Saturday, April 7, 2012

Previewing....The Ferris State Bulldogs

There are a lot of great nights throughout the year.. Christmas Eve, Beanpot Eve, Hockey East Eve, Masters Sunday Eve (Tonight as well), but none, in my opinion top tonight. Tonight presents itself with a chance for this BC hockey team to once again achieve greatness on the highest level. Standing in the way of glory however, are the Ferris State Bulldogs out of Big Rapids, Michigan. While they may not be a very well known school nationally, within the college hockey world, these Bulldogs have let it be known that they are a very good hockey team. For those that say Ferris has 0 chance of winning tonight, think about this. Would they be here if they were an awful hockey team that had no business playing in such a big game ? No. While BC is a heavy favorite to win it's fifth championship in school history (And tie that evil school down the street), it should be known that Ferris State, if they come to play, has a shot of winning this hockey game. Now, if BC plays like they did in the second and third period in the Minnesota game, I'd go on the record and say that Ferris has no chance of winning this game. But hey, it's sports and anything can happen (Especially in hockey). In terms of their actual hockey team, Ferris is no slouch. They are led by All American goaltender Taylor Nelson who, from my vantage point, can definitely steal a game or two for this hockey team. From what I saw on Thursday night in the FSU vs Union game, I can definitely say that this kid is a great goalie.

Up front, the Bulldogs are led by forward Jordie Johnson who ranks fourth in the CCHA in scoring this season with 20 goals and 16 assist so far this season for the Bulldogs. With his big frame and speed, Johnson is definitely a big threat on the ice tonight for Ferris. Another top forward to watch is Kyle Bonis who recorded two of Ferris' three goals on Thursday vs Union (One being a PP goal). When I watch this Ferris team play, I notice a couple of things. the first thing is that they know how to play defense. It's no joke that they rank near the top of the country in team defense because they really know how to defend, especially in front of their own net. Talking to some people inside the Eagles' camp, they said "They (Ferris) really play to their system well, skate well, and are a seasoned team". When I asked if they expect another roll over, they said "No way, it will be a good game". For Ferris to win tonight, they will need to play a perfect game. They need to get great goaltending (Unlike Minnesota), stay out of the box (Unlike Minnesota), and get some bounces their way. In reality, I don't see the Bulldogs winning this game but let it be known that they certainly have a shot in this game.

Players to Watch 

Jordie Johnson- He is the leading scorer for FSU this season and is definitely one of their key guys on special teams.

Matt Kirzinger- The second leading scorer on the Bulldogs' squad with 10 goals and 24 assist so far this season.

Chad Billins- The best defenseman on the FSU squad. From what I could see on Thursday, Billins plays a huge role in everything FSU does in all three zones.

Keys for the Eagles 

1. Turnovers. When I talked to some of the players on how they got the ship turned in the right direction so quickly, they all pointed to less turnovers, Hopefully it continues.

2. Special Teams. When BC wins the special teams battle like they did on Thursday, BC should come away with another "Natty Ship"

3. Getting all four lines rolling. I love the way every line is playing. If each line can create chances and play solid defense, we could be celebrating by 10:00 tonight.


1. FSU has two players that have scored 20 or more goals this season (Johnson and Bonis) but also have eight players with 20 or more points this season

2. Some of Ferris' key wins include Western Michigan, Miami, Notre Dame, and obviously the three wins verus Denver, Cornell, and Union so far in the NCAA tournament. Bad losses include Vermont and Alabama Huntsville.

3. They have two All Americans in Nelson (goalie) and Billins (Defense)

Prediction- BC 5 FSU 2

Biggest night of they year, let's hope all goes well !!


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