Friday, October 29, 2010

10 Things to Know About Ferris

Just realized that I never got around to writing up a weekend wrapup for the UNO series. Yet again, couldn't watch the games--they weren't on because of technical difficulties.

Something about 4-0 leads this year. This time we got down 4-0, got the steady stream of power plays to try to get us back into the game. Finally capitalized (even strength) a couple times within a minute to bring us back to 4-2, but they couldn't get that third goal in to make things really interesting, though it sounds like they came extremely close on several occasions. Lynch and Wohlberg had the goals, sounded like there were a couple that Hunwick might like to have back, and there may have been some lapses in our own end, though the defense kept the shots down pretty well. Holding UNO to 26 is pretty good. Without looking it up, I think that was a season low.

The next night it was the reverse. 4-0 lead for the Wolverines. After getting down 4-0, the Mavericks got 4 power plays in the final ten minutes of the second period, got away 10 shots, scored on one. They wouldn't get any closer, though, as Glendening and Winnett scored in the third. Michigan won going away, by a 6-1 score. Bryan Hogan made 35 saves, including 12 with UNO on the power play.

Scooter Vaughan stayed hot with a pair of goals and a +2 rating on Saturday. The goal scorers were a nice mix of guys that you expect to put the puck in the net and guys who it's really nice when they can provide some secondary scoring: Wohlberg, Hagelin, Glendening, Vaughan (2), Winnett. Not a bad mix there. Caporusso and DeBlois both had a pair of assists. Much better night!

Anyway, that didn't hurt us in the standings since UNO isn't in the CCHA any longer. The Wolverines do get back to CCHA play this weekend with a home and home (or away-and-home, if you prefer!) against the Ferris State Bulldogs. Here are 10 things to know about the kids from lovely Big Rapids.

1) They come into this weekend 4-2-0 (1-1-0-0 in the CCHA). They split at Alabama-Huntsville (Ehht!), swept St. Lawrence, and then split with Ohio State at home. They also lost an exhibition game to Ontario IT (EHHHHHT!). In their four wins, they've given up four goals. In their two losses, they've given up nine.

2) As you'd probably expect, defenseman Zach Redmond is leading the way offensively with 3-3--6 through six games. He had 6-21--27 a year ago. The Bulldogs graduated their top four forwards, so Redmond is the only returning player who had more than 20 points last season. Five of Redmond's six goals were on the power play, and three were game winners. One of those goals came against Michigan. Redmond was mentioned as a darkhorse in USCHO's 2010-11 Hobey Baker Preview.

3) As far as the forwards go, the top returners are Mike Embach (9-11--20) and Justin Menke (8-10--18). Matt Kirzinger is the leading returning goal scorer, with 9 as a freshman last year. Senior Nate Hennig has four goals so far this season. He had just two goals in 35 career games prior to this season.

4) They do have a very good goalie in senior Pat Nagle. As a junior, he was 12-10-3 with a 2.13/.923. He's 4-1-0 with a 1.60/.932 so far this season. That's good for #4 in GAA and #11 in save percentage. Taylor Nelson gave up 4 on 24 shots against Alabama-Huntsville in his only action this year. Nelson did play in 16 games a year ago, going 9-3-3 (2.49/.915), so he's not bad either. Nagle played both games against us last year and gave up 4 goals on 65 shots for the weekend.

5) They're averaging 3 goals per game this year, which ranks 19th in the country. The defense is #9 at 2.17. Grain of salt in that UAH and St. Lawrence are 2 of the 10 worst offensive teams in the country. Middle of the pack in PIMs (Hey, we're not #1 anymore! Thanks Northern!). 23.1% on the power play so far, 77.8% on the kill.

6) Friday night's game will air on the B2 Network, pay per view. I've always had a good experience. Sadly, I have a conflict and can't watch. Saturday's game airs on Comcast. So yeah, yet another weekend with no watching Michigan hockey for me. This blows.

By the way, who thought it was a good idea to have two sets of home-and-homes between Michigan and Ferris? I guess it's probably cheaper to bus it twice than to get two nights of a hotel for the team, but man. You do that with Bowling Green or Western. That drive to Ferris sucks.

7) Our four captains all have a pair of goals against FSU in their careers. They're the only players on Michigan's roster with multiple goals against the Bulldogs. Cappy has 2-3--5. Wohlberg has 1-3--4 in 4 games as well.

8) Bryan Hogan has done very well against Ferris. He is 2-2-0, with a 2.00 goals against and a .932 save percentage. He shut out Ferris in his lone appearance against them at Yost. Shawn Hunwick has yet to face Bob Daniels's team.

9) The Wolverines have been dominant in games at Yost (37-10-0), but the series is much closer to .500 back in Big Rapids (23-18-2).

10) The most recent contest between the two teams is the only time since 2003 that Ferris has beaten Michigan in regulation. The Bulldogs are 4-0-1 in overtime during that stretch however. Since the 2000-01 season, Ferris has held Michigan below 3 goals in just 4 of the 27 contests. That includes the most recent two games, though. The games last year were the only times that the teams have met where Ferris was ranked and Michigan was not.

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