For the first time since its dramatic playoff series this past March, BG and Ferris State will face off.
The Bulldogs (4-4-2, 3-3-0 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) enter the weekend No. 20 in the country. They have split each of their three CCHA series’.
The Falcons and Ferris State are well acquainted with each other. The two teams played each other seven times this past season, with Ferris State winning five of those matchups.
Each of those five Ferris wins were by two goals or more. Both BG wins came in the March playoff series and both were one-goal games.
“They’re a team we know very well,” said BG Coach Chris Bergeron. “They make it extremely difficult to score five-on-five. We had a couple guys get hot in the playoffs last year and that helped us score goals against them. They had some turnover on the back end and in goal, but they’re still defending extremely well because that’s their brand.”
Ferris State suffered some of the most significant losses in the conference following the 2011-12 season.
All-American goalie Taylor Nelson, along with five of the team’s defensemen, graduated.
The team has not missed a beat with sophomore C.J. Motte in net. Despite ranking sixth as a team in the conference in goals allowed per game, Motte has picked up right where Nelson left off.
He has started all 10 games for the Bulldogs this season, posting a 2.24 goals-against average and a .926 save percent.
“They’re a really good defensive team,” said BG defenseman Rusty Hafner. “They sit back and wait to get opportunities. So we have to be smart with the puck, don’t turn it over at the blue line; just be good with the little details.”
Ferris has been more opportunistic on offense this year, ranking third in the conference in goals per game, despite losing two of their top scorers in Chad Billins (29 points) and Jordie Johnston (36 points).
This season, the Bulldogs have taken more of a scoring-by-committee approach. Corey Kane leads the team with eight points in 10 games. He is one of four players on the team with seven or more points.
Both games will be played at the BGSU Ice Arena and will start at 7:05 p.m.