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Ferris focused on winning games with half a season remaining

Ferris will hope to be recharged after winter break for the remainder of the season as they prepare for top-ranked competition.

The Bulldogs had 10 days off during the winter break which some chose to use to return home and see family they don’t normally get the chance to see.

During the winter break, the Bulldogs were also faced with the challenge of competing against non-conference opponent RTI on Dec. 29 after not playing a hockey game for 19 days.

RTI shut the Bulldogs out with a 3-0 win in the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup Tournament at the Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vt.

Ferris failed to convert on its power play opportunities against RTI. The Bulldogs were 0-9 on the man advantage against RTI and held a 16-7 advantage in scoring chances. Ferris allowed two power play goals in the match-up.

“We had chances, it was just a matter of finishing those chances,” junior forward Kyle Bonis said.

The next day, Dec. 30, Ferris faced the University of Vermont in another non-conference match-up. Ferris lost to Vermont 4-2, where the Bulldogs were 1-4 on the power play. Vermont was 3-7 on the power play.

“Despite the losses, there were some good things to come out of it,” Bonis said. “After that we realized what we needed to do and the things that made us successful in the first half in the season that we need to continue in the second half for us to continue to win.”

Prior to Ferris’ winter break, the Bulldogs split a home-and-home series against a top ranked Notre Dame team.

The Bulldogs are 11-8-1 overall. Ferris is sitting in fifth place in the CCHA at 7-6-1 with 22 league points.

The Bulldogs took on nationally 9th-ranked non-conference opponent Colgate University Jan. 6-7. FSU defeated Colgate 4-3 Friday and 3-1 Saturday. Senior forward Jordie Johnston recorded his first career hat trick in Friday’s victory. The wins snapped a three-game losing streak.

Ferris will have the opportunity to host the Alaska Nanooks at the Ewigleben Ice Arena on Jan. 13-14.

“We’re excited to play at home again,” Bonis said. “I think the team is sitting in a very good place right now.”

The Bulldogs are 1-1 this season against the Nanooks. Ferris last played the Nanooks in Alaska and have been waiting for the opportunity to challenge the Nanooks on Bulldog ice since the series split Nov. 18-19.

“If we play to the ability that we’re capable of, then we’re a top team in the country,” Bonis said. “That’s the mindset the team needs to have. We want to make sure that by the time CCHA conference play returns, there’s no excuses.”

Bonis acknowledged that the goal is still the same for this year: Get Ferris back to the Joe.