Icers face No. 1 Ferris State

Spring break does not only mean a week away from professors and classes, it also signifies the end of winter sports.

While the men’s and women’s basketball teams head to the Mid-American Conference Tournament, the hockey team will compete in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament.

However, before the Falcons can head to the tournament, they have one team left to face in the regular season, Ferris State. “This is an interesting weekend and a great weekend for us,” head coach Scott Paluch said. “We get a chance to really see ourselves against the number one team in the league and they have been all year.”

The Bulldogs enter BGSU Ice Arena tonight ranked No. 5 in the nation and No. 1 in the CCHA.

Ferris State needs just one point against the Falcons to clinch their first CCHA Championship in school history.

“They are certainly worthy of all those high accolades. They are a team that has been dominant on all sides of the ice, offensively and defensively, and they have a terrific goaltender as well.”

Goaltender Mike Brown allowed only two goals by the Falcons in the fall, one each night, as the Bulldogs outscored BG, 15-2, in the two-game series Oct. 18-19, 2002.

“We need to establish that we have improved our game from last time we were in Big Rapids,” Paluch said. “Last time the gap between the two teams was pretty great. They dominated us in every area. The scores were indicative of the weekend.”

The Bulldogs defeated the Falcons 10-1 Friday (Oct. 18) and 5-1 Saturday (Oct. 19).

FSU outshot the Falcons 43-33 in the Friday game, holding the biggest advantage in the first period (16-10). Brown finished with 32 saves on 33 shots.

Saturday night FSU outshot BG, 53-27 for the game, and was 3-for-6 on the power play, while the Falcons were unable to register a power-play goal.

“It should be a good game,” Jon Sitko said. “They kind of got us good at the start of the year, but we’re a totally different team. It’s pretty much a time to prove ourselves, if anything.”

However, it’s not going to be an easy task to defeat the top team in the conference.

“They are led by a Hobey Baker candidate, and I think one of the front runners for the Hobey Baker Award, Chris Kunitz,” Paluch said.

Kunitz ranks second in the nation with 28 goals, 35 assists and 63 assists.

“He’s a tremendous player with a high skill level, but he brings a tremendous work ethic to the game. That’s what I think really makes him one of the, if not the best player in college hockey,” Paluch said.