Ferris State has to be considered one of the biggest surprises in college hockey this season. They're 14-4-2 on the season and seem to be on their way to matching the 31-win season they had in 2002-2003.
That year, it was senior Chris Kunitz who scored a ton of goals to pace the Bulldogs offense. This year, it is another Canadian senior in Blair Riley that is scoring a lot of goals for the Bulldogs. Riley has to be drawing attention as one of the top college free agents out there this year.
The Bulldogs currently sit at 3rd in the Pairwise Rankings, but their work is far from done. They've got an 0-3-2 record against Teams Under Consideration(though they do have two wins over RPI #26 Nebraska-Omaha), and that poor record means they'll start dropping comparisons once they reach the minimum 10 games.
Their schedule also starts out much tougher in the second half of the season, at least theoretically. This weekend they travel to Notre Dame to take on an Irish team that has disappointed, but still very talented. After that, they get Miami at home, in what should be a huge series. If Ferris takes all six points from Notre Dame, they'll go into that series tied with Miami for the CCHA lead. Ferris had two hard-fought ties with the Redhawks earlier this year. And after that, they get a home-and-home series against a Michigan team that like Notre Dame, has played poorly, but has enough talent to give Ferris fits. They'll also have tough series at home against Northern Michigan, a home-and-home with Michigan State, and a road series against a pesky Lake Superior team.
All in all, it's a much tougher schedule than what they faced in the first half of the year. Their high ranking is partly a result of having the second-best winning percentage in the country, and they could really start dropping if they take a couple losses in these tough games. They've proven that they're pretty good so far, but now it's time to prove just how good they are.