By: Jay Ashdown
With five games played already this season, the Griffs now prepare for their 6th and 7th games of the season with Ferris State coming to town. The Griffs’ five games were all non-conference competitions, and the team split both their series against Penn State and RPI and capped the start of the season off with a tie against Clarkson.
As Ferris State comes to town, the Griffs hope to make their first home games of the season a special one. While this series will be a good test for the Griffs, there are many other outlying factors that makes this series so compelling. This is the first time since the 2019-20 season that fans will be able to attend the Ice Griffs’ home games, and with the improvement the team has seen in the last year, there should be a lot of excitement around this team.
This weekend will also be a special one for head coach Trevor Large. Large will face both his alma mater as well as former collegiate head coach Bob Daniels this weekend when the Griffs square off against Ferris State. Large played four seasons with the Bulldogs, totaling 19 goals and 14 assists in 129 career games. After being awarded the team's Most Improved Player in 2001, he helped the Bulldogs capture the 2003 CCHA regular-season championship and make their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.
When the Bulldogs come to town, they hope to build on some of the momentum they’ve gained throughout the first six games of the season. The Bulldogs are only 2-4 to start the season, but this season comes with relaxed expectations for the team coming off a disastrous 1-23-1 record in the 2020-21 season.
It’s no secret why Ferris State struggled as much as they did last season, the team only averaged 2.20 goals per game, and they coupled that with a .879 save percentage, leading to the team yielding 3.92 goals per game. Poor special teams also contributed to their lack of success last season, as their penalty kill only killed off 73.4% of the powerplays they faced.
While the Bulldogs play against stronger competition on a weekly basis in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, the Griffs high powered offense and rock solid goaltending should give them a significant advantage in this series.
Through six games this season, the bulldogs are averaging 2.5 goals per game and yielding 3.8 goals per game. The Griffs are averaging 3.0 goals per game themselves while yielding 3.6.
This series should help the Griffs prepare for their first conference series next week, as they travel to Waltham, Mass. to take on Bentley in a two-game set.