Ferris State Bulldogs
The game of hockey has a way of captivating hearts and uniting communities. As fans, we cheer and celebrate our favorite teams, but it’s the historic upsets and wins that keep us on the edge of our seats and leave a lasting impact on our memories. For the Ferris State Bulldogs, their journey in the world of hockey has been filled with both triumphant wins and unexpected upsets. From their humble beginnings to their rise as a major contender, the Bulldogs have given fans unforgettable moments that will forever be etched in the history books.
In 1979, the Ferris State Bulldogs entered the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) as a Division II program. Despite facing several hardships, including funding limitations and a lack of support, the Bulldogs were determined to make a name for themselves in the hockey world. In their inaugural season, they had a record of 14 wins and 18 losses, but it was just the beginning of their journey.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the Bulldogs continued to play in the CCHA, but it was the 1992–1993 season that marked a turning point in their history. Led by head coach Bob Daniels, the Bulldogs finished the season with a record of 20 wins, 10 losses, and 5 ties—their best record to date at the time. This success earned them a spot in the CCHA playoffs, where they went on to become the first Division II team to win the CCHA championship. This victory not only put the Ferris State Bulldogs on the map, but it also cemented their position as a rising force in the world of college hockey.
The early 2000s saw the Bulldogs continue to make a name for themselves in the CCHA. However, their most historic upset came in the 2011–2012 season, when they faced off against the heavily favored Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs were considered to be the underdogs in this matchup, but they shocked the hockey world with a stunning 3-2 victory over the Wolverines, sending them to the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time in their history. This unforgettable upset not only made headlines but also solidified the Bulldogs’ place among the top teams in the country.
The 2011–2012 season was also a memorable one for the Bulldogs, as they went on to win their first-ever CCHA regular-season title and make their first appearance in the national championship game. Although they fell short in the final, losing to Boston College, the Bulldogs proved that they were a force to be reckoned with and earned respect from the entire hockey community.
In 2013, the Bulldogs moved on from the CCHA and joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). This new chapter in their history brought with it new challenges and rivalries. Despite these changes, the Bulldogs continued to make their mark in the hockey world. In the 2015–2016 season, they pulled off another historic upset when they defeated the second-ranked Michigan Tech Huskies in the quarterfinals of the WCHA playoffs. This victory not only earned them a spot in the WCHA Final Five, but it also marked the first time they reached back-to-back playoff appearances since joining the WCHA.
Over the years, the Bulldogs have had several players go on to play professionally, including NHL players such as Chris Kunitz and Zach Redmond. But it’s not just their success on the ice that sets them apart. The Bulldogs have always been known for their strong team culture and the family-like bond that players share with one another. This has been a key factor in their success and has earned them a devoted fan base that supports them through thick and thin.
As the Bulldogs continue to make their mark in the hockey world, their rich history is a testament to their determination, perseverance, and passion for the game. From their humble beginnings to their impressive rise, the Ferris State Bulldogs have given fans unforgettable moments that will go down in history as some of the greatest upsets and wins in college hockey.