#1 Michigan vs. Ferris State Preview

No. 1 Michigan looks to clinch the CCHA title with a win against the Ferris State Bulldogs on Friday night at Yost Ice Arena. How do the Wolverines and the Bulldogs match up in this important Senior Night affair? Will the Wolverines be able to secure the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament with a win this weekend?

The Michigan Wolverines can clinch the CCHA regular season title with either a win or a pair of ties against the Ferris State Bulldogs this weekend. How do the Wolverines match up with the Bulldogs in the last series of the regular season? Can the Wolverines secure the No. 1 seed in the CCHA tournament with a big senior night win on Friday night?

Series Notes
Records: Michigan (25-3-4, 18-2-4 CCHA), Ferris State (14-13-5, 11-11-4 CCHA)
Series vs. Ferris State: Michigan leads 58-26-3
Season Series: First Meeting
Last Meeting: 6-2 Michigan (1/27/2007)

U-M Offense vs. Ferris State Defense
F – Kevin Porter (25-26-51, +22)
F – Aaron Palushaj (8-25-33, +5)
F – Max Pacioretty (12-18-30, +19)
F – Travis Turnbull (12-10-22, +16)
F – Matt Rust (11-8-19, +10)

U-M Goals/Game: 3.9
U-M Shots/Game: 31.7

Ferris State Goals Allowed/Game: 2.3
Ferris State Shots Allowed/Game: 27.6

Outlook: Michigan was successful at putting the puck in the net despite the loss of Chad Kolarik last weekend. The same success will be just as critical as the Wolverines take aim at the CCHA title this weekend. The Wolverines should have an advantage in both speed and skill, thus giving them a significant advantage in this match up.
Advantage: Michigan

Ferris State Offense vs. U-M Defense
F – Cody Chupp (8-16-24, +15)
F – Brandon Connolly (10-8-18, +7)
F – Blair Riley (11-6-17, +5)
F – Justin Menke (6-11-17, +4)
D – Zach Redmond (5-10-15, +12)

Ferris State Goals/Game: 2.7
Ferris State Shots/Game: 33.4

U-M Goals Allowed/Game: 2.0
U-M Shots Allowed/Game: 26.4

Outlook: Ferris State's offense has been inconsistent this season, but they've been playing better as of late. The Bulldogs took a pair from Miami of Ohio just two weeks ago, and will provide a good test for the defense. Watch for Michigan to funnel the shots to the outside and clear rebounds out of the middle. It should be an advantage for Michigan.
Advantage: Michigan

Goalies
Michigan
Billy Sauer
Record: 23-4-3
GAA: 1.96
Save Percentage: .925

Ferris State
Mitch O'Keefe
Record: 7-6-5
GAA: 2.16
Save Percentage: .924

Pat Nagle
Record: 7-6-0
GAA: 2.36
Save Percentage: .909

Outlook: Goalie play has been a pleasant surprise for the Bulldogs this season. Both O'Keefe and Nagle have done an admirable job in goal, and either one is capable of stealing a game on any given night. Sauer looked Shaky for the Wolverines, and the Maize and Blue need to hope he's got his confidence back in order for tonight's match up.
Advantage: Push

U-M Power Play vs. Ferris State Penalty Kill
U-M Power Play: 21.2% (39-of-184)
U-M Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 2

Ferris State PK: 85.7% (156-of-182)
Ferris State Shorthanded Goals: 8
Ferris State PIM/Game: 18.1

Ferris State Power Play vs. U-M Penalty Kill
Ferris State Power Play: 14.9% (22-of-148)
Ferris State Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 1

U-M PK: 87.6% (163-of-186)
U-M Shorthanded Goals: 7
U-M PIM/Game: 17.6

Outlook: Special team's means more open ice. Open ice works in Michigan's favor. I expect the Wolverines to use special teams to their advantage in burying the Bulldogs in both games this weekend. Ferris State will need to be near perfect in order to stay in these games.
Advantage: Michigan

Prediction
Michigan will win the CCHA title with a Senior Night win on Friday night. Saturday night the Bulldogs will put up more of a fight, but these are both games that Michigan should win. I'll call a sweep to send Michigan into the CCHA tournament with the No. 1 seed and all the momentum.
4-1 Michigan, 4-2 Michigan

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