PREVIEW: Dawgs and Spartans

Ferris hockey looks to build on three-game winning streak with home-and-home series against MSU

The Bulldogs split their series with Michigan State last season, winning 4-1 on the road Friday, Nov. 10, before losing 4-3 at home the following day. Torch File Photo

In the midst of a three-game winning streak the Bulldogs look to keep the ship rolling against the Michigan State Spartans this weekend in a home and home battle.

Ferris State (5-6-1) is traveling to East Lansing Friday to take on the Spartans at Munn Ice Arena before returning home Saturday night to host the Spartans (5-5-0) in front of what is expected to be a sold out Ewigleben crowd.

The Bulldogs are coming off a sweep of Alaska last weekend that bumped them up to a tie for sixth place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) alongside Alabama-Huntsville. Now the Bulldogs are looking to hit the .500 mark for the first time since the end of the 2015-2016 season.

“It would be nice to get to the .500 mark, but most importantly is where it all ends up at the end of the season. I fully believe we’re going to hit that mark soon and pass it. I’m more excited about getting beyond .500.” Head Coach Daniels said.

The Bulldogs were looking to improve on the penalty kill and powerplay heading to the series against the Nanooks last weekend and the team decided to do both. The Bulldogs killed off 15 of the 16 penalties on the weekend while scoring three powerplay goals of their own on the weekend.

In an interesting move by Daniels, sophomore goaltender Justin Kapelmaster was called on to be the master of the meshed mansion both Friday and Saturday night. Kapelmaster quieted any concerns over his cardio as he made a combined 53 saves while sporting a .930 save percentage on the weekend. Kapelmaster was recognized as the WCHA Goaltender of the Week for his efforts in the blue paint.

“It’s unreal. Just to have that faith in them that if you mess up just a little bit that he will have your back,” sophomore defenseman Nate Kallen said.

The Spartans are led by freshman Mitch Lewandowski who has six goals and seven assists for 13 points in just ten games. The Spartans roster includes a recent addition to the NHL’s Central Scouting list in freshman Tommy Miller. The 6-foot-2 defenseman has two assists through his first ten games with the Spartans.

The Spartans have relied on sophomore John Lethemon heavily in between the pipes this year. The 6-foot-2 Northville native is 5-3 this year with a 2.33 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.

The two teams have met 123 times heading into the weekend with Michigan State owning 71 victories. The Bulldogs have been able to take the upper hand in recent years against the Spartans, winning the last 11 out of 16 games between the two including a 4-1 victory last year at Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 10 before falling to the Spartans 4-3 the next night at home to split the series.

Saturday’s game at Ewigleben will be the annual teddy bear toss game. Friday’s game is set for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop, and Saturday’s puck will drop at 7:07 p.m.