Miami does not remember the final moments of its last meeting with Ferris State fondly.
The RedHawks allowed a shorthanded, 3-on-4 overtime goal in their season-opening series finale last year, leaving Big Rapids with a split instead of a sweep against a Bulldogs team that had not won a Division I game the season prior.
Ferris State jumped from one win in 2020-21 to 11, and even better results are expected from the Bulldogs this season after they took Michigan Tech to overtime twice in the CCHA Tournament.
A look at this weekend’s matchup:
WHO: Ferris State Bulldogs (11-24-1) at Miami RedHawks (7-27-2).
WHERE: Cady Arena (3,642), Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Saturday – 5:05 p.m.: Sunday – 3:05 p.m.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Miami leads, 47-45-16.
STREAMING: NCHC.tv ($).
FERRIS STATE RADIO: WDEE-FM (97.3), Big Rapids, Mich.
MIAMI RADIO: Saturday — WBKV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.; Sunday — WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio.
NOTES: Ferris State lacked experience in net last season and finished fourth-last in the NCAA in goals allowed per game (3.75) and No. 55 out of 59 in save percentage .884.
The Bulldogs have both of their primary minutes-eaters in net back in Logan Stein and Noah Giesbrecht and are hoping their experience gained last season results in better numbers in 2022-23.
Stein logged 1,316 minutes and finished with a 3.60 goals-against average and .885 save percentage. The junior played in 12 games in 2020-21.
In his first collegiate season, Giesbrecht recorded a .894 save percentage and 3.21 GAA in 598 minutes.
Freshman Joey Henson joins the team after playing in EHL Philadelphia last season.
Ferris State boasts an experienced defense corps, with seven seniors and juniors plus two freshmen that are coming off quality campaigns with their respective juniors teams.
Blake Evannou is the Bulldogs’ top returning blue line points producer with four goals and eight assists. Brenden Rons also found the net four times last season. Both are seniors.
Drew Cooper, Sam Skinner, Luke Farthing and Ben Schutheis are also key upperclassmen returnees for Ferris State on defense.
Only one Bulldog reached the 20-point mark last season – Justin Michaelian – and he graduated.
But both forwards that ended the season with 19 are back. Bradley Marek led FSU with 10 goals, seven of which came on the power play, and Brian Tulik went 7-12-19, tied for second on the Bulldogs.
Stepan Pokorny (3-11-14), Mitch Deelstra (4-8-12) and Kaleb Ergang (5-6-11) are the only other returning forwards on an FSU team that averaged just 2.50 goals in 2021-22.
Miami is 3-2-3 in eight all-time meetings at Cady Arena, having split its last home series vs. the Bulldogs in 2019.