Bulldog Mentality: 'Good Memory Over Time'
by Avash Kalra/Senior Writer
CINCINNATI Ferris State coach Bob Daniels has been around long enough that he knows how to maintain perspective in the emotional moments following a season-ending loss.
Daniels has coached the Bulldogs since 1992, took them to their first Frozen Four two seasons ago, and brought the WCHA regular-season champions to the precipice of another national title run this year.
That dream ended Saturday night in Cincinnati, when the Bulldogs came up short in an epic NCAA Midwest Regional final that took two overtimes to crown North Dakota as its champion and a Frozen Four participant for the 20th time in its own storied program.
After the game, Daniels spoke with his typical poised tone, appearing unsurprisingly composed even after his season ended in heartbreaking fashion.
“Tonight will go down as a good memory over time,” said Daniels. “Strictly because of how well they played. That’ll be a good memory. Certainly you can just look at the wins against Lake State when the league title was on the line, the double OT win against Bemidji [State] to move on [in the WCHA tournament].
“It was a season filled with a lot of positives, a lot of highs. The whole thing was a ball, a lot of fun, and certainly leaving us wanting to duplicate it again.”
The season also ended for a group of Ferris State seniors – among them, captain and defenseman Scott Czarnowczan, who seemingly played all 82-plus minutes on Saturday. In addition to Czarnowczan, graduating seniors for the Bulldogs include Garrett Thompson, Cory Kane, Andy Huff, and Justin Demartino.
All except Kane (Irvine, Calif.) hail from the state of Michigan and as sophomores were part of Ferris State’s historic 2011-12 campaign that ended with a loss in the national championship game to Boston College.
“They’re just tremendous leaders,” said Daniels. “Just unbelievable. They’ll be sorely missed – beyond the ice… The underclassmen have picked up on it and will move that forward.”
Also moving forward will be the memories of this 2013-14 campaign itself, which saw plenty of success – with 28 wins, even more than the Bulldogs compiled two seasons ago, with a Hobey Baker Award finalist (goaltender C.J. Motte, who will return), and a WCHA regular season championship.
Continued Daniels, “I’m exceedingly proud and realize that we’re going to look back and be appreciative of this year.
“I am very appreciative of the efforts of our team.”