Dawg Pound power

Bulldog hockey prepares for competitive home schedule

Photo by : Kaitlyn Kirchner I Torch Photographer
Ferris sophomore forward Liam MacDougall carries the puck down the ice. The Bulldogs received two big exhibition wins over the weekend.

The Ferris men’s hockey team is looking to bring back the Bulldog standard of excellence on the ice this season as the team gets set to host some highly-anticipated competitors.

The team will once again be playing all of their home games inside of the Ewigleben Ice Arena. This year will feature 18 home games, which will be the most in the last three seasons.

The Bulldogs’ home schedule featured 17 home games in 2016-17, and 16 home games in 2017-18. Last season, the Bulldogs proved to be the better team in front of their home crowd as they went 9-7 at home and only 5-16-1 on the road.

“Home ice advantage is huge for us. The atmosphere in our rink is incredible. Every little hit, shot, nice play, et cetera, makes the arena extremely loud. The adrenaline is definitely pumping when the Dawg Pound is loud,” Ferris senior defenseman Zac Tierney said.

The home-ice advantage showed over the weekend as the Bulldogs claimed two exhibition wins over the U.S. Under-18 squad and Lethridge. The Bulldogs defeated the U.S. Under-18 team 3-1 and Lethridge 5-2.

Ferris hockey is known nationally for their rowdy “Dawg Pound” student section. This section has been sold out for the last six years, which tallies more than 100 straight regular season contests. Ewigleben Ice Arena has been home to more than 25 sellouts since the 2011-12 season, in which the Bulldogs competed in the national championship game at the NCAA Frozen Four.

“The home ice advantage we have at Ferris is tremendous. Hearing the Dawg Pound and band every Friday and Saturday night makes playing at Ferris so special,” Ferris senior defenseman Ryker Killins said. “I love this year’s home schedule. It’s obviously awesome to play 18 home games, and to be in front of our crowd and with the Dawg Pound giving us that extra boost we need.”

The Bulldogs once again are scheduled to play games against many of the nation’s top-ranked teams. These teams consist of Michigan Tech, Western Michigan and Michigan State, all of which will make an appearance in Ewigleben Ice Arena in front of the Dawg Pound.

Out-of-state opponents that the Bulldogs will be hosting consist of Mercyhurst University (Pennsylvania), Bowling Green State Univeristy (Ohio), Minnesota State University and more.

“Home games create a major advantage for our team because we can go about our regular routines that may be altered when we’re on the road and traveling. It also gives us the opportunity to feed off the momentum of our crowd and Dawg Pound,” Ferris senior forward Trevor Recktenwald said. “This year’s home schedule benefits us a little more than last year’s. We have the most home games since I’ve been here in Big Rapids and that creates a huge advantage because we will be able to play in front of our fans.”

The Bulldogs will open their regular season schedule at home as the team gets set to host in-state rival Western Michigan 7:07 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12.