Minnesota State's sweep over Lake Superior State, the two squads are tied for first place with 38 points apiece heading into the final weekend of conference play before the WCHA Tournament.

The Nanooks' sense of relentlessness was visible from the get-go, compiling a 3-0 lead in the first 33 minutes of Friday's game before the Bulldogs could muster a response. A hooking call against Alaska allowed Ferris State to capitalize, with senior forward Andy Huff blasting the puck in from the right faceoff dot at the 15:41 mark courtesy of a Ryan Lowney feed.

Garrick Perry padded Alaska's lead with under eight minutes to go in the third to make it a 4-1 affair, but the bigger story came shortly thereafter when misconducts were handed out to Dakota Klecha and Dominic Panetta for their roles in roughhousing with Nolan Youngmun and Josh Erickson. Earlier in the period, Klecha and Erickson were both assessed matching minors for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Ferris State netminder C.J. Motte had 15 saves in 19 opportunities, while rival Sean Cahill was successful in stopping 36 of 37 shots faced.

The series finale was a far cry from the night before, with more scoring and less penalties being dished out.

Senior Cory Kane put the Bulldogs up first with a short-handed marker just 3:41 into the opening frame, only to be countered minutes later by Cody Kunyk's 18th goal of the campaign.
The score would be deadlocked 1-1 until midway through the middle stanza, when Trevor Campbell gave the Nanooks their first lead of the game by finishing off a pass from Michael Quinn and Colton Beck. Not the be outdone, Lowney answered back with under six minutes remaining to keep Ferris State in contention after 40 minutes of play.

Optimism on the Bulldogs side however would fade quickly in the third, thanks to a trio of goals by Alaska within a 15-minute span to make it a 5-2 affair.

Kane provided an assist on Huff's goal with 12 seconds remaining, but Ferris State was unable to avoid the sweep.

Motte (22-7-3 overall) had 36 saves compared to Cahill's 24.

The Bulldogs (23-9-3 overall, 18-6-2 WCHA) close out the regular season this weekend with a pair of games at home against Lake Superior State (16-17-1, 12-14-0). Prior to the start of Saturday's game, Ferris State will honor their senior class of Scott Czarnowczan, Justin DeMartino, Huff, Kane and Garrett Thompson.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ferris State silences Seawolves

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

A lot can happen in 30 days.

Just look at the recent run that Ferris State hockey has experienced in the month of February, faring 5-1 after beginning the calendar year with a mediocre ledger of 4-4.

With their recent sweep over Alaska Anchorage, the Bulldogs have now won six of their last seven contests and are once again flying solo atop the WCHA standings over Minnesota State by a four-point margin.

A five-minute charging major called against the Seawolves was the catalyst for Ferris State's first goal in Friday's game, with Justin Buzzeo turning on the red light at 11:37 off a feed from Jason Binkley and Rob Schempp.

Six minutes later, the Bulldogs made it a 2-0 affair, this time off of a slapshot by Kenny Babinski from just outside of the right faceoff circle.

Alaska Anchorage would avenge that goal early in the second, thanks to a one-timer by Jordan Kwas, which came while on the mad-advantage.

Not to be outdone, Ferris State quickly responded just shy of the five-minute mark on a tip-in by freshman Jared VanWormer off of defenseman Brandon Anselmini's shot from the point.

The line of Andy Huff, Cory Kane and Gerald Mayhew accounted for the Bulldogs' final goal, which came with under two minutes remaining in regulation. The scoring play began with Kane digging the puck out of the corner and tipping the puck in front of the net to Huff, who graciously fed a streaking Mayhew between the circles for the finish.

Andrew Pettitt of the Seawolves closed out the night with an unassisted marker 16 seconds later to cut the deficit in half.

Chris Kamal of Alaska Anchorage had a game-high 33 saves in the loss, compared to C.J. Motte's 29 stops.

Ferris State wrapped-up the series on Saturday with an even better offensive performance, earning a 5-3 decision that saw three of their goals scored in the first period alone.

Senior forward Garrett Thompson nabbed his 14th goal of the campaign with a blast just outside the crease at the 8:06 mark. Earning helpers on that play were Buzzeo and Schempp.

Nearly eight minutes would pass before the Bulldogs were able to capitalize once again. After winning a tough faceoff draw, Kane sent the puck over to an opportunistic Mayhew to complete the scoring sequence.

Kane was finally able to register a goal himself at the 17:30 mark, which came courtesy of a Seawolves turnover in the neutral zone.

Alaska Anchorage ended their dry spell at the 6:08 mark of the second period, when Scott Allen sent a pass over to Matt Allen for a one-timer that fell just out of Motte's reach.

A penalty-kill situation shortly thereafter did not prevent Ferris State from generating some offense, thanks to Huff banging one in 30 seconds later off a 2-on-1 breakaway.

Bailey put the Seawolves back in the picture with 14:26 elapsed, this time firing the puck from the middle lane.

Despite Brett Cameron's marker 14 seconds into the third to make it a one-goal affair, the Bulldogs stood their ground the rest of the way, adding an insurance goal just before the buzzer on Chad MacDonald's empty-netter.

Motte boosted his record to 22-5-3 overall with a 37 save performance. At the other end of the ice, Rob Gunderson had 26 stops to his credit.

Ferris State (23-7-3 overall, 18-4-2 WCHA) heads over to Fairbanks, Alaska this weekend for a two-game slate against former CCHA rival Alaska, whom they swept in their previous encounter back in November.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bulldogs split with Bemidji State

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

The race for WCHA regular season champions just got a little more interesting, as a weekend split by the No. 4 ranked Ferris State Bulldogs has allowed Minnesota State to tie them for first place atop the standings.

Friday's action against Bemidji State was that of a slow burn, with the majority of goals being scored in the final period.

The Bulldogs grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 8:34 mark of the first on a shot from the point by defenseman Travis White, which came off a nifty kick pass by forward Matt Robertson. Also earning a helper on that play was forward Kenny Babinski, who dug the puck out of the corner after White's initial shot went wide.

Ferris State built upon their lead early in the third, as Brandon Anselmini fired a pass toward center ice for Corey Kane, who took it into the Beavers' zone with Justin DeMartino in tow. From there, Kane skated in on the right wing and went stick-side to beat goaltender Jesse Wilkins.

Radoslav Illo broke Bemidji State's scoring drought on a breakaway goal with 13:23 elapsed, only to have DeMartino return the favor a mere 23 seconds later on a redirected shot from just outside the crease.

Freshman forward Chad MacDonald added an insurance goal for the Bulldogs with 22 seconds left, firing an off-balance shot from the red line that split through two defenders and found its way into an empty net.

Goaltender C.J. Motte recorded 25 saves to notch his 20th win of the season, while Wilkins had 27 stops to his credit.

In the series finale, both teams flipped the script, with action being more plentiful in the first period.

The Beavers were able to light the lamp twice within a five-minute span, beginning with Illo's second goal in as many nights just 1:57 into the contest.

Markus Gerbrandt added an insurance goal just shy of the seven-minute mark, sneaking the puck past Motte off a pass from Brendan Harms.

Ferris State responded late in the period, as Gerald Mayhew and DeMartino helped set-up Kane's ninth goal of the campaign, stretching his goal streak to four games.

The score would remain the same the rest of the way, as Bemidji State snapped the Bulldogs' four-game win streak in the process.

Andrew Walsh stopped 32 shots to improve to 7-11-4 as a starter this season for the Beavers. At the other end of the ice, Motte (20-5-3) was able to string together a 15 save performance.

Ferris State (21-7-3 overall, 16-4-2 WCHA) returns to Big Rapids this weekend for a two-game slate against third-place Alaska-Anchorage in what will be their only meeting of the regular season.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lakers split with Seawolves


By Michael David/LSSU Beat Writer

The Lake Superior State Lakers didn't gain any ground in the WCHA standing, after splitting a home series with the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves over the weekend.

Lake State got off to a good start to the series, with a 5-3 win on Friday. The Seawolves drew first blood, Colin Campbell tied the game at one in the first period while the Lakers were on the power-play.

The Lakers really started finding the back of the net in the second period, with goals by Ian Miller, Zach Sternberg, and Andrew Dommett. UAA netted another goal before Dan Radke notched a power-play marker in the closing minutes of the period.

The Seawolves added one more goal in the third, but Lake State and goalie Kevin Murdock held them the rest of the way. Murdock made 23 saved on the night. Freshman Alex Globke continued his success, racking up three assists on the night.

On Saturday night, the Seawolves turned the tables on the Lakers. They started the game by running  Murdock in net several times, and netted the first periods' lone goal.

UAA took the 2-0 lead in the second while Murdock was being interfered with, but the Lakers bounced back with a goal by Bryce Schmitt. The Seawolves where awarded their third goal by the officials, who watched the puck bounce over Murdock and not actually go into the net, because the net was well off it's moorings, but over the line, and must have decided it was close enough!

Tempers flared in the second period, as many infractions by the Seawolves went uncalled, especially goalie interference. This not only led to the Lakers losing their best defenseman in Kevin Czcuzcman, but actual power-plays for UAA! Alaska-Anchorage used the controversial situation to seize control of the game, 5-1.

The Lakers tried a comeback in the third period, with Stephen Perfetto tickling the twine just 34 seconds in the stanza. That would end the scoring, however, even after the Lakers pulled Murdock at the 3:47 mark. Murdock made 34 saves in the loss.

Lake State travels to Marquette next weekend, to take on U.P. rival Northern Michigan Wildcats.

Photos property of Michael David

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wildcats bested by goal-happy Ferris State

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

The No. 5 ranked Ferris State Bulldogs returned to their dominant form this past weekend, securing their first sweep in nearly a month at the expense of Northern Michigan.

The pair of wins keeps the Bulldogs in first place amongst the WCHA standings with 32 points, with Minnesota State hot on their trail after an equally impressive showing against Bemidji State.

Ferris State got on the scoreboard first in Friday's contest, with Kenny Babinski redirecting Jason Binkley's shot past netminder Mathias Nahlstrom at the 11-minute mark while on the power-play.

A mere four minutes later, the Wildcats returned the favor on a one-timer by Erik Higby off Reed Seckel's pass from behind the net.

That would be as close as Northern Michigan would get, as the Bulldogs went on a three-goal binge in the second period, beginning with Matt Robertson's power-play marker at 5:46 that trickled through the legs of a Wildcat defenseman.

Less than two minutes later, senior forward Garrett Thompson made it a 3-1 affair on a breakaway goal, with assists being handed out to Ryan Lowney and Andy Huff.

Huff would register his third helper of the night just before period's end, backhanding a pass from the wing that would find its way onto the stick of linemate Chad McDonald for the short-handed marker.

Following Brandon Anselmini's lamp-lighter with 4:05 in the third, Northern Michigan head coach Walt Kyle yanked Nahlstrom in favor of freshman Derek Dun.

The goaltending switch did little to subdue the red-hot Bulldogs, as Corey Kane and Thompson both found the back of the net to give Ferris State their highest scoring output this season since a 7-4 decision over Colgate in the season opener.

Junior C.J. Motte had 29 saves between the pipes for the Bulldogs, compared to Nahlstrom's 26. Dun saw 15:55 of action, recording three stops on five attempts in relief duty.

Although Ferris State was unable to replicate their high-octane offense in the series finale, they did just enough to walk away with a 2-1 win and secure their sixth sweep of the season.

The Bulldogs once again grabbed the early lead, with freshman Jared VanWormer registering his second goal of the campaign just 3:44 into the game on a one-timer from Dominic Panetta. Also earning an assist on that play was linemate Dakota Klecha.

It wasn't until the third period that Ferris State would strike again, this time with a SportsCenter worthy goal by Kane at the 4:21 mark. The tic-tac-toe play began with a bullet pass from the right faceoff circle by Klecha that was intercepted by VanWormer in front of the crease, who then backhanded the puck to a trailing Kane for the game-winner.

The Wildcats however would not go down quietly, as Darren Norwick snuck the puck past Motte off a feed from Wade Epp with just over seven minutes left in regulation.

Motte had a game-high 29 saves to improve to 20-4-3 as a starter. At the other end of the ice, Nahlstrom (10-13-2) had 21 stops to his credit.

Ferris State  (20-6-3 overall, 15-3-2 WCHA) hits the road this weekend for a two-game slate against Bemidji State, while Northern Michigan (11-15-2, 9-10-1) plays host to Lake Superior State.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bulldogs split with Michigan Tech

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Coming off the heels of a penalty-laden series against Minnesota State that saw them swept for the first time this season, No. 6 ranked Ferris State managed to earn a split this past weekend against Michigan Tech.

Friday's affair was a classic chess match, as the score remained close throughout the contest. The stoic approach from both sides was on display late in the first period, when the Bulldogs' Andy Huff provided the initial lead at the 16:24 mark. Just a mere 10 seconds later, David Johnstone of the Huskies tied it up at one goal apiece off a feed from Blake Pietila and Brad Stebner.

Less than two minutes into the second frame, freshman forward Chad MacDonald banged one in on MTU netminder Jamie Phillips from just outside to crease to restore Ferris State's lead.

A boarding call against the Bulldogs provided the next scoring opportunity for their opposition, as Reid Sturos lit the lamp on the man-advantage at the 12:00 mark to even-up the score.

The deciding goal came at 8:45 of the final stanza when Ferris State turned the puck over in their defensive zone, allowing Sturos to tally his second marker of the night.

Bulldogs' goaltender C.J. Motte made 30 stops, dropping to 17-4-3 as a starter.

Phillips had 28 saves to his credit, while Pietila tallied a game-high three assists.

Not wanting to be swept two weekends in a row, Ferris State regrouped in the series finale to secure a 3-0 decision.

The Bulldogs scored in each period, beginning with a power-play goal by Huff in the first, with assists being credited to Justin Buzzeo and Ryan Lowney.

Midway through the second, sophomore Dakota Klecha notched his first goal of the campaign in unassisted fashion, beating Phillips with a backhanded shot.

With under nine minutes left in regulation, seniors Justin DeMartino and Scott Czarnowczan helped set-up freshman Jared VanWormer's first collegiate goal.

Earning both his first win of the season and first-ever collegiate shutout for Ferris State was sophomore Charles Williams (1-2) with 25 stops.

Taking the loss for Michigan Tech with 22 saves to his credit was Phillips (3-6-1).

With another weekend in the books, the Bulldogs still remain atop the WCHA with 28 points, while Minnesota State remains in tow with 24.

Ferris State (18-6-3 overall, 13-3-2 WCHA) is idle this weekend, and will return on Feb. 7-8 when they play host to in-state rival Northern Michigan (10-12-2, 8-7-1).

The Huskies (8-14-6, 6-8-4) meanwhile, hit the road for a two-game showdown against third-place Bowling Green State.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mavericks stampede past Ferris State

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

For the first time in a long time, Ferris State experienced a weekend that they'd soon like to forget.

Aside from being swept for the first time since last March's CCHA Quarterfinal against Ohio State, the Bulldogs also had a strong gravitational pull toward the penalty box that inhibited their on-ice production.

Minnesota State pieced together a 6-2 decision over their counterparts in the series opener, netting two of those goals while on the power-play.

After seeing the Mavericks light the lamp twice within a 17-second span early in the first, forward T.J. Schlueter cut the deficit in half off a feed from linemate Andy Huff just past the midway point of the frame.

A score by Johnny McInnis with 5:50 elapsed in the second gave Minnesota State a but of breathing room until defenseman Brandon Anselmini brought Ferris State within one with under nine minutes left in the stanza.

Matt Leitner made it a 4-2 affair before the end of the frame and after surrendering another McInnis goal 1:35 into the third, Bulldogs' head Coach Bob Daniels pulled goaltender C.J. Motte in favor of backup Charles Williams.

Despite surrendering a power-play marker to J.P. Lafontaine, Williams finished the night with 12 saves on 13 attempts in relief duty. In his 41:35 of ice time, Motte yielded five goals on 25 opportunities.

Seven roughing penalties were assessed throughout the game, six of which came on matching minors. Little did the fans know that that sort of rugged play was just a preview of the things to come in Saturday's finale.

While Ferris State's came up short in their opportunity to salvage a split in their 4-3 loss to the Mavericks, the bigger story is the mayhem that unfolded at the 8:15 mark of the third period.

Just 19 seconds after McInnis scored the eventual game-winner, a scuffle broke-out between Bulldogs' defenseman Justin DeMartino and Minnesota State's Teddy Blueger behind the net that would set-off a line-brawl.

After order was restored, DeMartino and Motte were shown the gates, as was Zach Stepan and Blueger. Earning 10-minute misconducts on the Ferris State side were Ryan Lowney, Corey Kane and Zach Dorer, with Bryce Gervais and Carter Foguth being assessed the same penalties for Minnesota State.

The Bulldogs finished the contest with a season-high 119 penalty minutes on 23 infractions, 90 of which came during the melee.

Freshman Seth Adams gave Ferris State their only lead of the game with his second goal of the campaign at the 10:11 mark of the first.

Early in the third, senior forward Andy Huff evened-up the score at 2-2 before the Mavericks fired back with a pair of power-play goals.

With 7:02 left in regulation, Kenny Babinski finished off a pass from Jason Binkley to pull the Bulldogs within one.

Motte stopped 31 of 35 shots prior to his ejection, with Williams collecting three saves in the final 11:20.

At the other end of the ice, Cole Huggins had 32 stops to his credit.

Ferris State (17-5-3 overall, 12-2-2 WCHA) travels to the Upper Peninsula this weekend to square off with Michigan Tech (7-13-6 overall, 5-7-4 WCHA), whom they previously swept.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Poor officiating dooms Lakers

By Michael David/LSSU Beat Writer

The Lake Superior State Lakers not only battled the Bemidji State Beavers over the weekend, but some questionable WCHA officiating as well. The Beavers went 3 for 4 on the power play, en route to a 5-2 win over Lake State on Friday night.

Stephen Perfetto led the Lakers with a goal and an assist. He scored his team's second goal, and assisted on Zach Sternberg's first period marker.

In net, Kevin Kapalka made four saves, before leaving the game due to injury. Kevin Murdock came into the game making 35 saves to take the loss.

Saturday night, the Lakers completely dominated BSU in the first half of the game, out-shooting them 14-4 at one point, and taking a 1-0 lead on another goal by Perfetto.

At that point, it seemed a pretty steady stream of blue and gold heading to the penalty box (five penalties in teh second period alone...).

The Lakers were unable to mount any more offense while being hooked and held by the Beavers defense. This allowed the Beavers to score three unanswered goals for the 3-1 win, and the sweep.

Kevin Murdock made 21 saves in the loss for the Lakers, who travel down to Notre Dame to take on their former CCHA foes in non-conference action.

Photos property of Michael David

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Huskies no match for Ferris State

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

Even though their 16-game undefeated streak came to an end in the finals of the Mariucci Classic, the Ferris State Bulldogs have managed to keep another one intact - as they have yet to be beaten by another WCHA team this season in 14 attempts.

The latest to fall victim to the mighty Bulldogs were the Michigan Tech Huskies, who were unable to get the job done after close losses of 1-0 and 3-2 this past weekend.

Senior forward Garrett Thompson supplied the difference-maker in Friday's game, registering his team-high 11th goal of the season with under 12 minutes remaining in the contest. Earning helpers on the game-winning goal were defensemen Scott Czarnowczan and Travis White.

A solid effort was given at both ends of the ice by goaltenders Jamie Phillips of Michigan Tech and C.J. Motte of Ferris State, who recorded 28 and 25 saves respectively. With his flawless performance, Motte was given first star honors and secured his third shutout of the campaign.

Although the Huskies upped their game offensively in the series finale, it still wasn't enough to put away their counterparts.

Ferris State never trailed on the scoreboard, bursting out to a 2-0 lead before Michigan Tech was able to respond. T.J. Schlueter put the Bulldogs ahead by one with 6:24 elapsed in the contest, followed by Kenny Babinski's short-handed marker in the ensuing frame with five minutes remaining. Just over a minute later, Alex Petan found the back of the net on a power-play marker to cut the Huskies' deficit in half.

Junior Justin Buzzeo provided the game-winning goal with 4:29 to go in the third, which was set-up by Chad McDonald and Czarnowczan.

Michigan Tech made one last push in the final minute of the contest on a score by David Johnstone, but were unable to produce the equalizer before the buzzer sounded.

Motte nearly doubled his saves total from the night before, stopping 44 of 46 shots faced to improve to 17-1-3 as a starter.

Taking the loss for the second time in as many nights for the Huskies was Phillips, who had 17 saves to his credit.

The Bulldogs (17-3-3 overall, 12-0-2 WCHA) venture out to Mankato, Minnesota this weekend for a two-game slate against Minnesota State.

Michigan Tech (7-13-6 overall, 5-7-4 WCHA) is idle this week but returns to action on January 24-25, when they play host to Ferris State.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Three Michigan teams in latest USCHO poll

Ferris State kick off the New Year at number 3 in the latest USCHO Division I Men's hockey poll.

The WCHA leading Bulldogs are 15-3-3 on the season and are coming off a 3-0 loss to Colgate in the championship game of the Mariucci Classic in Minneapolis.

Also cracking the Top-20, the Michigan Wolverines rank eighth and the Lake Superior State Lakers roll in at number nineteen.

In the Division III Men's Poll, the Adrian Bulldogs remain unbeaten at 12-0-1 and climb into the number one spot for the first time in school history.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bulldogs sweep away Lakers

By Michael David/LSSU Beat Writer

The Lake Superior State Lakers and the Ferris State Bulldogs hooked up over the weekend in Sault Ste. Marie. The Lakers out-shot and out-played the 6th ranked Bulldogs in each game, but Ferris won the stat that means the most, the scoreboard.

On Friday night Ferris took advantage of a little puck luck, when a pass from behind the net bounced in off Laker goalie Kevin Kapalka. Corey Kane was credited with the goal. The Bulldogs took advantage of a shaken Kapalka, scoring two more goals in their next three shots. Garrett Thompson and Justin DeMartino were the goal scorers. Ferris looked like they put the game away early, when Gerald Mayhew scored a power play goal before the first period ended.

The two teams traded goals in the second period. Colin Campbell finally got the Lakers on the board with a power play marker. The Bulldogs responded ten minutes later with a goal by Matt Robertson. 

Lake State would dominate the third period, but were only able to get within two before running out of time. Kevin Czuczman scored on a blast from the point, and Eric Drapluk added a power play goal to wrap up the scoring.

Kapalka was pulled after giving up his third goal, but came back into the game beginning the second making 14 saves, and giving up four goals. Kevin Murdock made nine saves for the Lakers and gave up one goal. In net for Ferris, C.J. Motte stood on his head making 39 saves on the night. LSSU out-shot Ferris by a 42-28 margin.

On Saturday night, the Lakers fell again by the score of 3-1. The Bulldogs jumped to another early lead, with goals by DeMartino and Robertson in the first period.

LSSU scored it's only goal of the night in the second period, when freshman Alex Globke lit the lamp.

Ferris added an empty-netter in the third period by Thompson to secure the win. Kapalka was in net again for the Lakers, making 19 saves. Motte continued his resilience, making 36 saves for the Bulldogs. LSSU out-shot Ferris again 37-21.

The Lakers (9-6-1, 5-5 WCHA) travel up to Anchorage, Alaska to face the Sea Wolves for the first time in conference play. Ferris will play at Michigan this Wednesday, and at Michigan State on Saturday.

Photos taken by and property of Michael David

Monday, December 09, 2013

Wolverines and Bulldogs Rank 3-4

The Michigan Wolverines were off of game action all week, but hold onto the #3 spot in the Division I Men's Poll for the third week in a row. 

In the in-state battle of ranked teams, Ferris State went on the road to the Taffy Abel Arena in the Sault and swept Lake Superior.

The Bulldogs scored four first period goals on Friday and dropped the Lakers, 5-3.

FSU exploded for another pair in the opening period on Saturday and held off the Lakers, 3-1, to move to 13-2-2 on the year and move up two spots to #4.

LSSU falls three spots to #17 with a record of 9-6-1.  

In the Division III Men's PollAdrian went into the week as #3 and grabbed 3 of 4 points on the road at Marian. The Bulldogs are now 10-0-1 overall on the year.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Michigan at No. 3 in latest USCHO Poll

The Michigan Wolverines had a light week, but still hold down the third spot in the latest Division I Men's Poll.

Andrew Copp notched the game-winner for the the Maize and Blue (9-2-1) at 3:38 of OT at Yost on Friday night to defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes in their only game action of the week.

The Ferris State Bulldogs (11-2-2) grabbed three of four points over the weekend from the Northern Michigan Wildcats on the road at the Berry Events Center and hold steady in sixth place.

Lake Superior also cracks the top-20 with an overall record of 9-4-1.

The 14th ranked Lakers celebrated Thanksgiving with a pair of 4-3 victories over the Bowling Green Falcons at the Taffy Abel Arena.

In the Division III Men's Poll, the Adrian Bulldogs are ranked third with a perfect 9-0-0 record.

Bulldogs stretch unbeaten streak to 11 games

By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer

There was no holiday hangover for the No. 6 ranked Ferris State Bulldogs this past weekend, as they gobbled three of four points from Northern Michigan.

The Bulldogs produced plenty of offense in Friday's game, notching two goals on the power-play en route to a 4-1 decision over their counterparts.

Sophomore forward Matt Robertson knocked in a pass from Chad McDonald in front of the net to put Ferris State ahead 1-0 at the 11:41 mark of the opening period.

Just over five minutes later, defenseman Zach Dorer made it a 2-0 affair, with forwards Kyle Schempp and Cory Kane earning helpers on the play.

Tempers flew in the ensuing stanza, as  the Bulldogs' Andy Huff and Northern Michigan's Reed Seckel were both shown the gates after their tussle with under seven minutes remaining in the second. Huff and Seckel were each given a fighting major and disqualification, but Seckel was also assessed a double-minor for roughing. The extra penalties levied toward the Wildcats paved the way for Schempp's power-play marker from just outside the crease with 16:25 elapsed.

An interference call against Northern Michigan to begin the third would also prove costly, as sophomore Brandon Anselmini fired a shot past Wildcats' netminder Mathias Dahlstrom to put the Bulldogs ahead by four. With the game seemingly out of reach, Northern Michigan head coach Walt Kyle removed Dahlstrom and inserted back-up Derek Dun, who stonewalled Ferris State for the remainder of the contest.

The Wildcats were able to end C.J. Motte's opportunity for a shutout bid with 11 seconds to go, as Cohen Adair lit the lamp while on the man-advantage.

Motte picked-up his 11th win of the campaign, stopping 32 of 33 shots faced.

Dahlstrom had 17 saves to his credit, while Dun went a flawless 8-8 in relief.

Saturday's series finale was much more hotly contested, with both squads producing their lone scores via power-play during the second period.

The Bulldogs struck first just before the midway point, with Robertson extending this goal-scoring streak to five games via Anselmini and Schempp.

A tripping penalty against Ferris State minutes later allowed Northern Michigan to produce the equalizer, as Jake Johnson slid the puck past Motte at the 14:17 mark.

Motte finished with a slight advantage over Dahlstrom in the saves department, 23-21.

Northern Michigan (6-6-2 overall, 4-3-1 WCHA) hits the road for their next four games to close out 2013, beginning with a trip to Minnesota State this Friday and Saturday night.

Ferris State (11-2-2 overall , 8-0-2 WCHA) remains in the Upper Peninsula this weekend, as they travel to Sault Ste. Marie for a two-game slate against Lake Superior State.