This weekend's opponent is the Ferris State Bulldogs. Friday's game from Yost will air on CBS College Sports and Saturday's contest up in Big Rapids will air on Comcast. If you don't get Comcast, you can watch the game on pay-per-view through Ferris State's website for $7.
Here are ten things to know about the Bulldogs:
1) The Bulldogs, picked 7th in the preseason coaches' poll and 6th in the media poll, currently sit a surprising 3rd in the CCHA standings. They are 8-6-3-2 in the CCHA and 11-8-4 overall. They're just two points behind the Wolverines, though Michigan has a pair of games in hand.
2) They've been a little bit inconsistent. This past weekend's sweep of Bowling Green was their first six-point weekend of the year in CCHA play, though they did take 5 points from Miami in early November and swept St. Lawrence back in October. They following up the two-win weekend against Miami by getting shutout by LSSU back-to-back games, so yeah.
3) In the earlier series this year, Michigan took four points, winning the game at Yost and losing in a shootout on the road. Shawn Hunwick gave up 2 goals on 28 shots in the loss. Hogan gave up 2 on 24 shots in the win. Clearly we'll see Hunwick in both games this weekend. Michigan was 1-14 for the weekend on the power play. Ferris was 2-9.
4) Defenseman Zach Redmond leads the Bulldogs in goals (uh oh) and points with a 6-9--15 line in 17 games. He had 1-2--3 in the sweep of Bowling Green this past weekend and scored a power-play goal in FSU's win over Michigan earlier this year. He had a goal against us last year as well. Chad Billins has 4-6--10 from back on the blueline. Those two defensemen have combined for five game-winning goals and five tallies on the power play.
5) Up front, they don't have any forwards really tearing it up. Their leading goal scorer is Nate Hennig with 6, and their leading point-getter is Mike Embach with 5-6--11 in 23 games. Matthew Kirzinger does have 2-2--4 in a three-game point streak and has 2-4--6 in his last seven.
6) In net it's been Pat Nagle most of the way, and with good reason. The senior netminder is 11-6-4, with a 1.76 goals against (!) and a .930 save percentage. Those numbers are good for 3rd and 8th nationally, respectively. Pretty impressive, and a guy that could certainly steal a game any given night.
7) Offensive/Defensive numbers: The offense, as you might guess by their lack out output from forwards, is only scoring 2.39 goals per game, 45th in the country. Behind Nagle, however, the Bulldogs are the number one defensive team in the country. They're the only school giving up fewer than two goals per game (1.96), a tenth of a goal per game better than Merrimack. Also, as you might expect, the power play sucks (14.0%-49th) and the PK is really good (88.4%-3rd) and has scored 5 SHGs on the season. Adding in the 5 shorties, they're only -8 on the 112 power plays they've given up.
8) Redmond has 2-3--5 in 8 games against Michigan. Justin Menke is the only other Bulldog with multiple goals in his career against Michigan. The Wolverines have had a fair amount of success against Nagle. He's just 1-4-1 with a 3.59/.882 against the Maize and Blue. Hagelin has 3-3--6 in 8 games against FSU. Wohlberg, Rust, Cappy, and Glendening all have a pair of goals. Shawn Hunwick's appearance earlier this year was his only game against FSU. He's 0-0-0-1 (or 0-0-1 if you prefer) with a 1.87/.929.
9) Bob Daniels picked up his 300th career win last weekend against Bowling Green. Redmond was named CCHA Defenseman of the Week for his performance.
10) Things that don't bode well for us this weekend: We suck on Friday nights and are 2-4-1 on the first game of a CCHA weekend. FSU is 5-2-1. The Friday night game is at Yost, where you'd typically expect to win. Hopefully they come out with a little bit better of an effort than we typically see on Friday night. The good news is that FSU has only beaten Michigan at Yost one time in the last decade.