Saturday, February 7, 2009

Final Score: Michigan State 1, Ferris State 0

The Spartans got the first goal of the game, just 36 seconds into the first period, and never looked back en route to a 1-0 Central Collegiate Hockey Association win over the Bulldogs before a crowd of 2,377 in Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. Much of the credit for the MSU win has to go to goaltender Jeff Lerg who should have got the first, second and third stars of the game for his magnificent performance against the Bulldogs. MSU was a deserving winner in the game, but the Bulldogs have nothing to feel ashamed of. There should be be better games ahead for the Bulldog hockey team if it can continue to muster that kind of effort and determination. For the game, Ferris outshot Michigan State 32-19, but it was difficult to get the puck past Lerg.

Tonight's Attendance

The attendance for this evening's game between Ferris and Michigan State was announced as 2,377. It is easily one of the better crowds of the season for the Bulldogs.

Ferris Kills Off 5-Minute Major

The Bulldogs had to work hard to kill off the 5-minute penalty assessed to Mike Embach, but managed to do just that.

By The Numbers: Second Period

Score: MSU 1, FSU 0
Shots: FSU 26, MSU 14
Power Plays: FSU 0-6, MSU 0-4
Penalties: FSU 9-29, MSU 8-16
Saves: FSU's Taylor Nelson 13 saves, MSU's Jeff Lerg 26

Comments: Jeff Lerg continues to amaze with his performance that probably has become old hat to Michigan State fans. The Bulldogs are generating opportunities, including a number of good ones, but just have not found a way to beat Lerg through the first 40 minutes of tonight's game. The Bulldogs will be hurting at the beginning of the third period as a hit delivered by FSU's Mike Embach was not well received by the officiating crew. Embach, who was being trash talked by several Michigan State players after the hit, was assessed a 5-minute penalty for checking from behind and a 10-minute game misconduct.

Penalty-Marred Period Ends Badly For Ferris

The Bulldogs were hammered by penalties late in the second period ... including a 5-minute major (assessed to Mike Embach, who also got a 10-minute game misconduct penalty) that will be enforced beginning the third period. The Bulldogs will have to work hard to kill off the penalty against a talented Michigan State squad. Ferris captain Cody Chupp and head coach Bob Daniels had long talks with referee Keith Sergott at the end of the second period. Few Bulldogs looked very happy as they left the ice and headed to the locker room as the 5-minute penalty was put on the scoreboard.

MSU Has A 3-on-1

A great chance to score a goal, but the referee nearest said there was no goal scored on the play. Referee Keith Sergott confirmed as much after taking an opportunity to look at the replay with 11:54 to go in the second period. Ferris dodges a bullet.

Jeff Lerg Is Very Good

The Bulldogs have had some opportunities to score against MSU goaltender Jeff Lerg, but most of their chances have come against the glove side and that is where Lerg seems to be at his best. He has a quick glove, great vision and excellent instincts. For that, among other reasons, Ferris will have to find ways to get the puck on the net and try to get rebounds to bang away at Lerg.

A Great Crowd On Hand In Ewigleben

Ferris and Michigan State are playing in front of a large crowd of fans inside Ewigleben Ice Arena this evening. It looks to be a capacity crowd in attendance, but we'll have to wait for the official numbers. A lot of MSU fans have made the trip from East Lansing and elsewhere to come out and support the Spartans. There are probably a few closet Sparty fans in the area who are going to be cheering for MSU ... just because (much the same way you would expect when Michigan is in town). But, any way you look at it, it's a great crowd. It's nice to see MSU fans travel so well in spite of the team's struggles this season.

By The Numbers: First Period

Score: MSU 1, FSU 0
Shots: FSU 12, MSU 4
Power Plays: FSU 0-2, MSU 0-2
Penalties: FSU 2-4, MSU 2-4
Saves: FSU's Taylor Nelson three saves, MSU's Jeff Lerg 12

Comments: Obviously, MSU got off to the hot start with the goal just 36 seconds into the game to take some of the air out of the Ferris fans in the Ewigleben Ice Arena. But, the Bulldogs did bounce back to play some solid hockey against a talented (even if struggling) Michigan State hockey team. Once again, MSU goaltender Jeff Lerg has been solid against the Bulldogs' snipers through the first 20 minutes. Out of the 12 Bulldog shots, several have been decent looks at Lerg, but the MSU goaltender has gotten some help from his blueliners and forwards. At the opposite end, FSU's Taylor Nelson bounced back from the early goal and look solid for the duration of the period. Ferris has to work hard to get at Lerg with some rebounds and second-chance opportunities to push one past him. But, it won't be easy.

Early Goal For Spartans

Michigan State wasted little time getting on the scoreboard - 36 seconds to be exact. That was how long it took Matt Schepke to bury it in the back of the Bulldogs' net, past netminder Taylor Nelson, off assists from Ben Warda and Jeff Petry for the 1-0 lead.

Bulldogs Have To Have Killer Instinct

Ferris grabbed a big win against Michigan State on Friday night, but now it has to find the killer instinct to finish off what could be a big and successful weekend of college hockey. The Spartans are playing better hockey, and played well on Friday evening, and will be hungry to knock off the Bulldogs. MSU is due for a breakthrough win. Ferris wants to postpone that for another series.

Back To The Locker Room

The teams have finished their warm-up routines and ow are headed back to the locker room area for some final instruction prior to coming back out for the pregame introductions. We have just under 22 minutes before the start of the game.

Tonight's Game Officials

The officials for tonight's game between Ferris and MSU, as assigned by the CCHA, are referees Keith Sergott and Bruce Vida along with linesmen Tony Molina and Patrick Bracco.

USCHO Recap Of Ferris-Michigan State Game From Friday

USCHO had a reporter on hand to cover Friday night's Central Collegiate Hockey Association game between Ferris State University and Michigan State University. For the details, visit:

We're Blogging Live Tonight

Bulldogs Vs. Spartans Tonight From Ewigleben Ice Arena

BIG RAPIDS - Tonight, Ferris State University returns to its home ice to take on the Michigan State University Spartans in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association series in Ewigleben Ice Arena.

The Bulldogs are 11-11-7 overall and 8-8-5-2 in the CCHA while the Spartans are 7-18-4 overall and 4-14-3-2 in the CCHA.

On Friday, in East Lansing, Ferris and MSU tied 2-2 , but the Bulldogs emerged with two points in the game thanks to a 2-1 win in a shootout before a crowd of 5,592 in Munn Ice Arena.

Cody Chupp, the captain, had a goal and an assist as did Justin Menke for Ferris. Also with assists were Matt Case and Derek Graham.

Ferris fell behind 2-0, but rallied to force overtime with Menke's second-period goal and Chupp's third-period score.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Round One:
Kurt Kivisto, MSU ... denied
Brendan Connolly, FSU ... denied

Round Two:
Matt Schepke, MSU ... scores
Zach Redmond, FSU ... denied
1-0 MSU

Round Three:
Joey Shean, MSU ... denied
Cody Chupp, FSU ... scores

Round Four:
Ben Warda, MSU ... denied
Mike Embach, FSU ... denied

Round Five:
Andrew Rowe, MSU ... denied
Derek Graham, FSU ... scores

Final score:
Ferris 3, Michigan State 2

We're Going To A Shootout

We will see what happens as the Bulldogs have secured at least one point and will have a chance to take another point on the home ice of the Spartans. The last time the Bulldogs were in a shootout (last weekend against Nebraska-Omaha) the results were good. This would be even bigger for Ferris.

It's 2-2 And We're Headed To OT

What a gritty comeback by the Bulldogs to even this game up and send it into overtime. MSU got off to a hot start and looked like it had an opportunity to pull away, but the Bulldogs chipped away at the lead and finally tied the game late. Now, it's a new game and it's sudden death in this OT session. It's a five-minute period. The two points are still up for grabs.

With Time Out ... Comley Gearing His Team Up

Rick Comley, the MSU head coach, is trying to set his team up for a big finish with this time out he just called. At this point, the next goal (if it doesn't get to a shootout) is going to hurt. Both teams have played hard and well.

Cody Chupp Steps It Up!

Fox Sports Detroit has been featuring Big Rapids native Cody Chupp all night long and Cody was right on time with the game-tying goal. The game is now 2-2 and if the Chupp line can step up its scoring production the Bulldogs are going to be very difficult to contend with during the balance of the season.

Game Turning Into Defensive Struggle

Goaltender Pat Nagle and forward Corey Couturier combined to keep Michigan State from burying the puck in the net. Both teams have managed to dig in defensively and deny some talented scorers. MSU has been pretty solid on the penalty kill and that, combined with the play of goaltender Jeff Lerg, has made the Spartans look awful tough.

Ferris Fans In The House

The third period is underway. Fox Sports showed some crowd shots and there appear to be a solid-sized group of Ferris fans who made the Friday-night trip to East Lansing to cheer on the Bulldogs. Traditionally, Ferris has traveled well to Michigan State University for hockey games. Getting to Ann Arbor for games against Michigan usually is tougher as Yost Ice Arena generally is packed to the rafters with maize and blue.

Lerg Continues To Impress

MSU goaltender Jeff Lerg has made some outstanding plays in this game and has maybe robbed the Bulldogs of at least two or three other strong goal-scoring opportunities. With a normal goaltender, Ferris might be up 3-2 or 4-2.

A Crowd Silencer, But ...

Nice job by Justin Menke to make himself available in front of the net to finally beat Jeff Lerg. The Bulldogs are finally on the scoreboard with the kind of gritty goal it will need a few more of to win this game. Ferris has to do the dirty work (as Cody Chupp did on the goal) against the boards and deep in the Spartans' defensive zone to come up with better scoring chances. But, there is still a lot of work to be done for the Bulldogs against a more-confident MSU team.

Tough Start To Game For Bulldogs

More traffic in front of the net, a deflection in front of the net and all of a sudden the Spartans are up 2-0. The Bulldogs are going to have to prove that they can come from behind to win a game. Ferris may have to open things up a little more to get some better chances at beating Jeff Lerg, but that could open its own defense up to better scoring opportunities for MSU.

Spartans Win First Period

Even without looking at the statistics, you have to believe the Spartans won the first period. Obviously, with a 1-0 lead, MSU won the period. But, the Bulldogs are being snakebitten a bit by some stellar goaltending from Jeff Lerg, who has been spectacular. The Bulldogs must continue to put shots on the goal, get some traffic in front of the net and find a way to get Lerg out of the zone he is in right now.

Interesting Article Previewing Tonight's Game

Lansing State Journal has an online article previewing this weekend's series on the ice between Ferris and Michigan State.

The link:

Lerg Is An Impressive Goalie

Say all you want about how disappointing Michigan State's hockey season has been, but goaltender Jeff Lerg, the diminutive backstop who plays between the pipes much bigger than his size, has been spectacular during his career and already has one magnificent save this evening.

Commentators Daniels And Pletsch Salute FSU defensemen

It was nice to hear Ken Daniels and Fred Pletsch issue some nice compliments directed at Ferris defensemen Scott Wietecha and Zach Redmond. For the Bulldogs, having Wietecha back certainly strengthens the Bulldogs blueline crew at the right time of the season.

Early Penalty Leads To Goal

Spartans draw first blood thanks to a penalty taken by the Bulldogs. MSU has had its fair share of struggles on the power play, but the Spartans looked pretty good on their first opportunity against the Bulldogs Friday night. It's 1-0 Spartans thanks to Andrew Rowe. Best-case scenario start for MSU to get one so quick (2:56).

They're Loud Already

The "Lets Go Ferris" chants are already going from Munn, but the Bulldogs need to strike first and strike hard against a talented MSU team.

We're Minutes Away From The Puck Being Dropped

It will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs handle the early blitz from the Spartans who are likely to come out skating and hitting hard on their home ice. Ferris will have to withstand an early push from MSU, and could be in good shape if it can draw first blood against the Spartans.

To Follow On Gametracker

Visit: and scroll to the bottom to access live stats.

Intriguing Battle

Over the years, Michigan State has typically been the favorite in contests against Ferris, but this year is slightly different. The Bulldogs might be a slight favorite in this series. Still, expect the Spartans to come out and play well this evening on home ice against the Bulldogs.

Yes, We Will Be Blogging Live for Both MSU Hockey Games!

Our blogger, Sandy, has been informed that Michigan State University will not allow him to Blog live during the hockey game from Munn Ice Arena Friday night (Feb. 6) in East Lansing!! Seems there is an MSU policy that wipes out this First Amendment right! Well, we Bulldogs are accustomed to battling the big boys in the CCHA (in more ways than one) and will not be deterred. Sandy will be standing by (in his private residence in Big Rapids) and Blogging live thanks to Fox Sports Detroit's live TV coverage of Friday's game. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will be back in the friendly confines of the Ewigleben Ice Arena Saturday (Feb. 7) for the second game of the CCHA series. Game time is 7:30 Friday and 7:00 Saturday. Stay tuned!!