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2012 Frozen Four, Ferris State - How The Bulldogs Got Here

With both the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans out of the 2012 NCAA Hockey Tournament sooner than most people thought they would be, the state of Michigan will rely on Ferris State to become the 20th all time champion from their state.

Ferris needed a great regular season to earn their At Large bid into the tournament, and got it when they went 15 games without losing to start the season en route to a 23–11–5 overall record in the tough CCHA. There were some concerns near the end of the regular season when they started dropping games left and right, but they were able to earn a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Regional which was headlined by their in-state rivals Michigan.

The Bulldogs managed to take out a strong Denver Pioneers team in their first game after taking a 2-0 lead and holding on for dear life, then got a major boost in luck from Cornell. When the Big Red beat Michigan in the first round in the tournament's signature upset, the Bulldogs instantly had a great shot at making it to the Frozen Four.

Make it they did, eeking past Cornell 2-1 with a strong third period featuring goals by Garrett Thompson and Jordie Johnston. Ferris' fortunes in the regular season rested on strong goaltending and spread out offense, which showed in all of their tourney wins so far. They can certainly thank Cornell for giving them such an easy road to the Frozen Four, but they did impress along the way with the win over a feisty Denver team, especially when they were supposed to be in bad form.

The Bulldogs will meet the Union Dutchmen on April 5 in the Frozen Four in Tampa Bay.

For more on the 2012 NCAA hockey tournament, check out SB Nation Detroit's StoryStream. You can also follow Western College Hockey and SB Nation's NHL hub for more NCAA Hockey news.