Sweet sixteen

Ferris breaks team record with win over RPI

78 days ago, most Ferris students were plunged headlong into their first semester of the 2013-14 academic year.

78 days ago, fog blanketed the campus of Ferris State in Big Rapids as the town woke up in uncontainable excitement for the first hockey home game of the 2013-14 season.

The biggest opening night crowd in the history of Ewigleben ice arena was treated to an opening night loss.

The anticlimactic game may have been a wild disappointment to fans at the time, but over the next 77 days, Ferris State ripped off their longest undefeated streak in team history.

On January 3, 2014, the nationally ranked #2 Bulldogs broke the team record with a 6-2 win over RPI at the Mariucci Classic Tournament in their first game of the new year. They are 13-0-3 over their last 16, including four conference series sweeps.

Junior goaltender CJ Motte has not lost a game this season. In fact, Motte’s last loss was 293 days ago back on March 17, when they dropped a playoff game at Ohio State University to end the 2012-13 season.

Ferris State’s top three scorers are senior Garrett Thompson [10-12-22], junior Justin Buzzeo [9-12-21], and freshmen Kyle Schempp [7-10-17]. They have combined for 60 points in 20 games.

Ferris has advanced to the championship game of the Mariucci Classic, where many fans of college hockey had hoped to see an historic #1 vs. #2 match up in the final game of the tournament.

The host, the nationally ranked #1 Minnesota Golden Gophers, needed a win over Colgate to make the magical match up possible.

In their own stadium, on their own ice, the Minnesota Golden Gophers were upset 3-2 in a shootout.

Thus #2 Ferris will play Colgate for the Mariucci Classic Championship and a shot at taking over the #1 spot in the national rankings.

The Pairwise poll already has the Bulldogs atop the nation.

Ferris opened the 2013-14 campaign with a road series at Colgate. They split the series, opening with a 7-4 victory on Oct. 5, and dropped a 1-0 contest on Oct. 6.

The #1 vs. #2 game would have been nationally televised on the B1G Network, but following Minnesota’s loss, Ferris lost their chance of television coverage for the championship game.

The Bulldogs can continue to push their record streak to 17 unbeaten games with a win or tie tonight. Shootout losses are counted as ties in the standings in inter-conference play.

The puck drops at 4 p.m. Central/5 p.m. Eastern standard time for the Mariucci Classic championship game against the Colgate Raiders.