Ferris hockey trends upwards

After a hard 2020-21 season, the Bulldogs begin to improve

Ferris hockey has made clear improvements from their last season, but one question remains: how improved are they really? 

For starters, there’s the obvious improvement in their record. Ferris hockey went 1-23-1 in their 2020-21 campaign and 0-11-1 in their conference. At the time of writing, this year’s team sits at 10-18-0, with an in-conference record of 8-12-0.

Goaltender Logan Stein spoke on the thought process he had after the forgettable season.

“For me, I just wanted to continue to work,” Stein said. “I know this program has the resources, and the talent and the coaching staff to win a lot of games. To win national championships. To win conference championships. So it was about us as players using those resources and really putting in the work ourselves.”

Stein’s goaltending improved from last year. Stein only played in 12 games last year, going 0-11-1. In those 12 games, he posted a .887% save percentage. This year, Stein has played in 22 games and started in 19 of them. Stein posts a 6-13-0 record, with a .878% save percentage.

Sophomore forward Stepan Pokorny spoke on what it was like playing during the 2020-21 season and gave his thoughts. “I thought it definitely wasn’t the best season,” Pokorny said. “Obviously nobody was happy with that season as a first one. Nobody came to Ferris hockey to have a season like that. Personally, I was happy as a freshman to get enough opportunity to play and see what the NCAA level is about. I always knew that the outcome of that season could be better. I knew what we could’ve done. I thought we just struggled with confidence. Personally, I always knew we were gonna be getting better as each year goes on.”

Stats from the special teams shows an improvement, while also highlighting a struggling unit.

The obvious lack of progress comes in the form of the power play, with a .059% decrease. Ferris currently has played three more games than last season, which adds insult to injury on the struggling power play. The improvement comes in the form of the penalty kill, with a .045% increase. The increase does make sense when considering that Ferris has played three more games this year, but it bodes well for this improving team. 

Senior forward Justin Michaelian spoke on rebounding after the 2020-21 season, and how he and the team wanted to come back even stronger. 

“Everyone kinda came in with that chip on their shoulder,” Michaelian said. “We kind of just threw last year out the window with COVID and everything. Everyone was sick of it. It was just not a good year, and this year we just tried to focus on [the] things we can do to get better and just an all around team effort. Just everyone buying into everything, really. It’s paid its dividends for sure. We’re a lot better team than we were last year.”

Michaelian, who tore his labrum last season, also spoke on coming in with a chip on his shoulder. Michaelian was limited to only 14 games in a 25 game season. This year he leads the Bulldogs in goals, assists and points. 

Ferris hockey is very much a young team. The team is composed of seven freshmen, nine sophomores, eight juniors and six seniors. The freshmen already have made their mark on the team. Examples of this are forward Bradley Marek, forward Kaleb Ergang and defensemen Zach Farthing.

Between Pokorny, Stein and Michaelian, the hope that Ferris will be able to make the jump in these next few years is high. All three believe that it’s only going to get better from here on out.