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BG hockey heads north to face off against Ferris State

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Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012 9:22 pm

The BG hockey team is traveling up to Big Rapids, Mich, for a weekend series against the No. 1 ranked Ferris State Bulldogs this weekend.

Both games will start at 7:05 p.m.

The last time the Falcons defeated a No. 1 ranked team was back in the 2007-08 season against the Miami Redhawks. They won 4-2 behind two goals from Jacob Cepis and stellar play by goalie Jimmy Spratt.

This is the first time this season BG will play the No. 1 team in the nation. The highest ranked team they have played was Ohio State at No. 3. BG recorded two shootout victories in the series.

However, Ferris State has owned BG recently, having a six-game winning streak against the Falcons. The last BG win came in 2009, and they haven't beaten the Bulldogs on the road since 2007.

The Falcons (9-18-5, 4-16-4-3 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) are coming off a rough weekend. They got swept at home by Northern Michigan and didn't look ready to play in game one of the weekend series. They look to possess a short memory and prepare for the Bulldogs in another tough series.

On the other hand, the Bulldogs are coming off a great weekend and a sweep of Notre Dame. They jumped all the way up to No. 1 from No. 6 after this weekend's domination of Notre Dame.

Earlier in the season, the Bulldogs came to the BGSU Ice Arena and trounced the Falcons in the weekend series. The first game was a 4-0 shutout, and the second game was a 5-3 win, with BG goalie Andrew Hammond being pulled early after allowing three goals in the first 12 minutes of play. At the end of the game, the frustration came out in the Falcons as a scrum between players took place.

"This is going to be a physical series," said BG coach Chris Bergeron. "These are two teams that don't like each other very much."

Ferris State (20-8-4, 14-6-1 CCHA) has five players with 20 or more points this season. Senior Jordie Johnston leads the team with 28 points. His 16 goals rank second in the CCHA, and Kyle Bonis has 15 goals, which ranks third. Senior Chad Billins leads their defense in scoring with 25 points this season.

Senior goalie Taylor Nelson has a record of 15-4-2 this season with a 2.18 goals-against-average. He also has a .923 saves percentage with three shutouts. One of his shutouts came earlier this season against the Falcons, and he is one win away from 30 career wins.

Ferris State is ranked third in the CCHA in scoring, but is ranked first in goals allowed. Their defense is stout on all fronts just giving up 2.19 goals-per-game.

"They have depth up front, and the guys in the back end are playing really good hockey," Bergeron said. "They just make it difficult to score. Their brand of play is relentless, and they play a tough checking type of hockey. This series will come down to special teams, and we just need to be simple and not give them anything."

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