Familiar Feelings

Bulldogs tie team undefeated streak record to end 2013 portion of schedule

As it has been heavily documented, the 2012 Ferris State Hockey team went to the National Championship game.

Where that year’s team compares to this year’s, is in their 15 game undefeated streaks.

With a decisive 2-0 win over Michigan State in East Lansing, the #4 Ferris State Bulldogs moved their undefeated streak to 15 games, and haven’t lost since Oct. 18, in a 3-2 loss to St. Lawrence at home.

Their 12-0-3 mark in this streak is one win better than the 2012 team’s 11-0-4 stretch between January 6 and February 24 of that season.
In the midst of a massive snow and perilous roads in south central Michigan, the Bulldogs entered Munn Arena for the US Hockey Hall of Fame Game.

Legendary Michigan State coach, Ron Mason, was honored throughout the evening for his induction into the US Hockey Hall of Fame. Mason had 924 career wins and a National Championship on his resume with the Spartans.

Freshmen forward Chad McDonald opened the scoring in the first period, when sophomore forward Kenny Babinski snuck behind the Michigan State net and swiftly backhanded a centering pass to McDonald, who found it a few feet in front of Spartan goaltender Zach Hildebrand, and buried it 9:21 into the contest.

The score remained 1-0 until early in the second period, when junior forward Justin Buzzeo tapped in an easy goal off a beautiful feed from freshmen forward Gerald Mayhew, 5:34 into the second period.

From that point to the end of the game, the Bulldogs shut down the Spartans nearly every time they reached the neutral zone. Junior goaltender CJ Motte was relatively untested as he earned his second shutout of the 2013-14 campaign.

Motte has a nation leading winning percentage of 91.2 percent, and has started every game in the undefeated streak. He has not lost a game all season.

Senior forward Cory Kane, who had played a pivotal role this season in the faceoff circle and scoring, missed the game with a shoulder injury that he obtained during the Michigan game on Dec. 11.

Head Coach Bob Daniels confirmed the injury after the game and noted that Kane was kept out as a precaution, to buy him extra healing time going into the new year.

The #4 Bulldogs finished off a B1G swing looking strong. Despite the fact that this week is over, much opportunity lies ahead.

Ferris opens 2014 with a trip to Minnesota, where they will play in the Mariucci Classic tournament. Their first game is against the RPI Engineers. Depending on other results, Ferris could play the nation’s current #2 team, Minnesota.

Its another opportunity for Ferris to show that their ranking is warranted despite the way they’ve manhandled their conference.
In Ratings Percentage Index national rankings, Ferris moved up to third, and Minnesota is one spot ahead of them.

If Ferris does not play Minnesota in the second round, they will meet familiar foe Colgate, whom they split a road series with at the beginning of the season.

Many comparisons to the 2012 team have been drawn in the last few days as Ferris continues to chug along, including their 15 game undefeated streaks. Despite extreme line up mixing throughout this stretch, Daniels has picked the right combination every single night, and the Bulldogs continue to roll.

Ferris returns to Big Rapids on Jan. 10 at 7:07 p.m. to open a WCHA series with Michigan Tech.