Who: #13 Michigan vs Ferris State
Where: Ewigleben Arena. Big Rapids, Michigan
When: Saturday, 7:05pm EST
About Ferris State
The Bulldogs were one of the season’s biggest surprises a year ago when they swept the WCHA Tournament, beat St. Cloud in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and went hung with Denver for 55 minutes in the west regional.
This season Ferris isn’t very good. The Bulldogs were picked to finish 4th in the WCHA but have started the year 0-4-0 with bad losses to Alabama Huntsville and Western Michigan, two teams projected to finish second to last in their respective conferences.
In the offensive end the Bulldogs ice a lineup that returns almost all of their skaters from a year ago. Led by upperclassmen forwards Mitch Maloney and Gerald Mayhew, their offensive identity is very similar to what Michigan saw last week against Union; an aggressive, two deep forward attack on the forecheck and a lot of grinding in the offensive zone.
On the blueline the Bulldogs are a complete wreck after losing five senior defenseman from a year ago. The younger defensemen for Ferris State have struggled mightily with gaps and their opponents have feasted on the area right in front of the Bulldog net. Watching the tape almost all of the goals scored against them have come from 1-5 feet out of the blue paint.
Darren Smith has preformed admirably in goal posting a .904 save percentage in spite of facing 136 shots this season, the highest shot total in the country.
The Wolverines split their opening series against Union last weekend. Offensively Michigan will look to build on their Saturday night effort and keep their breakouts clean to stay in front of another forechecking team.
Hayden Lavigne delivered for the Wolverines in his first start and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get the start against the Bulldogs.