A WCHA regular season title and a trip to the elite in during the NCAA Division I college hockey playoffs. Not a bad resume for the 2013-14 Ferris State Bulldog’s hockey program, wouldn’t you say?
The only question that looms, is how do you back that up? You lose your captain defenseman in Scott Czarnowczan, the two leading scorers from last season in forwards Cory Kane and Garrett Thompson, and another forward in Andy Huff who logged 25 points for the Bulldogs just a year ago.
The answer is simple. You don’t have to completely rebuild the roster from a year ago, you simply work with what you have, and what the Bulldogs have is something special.
Senior forward Justin Buzzeo scored 32 points for the Dawgs last season and will lead the charge for the Bulldog offense this season. Sophomore forwards Kyle Schempp, Chad McDonald, and Gerald Mayhew all had outstanding seasons for the Bulldogs last season, as they recorded 25, 20, and 19 points, respectively.
When you include upperclassman such as senior defenseman Jason Binkley, who had 24 points during the campaign, and junior forward Kenny Babinski, who added 19 points, the returning core of this team is stronger than ever.
When you add an animal in front of the net like CJ Motte, who logged a 2.17 goals against average last year, what do you get?
Repeat performances, my friends, and maybe a little more. What do I mean by a little more? I mean another shot at a Frozen Four and National Championship appearance just like the Bulldogs had during the 2011-12 campaign.
Sure, the season hasn’t even started yet, and the first puck drop isn’t even until this Saturday. But what’s not to like about this team?
With Bob Daniels at the helm, as we all know, anything is possible with this program. The sky is truly the limit.
Strong returning forwards, a strong returning defense with fresh faces of freshman and the implementation of Simon Denis, who missed last season with a broken neck injury, and CJ Motte in the net. The Dawgs will have them contending for a spot in the NCCA Division I top ten ratings week in and week out.
All I’m saying is, there’s a lot to be excited about with this team this year. The potential is there, the talent is there, and the coaching is there. With all that said, it all starts with one thing. Game one, a game against one of the perennial powerhouses of college hockey since the early 90s, the University of Michigan.
Get excited, start talking now, and start recognizing that this year could be something special for the Ferris State hockey program.
A sold out Ewigleben Ice Arena on Oct. 4 at 7:37 p.m. in Big Rapids, Mich. I’ll see you there. That’s all I’m saying.