Miami and Ferris State were annual foes when they were conference mates in the CCHA, but since that league dissolved and the teams joined different leagues they have not renewed their all-time series.
That ends this weekend, as the Bulldogs visit Oxford for the first time in 10 years, as their last overall meeting came in Big Rapids in 2012.
While Miami has already played three games – all at Cady Arena – Ferris State has faced two exhibition opponents and logged its lone regular season contest vs. Colgate last week, a 3-1 win.
A look at this weekend’s series:
WHO: Ferris State Bulldogs (1-0) at Miami RedHawks (0-2-1).
WHEN: Friday – 7:05 p.m.; Saturday – 8:05 p.m.
WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Ferris State leads, 45-43-16.
MIAMI RADIO: Both games – WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.
NOTES: A 5-0 win over the U.S. National Development Team is impressive, exhibition or not.
After going 2-0 in preseason, Ferris State beat Colgate, 3-1 in its lone regular season game last weekend, thanks to a 28-save performance by goalie Roni Salmenkangas, as the Bulldogs have started 2019-20 on a positive note.
Salmenkangas, a sophomore, made logged 1,563 minutes for the Bulldogs last season, posting a 3.23 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.
Both of FSU’s other goalies are entering their first season with the team: Austin Shaw and Carter McPhail.
The Bulldogs have a bizarre combination of four seniors and five freshmen on defense.
Joe Rutkowski has played 110 games on the Ferris State blueline, and led his team with two points last weekend on a goal and an assist.
Senior Boston draftee Cameron Clarke picked up a helper in the win over Colgate, and classmate Nate Kallen has 14 career goals and 34 assists.
Ferris State used four seniors on D last weekend (Rutkowski, Clarke, Kallen and Zach Yoder) and three freshmen (Blake Evennou, Connor Ferorek and Jake Willets).
The only Bullog forward to record over 20 points last season graduated, leaving Coale Norris, who went 7-13-20 his sophomore season, as the team’s top returning points producer at that position.
Senior Jason Tackett found the net six times and tallied eight helpers but did not player last weekend.
Lucas Finner, Jake Transit and Hunter Wendt also return after finishing with double-digit points totals in 2018-19.
Coach Bob Daniels had major success in the first half of this decade, peaking at 29 wins in 2013-14, but Ferris State has not won more than 14 in the past three seasons and its 2018-19 total of 10 was its second-worst ever.
The Bulldogs, who have 10 freshmen overall on their roster, were picked to finish eighth in the 10-team WCHA by that conference’s coaches.
On paper, Ferris State appears about on par with New Hampshire. Both FSU and UNH scored 90 goals in 36 games in 2018-19, but the Bulldogs allowed 20 more tallies.
For Miami, senior linemates Gordie Green and Karch Bachman are off to outstanding starts, with Green leading the team in goals (3) and points (5) while Bachman is 2-2-4.
A pair of freshmen – John Sladic and Chase Pletzke – accounted for three of the RedHawks’ four goals in their finale vs. New Hampshire last week, a welcome sign on a team that has struggled in scoring depth for years.
It’s unclear who will man the net for Miami this weekend, as Ryan Larkin has been the workhorse the past three-plus years and has posted quality numbers, but Larkin allowed 11 goals in five periods the first two games, and freshman Ben Kraws was decent in his starting debut Saturday.
The RedHawks have a team save percentage of .832, partly due to penalty killing clip of 61.1 percent that is among the worst in Division I.
This weekend wraps up a five-game homestand for Miami to open the season. After Saturday, the RedHawks will not play another regular season game at Cady Arena until Nov. 15 vs. Minnesota-Duluth.