Reflecting on Ferris State’s Top Rivalries Throughout History

Ferris State Bulldogs

The sport of hockey is deeply ingrained in the culture of North America, with passionate fans and intense rivalries spanning decades. One such rivalry that has stood the test of time is that of the Ferris State Bulldogs. Founded in 1902, the Bulldogs have a long and storied history, and their matchups against various opponents have captured the attention of fans and players alike. In this article, we take a closer look at the Bulldogs’ most important matchups throughout their history, highlighting the highs and lows of their fierce rivalries.

Michigan Wolverines: A Battle for Bragging Rights

The rivalry between Ferris State and the University of Michigan Wolverines began in 1970, when the Bulldogs joined the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). Located just 150 miles apart, these two schools have a long-standing history of competing against each other in various sports. However, it was in hockey that the rivalry truly heated up.

Over the years, the Bulldogs and Wolverines have faced each other a total of 131 times, with each team holding a near equal record of 61 wins, 63 losses, and 7 ties. The most memorable matchup between these two teams was in the 2011 Frozen Four semifinals, where the Bulldogs pulled off a stunning 4-3 victory in overtime, advancing to their first National Championship game. Although the Bulldogs ultimately lost in the title game, their victory over the Wolverines was a defining moment in their hockey program’s history.

Michigan State Spartans: A Battle of the State

Compared to the more intense rivalry with the Wolverines, the matchup between Ferris State and Michigan State lacks the same intensity but is no less significant. The two schools first faced off against each other in 1974, and while their record of 65 games may seem modest in comparison to other rivalries, the emotions and stakes are still high.

The Bulldogs and the Spartans have faced each other in some significant games over the years, with their matchups being a prominent event in the state of Michigan. In 2012, the Bulldogs defeated the Spartans in the CCHA Championship game, clinching their first-ever conference title. This victory was a testament to the Bulldogs’ rising program and demonstrated their ability to compete at the highest level.

Western Michigan Broncos: A Rivalry Renewed

The rivalry between Ferris State and the Western Michigan Broncos dates back to 1977, when the two schools first met in a CCHA game. However, it was in 2012, when the Bulldogs joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), that this rivalry saw a resurgence. The two teams have since played each other 28 times, with the Bulldogs holding a narrow record of 14 wins, 12 losses, and 2 ties.

One of the most memorable games between the Bulldogs and the Broncos was during the 2018 WCHA Championship game. After a closely contested battle, the Bulldogs emerged as the victors, winning the game 1-0. This victory not only solidified the rivalry between these two schools but also marked the Bulldogs’ second conference championship in just six years.

Alaska Nanooks: A Long-Distance Rivalry

The rivalry between Ferris State and the University of Alaska Nanooks may not be as well-known, but it is definitely one to watch. These two teams first faced off against each other in 1980 and have since played a total of 92 games. The distance between the two schools, with the Nanooks located in Fairbanks, Alaska, has not hindered the intensity of their rivalry.

In the 2012–2013 season, the Bulldogs and the Nanooks met in the first round of the WCHA playoffs, where the Nanooks emerged as the victors. This game marked the first-ever playoff meeting between the two teams, and the intensity was palpable. While the Nanooks may hold an overall record of 46 wins against the Bulldogs’ 40, the matchups between these two teams are always hard-fought and entertaining.

The Future of Rivalries for the Ferris State Bulldogs

With the Bulldogs now playing in the Big Ten Conference, there may be a shift in their major rivalries. However, their matchups against traditional rivals such as Michigan and Michigan State are still expected to be fiercely contested. Additionally, new rivalries are beginning to emerge with teams such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. As the Bulldogs continue to compete in the Big Ten, we can expect to see some thrilling matchups and intense rivalries in the future.

The Ferris State Bulldogs‘ hockey program has seen its fair share of important and memorable matchups over the years. From their intense rivalries with Michigan and Michigan State to their games against Western Michigan and Alaska, the Bulldogs’ history is intertwined with the passion and emotion of these matchups. As the team looks towards the future, one thing is certain: the Ferris State Bulldogs will continue to take to the ice with fierce determination and an unyielding desire to come out on top.


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