FSU hockey ranked No. 11 in USCHO.com poll

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State’s hockey team continues to receive preseason recognition as the Bulldogs are ranked 11th nationally in the 2012-13 USCHO.com National Preseason Poll announced late Monday.

FSU previously was ranked 14th nationally in the 2012-13 USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Preseason Poll released last week.

Ferris State coach Bob Daniels looked at the ranking as more of a “pat on the back” for the Bulldogs’ accomplishments last season.

“There are other years that we haven’t fared as well in the polls, but I think that’s usually a reflection of what you did last year,” he said. “My feelings haven’t changed in that regard. (The ranking) is great exposure for the program, but we haven’t done anything yet to earn the ranking we’ve been given.”

BREAKAWAY: Ferris State’s Kyle Bonis is one of the players returning from a team that reached the NCAA title game last season. (Pioneer file photo)

The Bulldogs, who concluded the 2011-12 campaign with a final number two ranking in the national polls following an appearance in the national championship game, received 472 total points in voting. The USCHO.com Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly by the Associated Press, is a production of USCHO.com, which provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.

Defending NCAA Division I National Champion Boston College was tabbed as the preseason national favorite with 35 first-place votes and 972 total points. They were followed by Minnesota in second place with 937 points and 12 first-place votes.

FSU is among fsix Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) members found among the nation’s top 20 teams along with Michigan (3rd), Miami (9th), Western Michigan (10th), Notre Dame (14th) and Michigan State (16th).

Ferris State is the defending CCHA Regular-Season Champion and reached the national championship game at the Frozen Four last season in Tampa, Fla.

Ferris State will open its 35th season of intercollegiate competition at the NCAA Division I level on Sunday, with an exhibition contest against Ryerson University in Big Rapids. The puck will drop at 3:05 p.m. for the contest at FSU’s Ewigleben Ice Arena. Complimentary parking will be offered with a special magnet giveaway.

The Bulldogs hit the ice on Saturday for the first official time, leaving little time between then and the exhibition contest, which is seen by the coaching staff as a chance to evaluate the gains players have made based on film observations, Daniels said.

“While you always want to win, it’s more about evaluating the players in our systems,” he said. “While we won’t be perfect in our systems, (Sunday) will give us a good idea of where we’re at. There are certain parts that we won’t get into like the penalty kill and power play.”

Daniels added that the Bulldogs are in fantastic shape heading into the season due to the strength and conditioning they put in over the summer along with some video they have watched with the staff.

The regular-season home opener is on Oct. 19 as Mercyhurst comes to town for a two-game non-league series beginning at 7:05 p.m.

 

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