All on the line

Bulldogs hope home ice helps in playoffs

The nationally No. 13-ranked Bulldog hockey team hosts No. 18 Nebraska-Omaha in a quarterfinal matchup in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament this weekend.

The stakes are very high for the best-of-three series as the winner earns a trip to the semifinals at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Ferris earned the third seed in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and first-round bye in the conference tournament with a 13-9-6-4 conference record. The sixth-seeded Mavericks swept Bowling Green State with a pair of 6-1 victories in Omaha in the opening round of the CCHA Tournament.

This marks the first home, quarterfinal series for the Bulldogs since the 2002-2003 season. Ferris will look to return the favor this year as the Mavericks swept the Bulldogs in the first round of the CCHA Tournament a season ago.

Ferris swept the regular-season series with the Mavericks at home in the meetings as conference foes as Nebraska-Omaha is leaving the CCHA after the season.

The home ice is typically an advantage for the Bulldogs with the student section, the Dawg Pound, located behind the visiting team’s goal. However, students have not yet returned from spring break.

The Mavericks have the fourth-ranked offense in the CCHA with 3.08 goals per game while the Bulldogs are ranked fifth with 3.02 goals per game. Ferris is third in scoring defense, while Nebraska-Omaha ranks eighth.

Ferris senior left wing Blair Riley leads the Bulldogs with 34 points, 17 goals and 17 assists, while senior Eddie Del Grosso leads Nebraska-Omaha with 30 points.

The Bulldogs and Mavericks square off at 7:05 at Ewigleben Ice Arena on Friday.