- Ferris State and the 2016 NCAA Tournament: Ferris State, winners of the Broadmoor Trophy and the league's automatic tournament berth, will carry the WCHA banner into the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship. The Bulldogs will be the No. 4 seed in the West Regional, held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn on March 26-27. FSU will open against St. Cloud State, the tournament's overall No. 2 seed and NCHC tournament champion, this Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. A pair of at-large teams, Denver (NCHC) and Boston University (Hockey East), will skate Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET. The winners play in the regional final, Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, with the Regional Champion advancing to the 2016 Frozen Four, held April 7 and 9 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
- Television Coverage: Ferris State's NCAA Tournament opener against St. Cloud State will be televised live on ESPNews. The regional final will air live on ESPNU/WatchESPN. Both games are also available on TSN2 in Canada.
- Polling Place: Ferris State makes its 2015-16 season debut in the USCHO.com top-20, entering the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 18. MacNaughton Cup co-champions Michigan Tech (No. 15) and Minnesota State (No. 16) are also in the USCHO.com poll. The No. 15 Huskies appear in the USA Today / USA Hockey Magazine rankings, with the Mavericks and Bulldogs each receiving votes.
- 20x4: A win in Saturday's NCAA Tournament opener will give Ferris State 20 victories this season and the WCHA four, 20-win teams for the first time since 2012-13 (also Michigan Tech at 23-9-5, Bowling Green at 22-14-6 and Minnesota State at 21-13-7. Only ECAC Hockey, with five, enters the tournament with more than three teams at the 20-win plateau this season.
- Award Watch: Michigan Tech co-captain Alex Petan, the 2015-16 WCHA Player of the Year and league scoring champion, is also a top ten finalist for the 2016 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Ferris State defenseman Simon Denis and Michigan Tech goaltender Jamie Phillips are each finalists for the Senior CLASS Award.
2016 WCHA Playoffs
- Bulldogs Bring Home the Broadmoor: Ferris State went from tournament four-seed to winning its first-ever conference tournament championship (CCHA or WCHA), going 4-0 en route to the Final Five crown. The Bulldogs swept Northern Michigan in the best-of-three Quarterfinal Round series March 11-12, winning 3-2 and 5-2 at Ewigleben Ice Arena. Ferris State then knocked off WCHA regular season co-champions and nationally-ranked Michigan Tech (1-0) and Minnesota State (2-1) at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. to capture the Broadmoor Trophy.
- Smith, Defense Lead the Way: Freshman goaltender Darren Smith has played every minute in the Ferris State net and leads all rookie netminders (fourth overall) with a 1.25 goals-against average this postseason. He is a perfect 4-0 with a shutout, 91 saves and a .948 save percentage. The Bulldogs are third in the NCAA this postseason by yielding just 1.25 goals per game (second among all teams to have played four-or-more games), while allowing two-or-fewer scores in all four contests. Smith became the third consecutive freshman to earn Final Five MVP honors, blanking Michigan Tech, 1-0 on a 30-save effort in the semifinals then stopping 13-of-14 shots in the Bulldogs' championship game victory over Minnesota State.
- Gerry Time: Ferris State junior F Gerald Mayhew is tied for the NCAA lead with two game-winning goals this postseason, including the Broadmoor Trophy-winning score on a penalty shot. In 13 career playoff games, Mayhew has eight goals (four game-winners) and four assists for 12 points.
Regular Season Rewind
- Winning Hockey: The WCHA finished its regular season with 60 percent of its membership (six of 10 teams) playing .500-or-better hockey, the third-best league-wide distribution among all NCAA conferences (ECAC Hockey had eight of 12 teams at-or-above .500, for 66.7 percent, while five-of-eight NCHC teams - or 62.5 percent - were at least break-even).
- The Cup Goes Home, and Stays Put: For the seventh time in league history (also 1952-53, 1957-58, 1962-63, 1996-97, 2004-05 and 2012-13), the WCHA finished its regular season with co-champions, as Michigan Tech (first time since 1975-76) and Minnesota State (repeat winners) each ended the year with 39 points apiece and a share of the MacNaughton Cup.
NCAA Tournament History
- Ferris State: The Bulldogs are making their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance, all under Head Coach Bob Daniels. Ferris State also participated in 2003 (West Regional) and 2014 (Midwest Regional Final), while the 2012 Bulldogs won the Midwest Regional, advanced to the Frozen Four and eventually played in the National Championship game - also at Amalie Arena. FSU is 4-3 all-time in NCAA Tournament play, including a 3-2 mark in Regionals.
- WCHA: WCHA member institutions (past and present) have produced a record 37 national championships since 1951.
Longtime WCHA (and NCHC) official Oliver "Butch" Mousseau remains hospitalized in critical condition with life-threatening injuries stemming from an on-ice accident prior to a Final Five semifinal game on March 18.
Butch is universally respected for his work on the ice and beloved for his kind and generous spirit to all, along with his love for the great sport of hockey at all levels. We ask that you keep Butch, his wife, children and family in your thoughts during this difficult time.
If you would like to consider a donation on behalf of Butch and his family, please visit the nonprofit Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation at dawgnationhockey.org. 100% of all proceeds raised will go to assist the Mousseau family in this time of need. Thank you.
The Week in Review – 2016 WCHA Final Five (March 18-19)
Tournament four-seed Ferris State upended regular season co-champions and nationally-ranked Michigan Tech and Minnesota State to hoist the Broadmoor Trophy as 2016 WCHA Final Five champions.
Bulldogs freshman goaltender Darren Smith stopped 43-of-44 shots to earn Most Valuable Player honors - the third-straight rookie to capture the award.
Full recaps, box scores, press conference footage, photo galleries and game highlights are available online at wcha.com.
Final Five Semifinal #1
(2) Minnesota State 2, (3) Bowling Green, 1
(March 19 at Van Andel Arena; Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Minnesota State won in its third-straight Final Five semifinal game, scoring twice in the first period and holding off a late Bowling Green surge for a 2-1 victory.
Brad McClure opened the scoring at the 5:18 mark of the opening stanza, scoring his third goal of the 2016 WCHA Playoffs and his sixth career Final Five marker. Casey Nelson, the 2015-16 WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, followed 1:42 later to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead before the first period was halfway through.
The Mavericks relied on stalwart goaltender Cole Huggins the rest of the way, as the junior made 23 saves en route to the win. Bowling Green made things interesting late, as Mitch McLain scored a 6-on-4 goal at the 16:05 mark of the third period to bring the Falcons within one. BGSU outshot Minnesota State 8-5 in the third period, but the Mavericks held on for the 2-1 win.
Final Five Semifinal #2
(4) Ferris State 1, (1) Michigan Tech 0
(March 19 at Van Andel Arena; Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Ferris State began its run through the MacNaughton Cup co-champs with a thrilling, 1-0 victory over tournament top-seed Michigan Tech.
The intense semifinal contest featured outstanding goaltending on both sides, with Bulldogs freshman Darren Smith (30 saves) and Huskies' senior Jamie Phillips (32 stops) going toe-to-toe. Ferris State finally broke through with 8:45 remaining, as senior forward Kenny Babinski scored on a slap shot from the top of the slot (following assists from Andrew Dorantes and Sean O'Rourke).
Both teams were held scoreless on the power play (FSU went 0-for-5 and MTU finished 0-for-3), while both the Bulldogs and Huskies had 12 shots on goal during the climatic third period. Smith's shutout was the third of his rookie campaign, tying the school single-season record for a freshman.
Broadmoor Trophy Championship Game
(4) Ferris State 2, (2) Minnesota State 1
(March 20 at Van Andel Arena; Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Ferris State won the first conference tournament championship in school history, using a second period penalty shot goal by Gerald Mayhew and a staunch defensive effort to defeat Minnesota State, 2-1.
The Bulldogs turned the tide on a Mavericks team that leads the nation in fewest shots on goal per game and shots on goal per game margin, out-shooting Minnesota State 28-14. Ferris State clamped down on its 2-1 lead in the third period, allowing the Mavericks just a single shot on goal over the final 20 minutes.
Tied 1-1 in the waning seconds of the second period, a scramble in front of the Minnesota State net yielded a big break for the Bulldogs. Maverick defenseman Carter Foguth closed his hand on the puck in the goal crease, and the officials awarded Ferris State a penalty shot at the 19:34 mark. After very little deliberation, Head Coach Bob Daniels sent Mayhew to take the shot, where he converted on a nifty move before going top shelf past Minnesota State goaltender Cole Huggins.
The teams exchanged power-play goals in the first period. Minnesota State senior Bryce Gervais, playing in his school-record 163rd (and final) collegiate game, gave the Mavericks a 1-0 lead at the 10:33 mark. Just over four minutes later, Ferris State senior defensemen Brandon Anselmini answered on the man advantage, tying the game at 1-1.
Huggins finished with 27 saves in a tremendous effort for the Mavericks. Bulldogs' freshman Darren Smith capped his tournament MVP run with 13 stops.
2016 WCHA Final Five All-Tournament Team
Forward – Kenny Babinski, Sr., Ferris State
Forward – Gerald Mayhew, Jr., Ferris State
Forward – Brad McClure, So., Minnesota State
Defense – Brandon Anselmini, Sr., Ferris State
Defense – Casey Nelson, Jr., Minnesota State
Goaltender – Cole Huggins, Jr., Minnesota State
Most Valuable Player – Darren Smith, Fr., G, Ferris State