Offensive woes

Struggling offense puts hockey season on life support

There are many reasons why the Bulldogs sit ninth in the conference; the offense is one of those reasons.

The Bulldogs haven’t scored more than three goals in a game since Saturday, Nov. 30, of last year. This lack of production has been a sedative to the team’s hopes this season; Ferris has only won two games since the end of November.

The scoring offense for the Bulldogs sits at 2.06 goals per game, which puts them eighth in the conference. On the season, Ferris has scored just 68 goals.

Taking advantage of opportunities when they arise is a major part of scoring in hockey. Whether it is a sudden breakaway or a power play chance, success revolves around scoring when the opportunity presents itself.

This is where the Bulldogs fall short. The team has only scored on 19 power plays out of 120 opportunities. This 15.8% power play percentage ranks sixth in the conference.

Breakaways are another major issue. At least twice a game, Ferris gets the opportunity of a 3-on-2, 2-on-1 or a single player on goalie breakaway. This is the best time to get the puck in the net, and Ferris seems unable to convert most of these opportunities.

Faceoffs are another major part of setting up a team’s offensive possession, and this is also a major weak point. According to WCHA advanced statistics, out of the 63 players eligible to be ranked, no player for the Bulldogs ranked higher than 32nd. In fact, of the bottom 30 players, nine of them are Ferris players in terms of faceoff win percentage.

Every player in the faceoff statistical category has less than a 50% faceoff win percentage, while seven have less than a 45% win rate. Basically, it is more likely the Bulldogs will lose a faceoff than win one, which hurts the cause of setting up scoring opportunities.

With the season on the brink, it’s easy to point fingers at one weak point on a team. Truthfully, even without a stagnant offense, the Bulldogs would have trouble due to the fact that they are also ninth in the conference in goals allowed per game at 3.58. They allow many goals and can’t keep up scoring wise. It really is as simple as that.

As the Bulldogs enter their final weekend of the regular season, they will find an opponent that closely resembles them statistically, as Lake Superior State sits just above the Bulldogs in most of the categories mentioned above.

If the Bulldogs want a shot to make any post-season noise, the road got tougher as Alaska-Anchorage pulled farther ahead with a tie against Bemidji State. This put Anchorage four points ahead of Ferris. This means that the Bulldogs need to win in overtime twice, win outright and lose in overtime once, or win twice to enter the conference tournament as the No. 8 seed.

The Bulldogs will make their final stand at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, against Lake Superior State at home before ending their regular season 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29.