2014-15 Overall Record: 18-20-2
2014-15 WCHA Record: 13-14-1 (6th of 10)
Head Coach: Bob Daniels – 24th Season (397-409-89)

In 2014, Ferris State won 29 games and just barely missed an appearance in the Frozen Four, losing to North Dakota in double overtime of the Midwest Regional Final. Last season, the Bulldogs experienced a significant drop-off, finishing with a losing record of 18-20-2 – the first time since the 2008-09 season that Ferris State finished the season with fewer wins than losses. It’s not a position Bob Daniels and the Bulldogs are traditionally in, but they may have some more work ahead of them this season. While a very deep and talented recruiting class is coming in, the Bulldogs lose their talented goaltender C.J. Motte who graduated last year and will be joining the AHL’s Rochester Americans this season. FSU has very limited experience at goaltender this season – with a freshman, a sophomore with virtually no NCAA experience and a junior who has not played in almost two seasons. The Bulldogs could actually improve on their performance from last season – or this could be a “rebuilding year” while their goaltenders build their resumes. This writer voted for the latter in the preseason poll (8th), but would not be surprised to see the former.

Key Returning:

Gerald Mayhew, F, Junior
Mayhew returns to the Bulldogs after tying for the team lead in scoring during his sophomore season. During his two seasons with Ferris State, Mayhew has been fairly consistent, scoring 19 points (8 – 11) in his freshman season and 23 (11 – 12) during his sophomore season. With his numbers improving from his freshman to sophomore year, despite playing fewer games – one can only assume that those numbers will improve again from his sophomore to junior year. Ferris State did not necessarily have trouble putting the puck in the net last season, but will probably rely on players such as Mayhew to generate a little more scoring to help out their inexperienced goaltenders.

Kyle Schempp, F, Junior
Like Mayhew, Schempp has been fairly consistent in his two seasons with the Bulldogs. While his point total dropped off a bit last year (16, as opposed to 25 during his freshman year), he equaled his freshman year goal total of 10. As a freshman, Schempp actually played more games than any other freshman in the country, due to FSU’s deep NCAA tournament run in 2014. Schempp – second on the team in goal-scoring last season – was drafted by the Islanders in 2014 in the sixth round. He may have a hockey future past Ferris State, but like Mayhew, he’ll be counted on this season to provide some extra scoring to give his goaltenders a cushion.

Newcomers:

Jacob Hetz, LW, Glenshaw, Pennsylvania
The 6’1” Hetz brings both scoring prowess and grittiness to the Bulldogs this season. In 202 NAHL games with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Hetz scored 138 points (69 – 69). He helped the Ice Dogs to the league title in 2014 and had the best season of his NAHL career in 2014-15, scoring 70 points (34 – 36) in 66 games. In addition, Hetz racked up 282 penalty minutes in his junior career. A big body who parks in front of the net, Hetz could be an immediate contributor to last year’s third best WCHA power play.

Ryker Killins, D, Wawa, Ontario
Killins excelled in Canadian Junior B for two seasons before making the leap last year to the USHL. After posting 87 points (30 – 57) in 126 games with the GOJHL’s Stratford Cullitons and being named the league’s best defenseman, Killins tried his hand with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks last season. In the USHL, Killins experienced a bit of a scoring drop-off, registering 7 points (2 – 5) in 26 games before being moved to the Carleton Place Canadians of the CCHL. Killins’ scoring picked back up in Junior A, as he registered 22 points (10 – 12) in 32 games. Killins may need a little time to grow, but he does have a pretty good background coming with him.

Corey Mackin, F, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mackin is this writer’s preseason choice for the WCHA’s Best Newcomer. Last season with the Coquitlam Express of the BCHL, Mackin led the league in goal scoring with 50 goals in just 58 regular season games. He also led the league with 104 points, earning both league MVP honors and CJHL MVP and top forward honors, which recognized Junior A players across Canada. In his two years with the Express, Mackin played in 144 games, scored 179 points (81 – 98) and only committed 14 minor penalties. It would be hard to foresee a situation where Mackin would not be expected to have an immediate impact and – based on his experience in the BCHL – may be the WCHA’s top freshman.

Craig Pefley, C, Columbus, Michigan
Pefley comes to the Bulldogs after two seasons with the Carleton Place Canadians where he was briefly a teammate of fellow incoming freshman Ryker Killins. In two seasons with the Canadians, Pefley scored 115 points (42 – 73) in 173 games while also racking up 206 penalty minutes. Pefley was a member of back-to-back CCHL championship squads and the Bulldogs hope that the winning carries over into his college career.

Trevor Recktenwald, F, Venetia, Pennsylvania
A depth recruit, Recktenwald spent two seasons in the NAHL with the Johnstown Tomahawks, playing 103 games and scoring 62 points (26 – 36). While not a prolific scorer, Recktenwald does know how to find the net. Mildly effective on the power play, scoring six goals and 10 assists with the extra man, Recktenwald reportedly is a very intelligent, high-intensity player. His 6’2” frame doesn’t hurt much either.

Darren Smith, G, Barrie, Ontario
Smith played two years with the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the CCHL before moving to the Madison Capitols of the USHL. He finished his two year CCHL stint with a record of 48-21-7, while finishing his one season in the USHL with a 14-13-7 record, a 3.24 GAA and a .909 save percentage. With the only other goaltenders on the roster being Trace Pennock (9 minutes of experience), Charles Williams (coming off a medical redshirt) and Ruben Medrano (no NCAA experience), Smith may be pressed into action quite a bit during his freshman season with very little time to adjust to the NCAA.

Zac Tierney, D, London, Ontario
Tierney was a high-scoring defenseman in Junior A, knocking out 91 points (22 – 69) in 134 games with the CCHL’s Cornwall Colts and Ottawa Jr. Senators. In 2015, he was named to the CCHL’s First Team at the end of the season. Tierney was actually put on Central Scouting’s watch list last season, but did not end up in the final rankings. In addition, he was drafted by the Peterborough Petes in 2012. At the very least, that means that someone thinks he is talented enough to play beyond the NCAA – good news for the inexperienced goaltenders playing behind him.

Schedule

Friday, January 1Harvard (Mariucci Classic, Minnesota)

Date Opponent
Friday, October 9 @ Western Michigan
Saturday, October 10 Western Michigan
Friday, October 16 Michigan Tech*
Saturday, October 17 Michigan Tech*
Friday, October 23 Wisconsin
Saturday, October 24 Wisconsin
Friday, October 30 @ Michigan Tech*
Saturday, October 31 @ Michigan Tech*
Friday, November 6 Minnesota State *
Saturday, November 7 Minnesota State*
Friday, November 13 @ Alaska Anchorage *
Saturday, November 14 @ Alaska Anchorage *
Friday, November 20 Alaska*
Saturday, November 21 Alaska*
Friday, November 27 @ Lake Superior State*
Saturday, November 28 @ Lake Superior State*
Friday, December 4 Bemidji State*
Saturday, December 5 Bemidji State*
Friday, December 11 @ Northern Michigan*
Saturday, December 12 @ Northern Michigan*
Saturday, January 2 Connecticut/Minnesota (Mariucci Classic, Minnesota)
Friday, January 15 Alabama-Huntsville*
Saturday, January 16 Alabama-Huntsville*
Friday, January 22 @ Bemidji State*
Saturday, January 23 @ Bemidji State*
Friday, February 5 @ Alaska*
Saturday, February 6 @ Alaska*
Friday, February 12 Northern Michigan *
Saturday, February 13 Northern Michigan *
Friday, February 19 @ Michigan
Friday, February 26 @ Bowling Green*
Saturday February 27 @ Bowling Green*
Friday, March 4 Lake Superior State*
Saturday, March 5 Lake Superior State*