Measures Up: Chris Kunitz
five players in the NCAA Division I ranks scored more goals
last season than Ferris State forward Chris Kunitz, who
found the back of the net 28 times in 35 games for the Bulldogs.
The 2001 all-CCHA first team selection, who enters the weekend
series vs. Bowling Green with 66 goals and 32 assists for
97 career points, leads Ferris State in its quest for home
ice in the conference playoffs and a visit to Joe Louis
Arena in Detroit for a berth the league's Super Six Championship
for the first time since 1993. The senior from Regina, Saskatchewan,
took time earlier this week to answer some questions from
the Inside College Hockey staff.
State senior forward Chris Kunitz (photo courtesy
of FSU sports information)
College Hockey: Ferris State is one of the toughest places
in America for a road team to play, but it doesn't get much
noteriety. Do you think teams unfamiliar with Ewigleben
Ice Arena are caught by surprise when they visit?
Kunitz: We went and played St. Cloud State two years ago,
and they've got a nice rink that holds about 7,000. So they
come into our rink this year and don't think much of it
until the game starts. They're kind of shocked by how loud
the crowd is, how they're into the game all the time and
how much of a boost they give us.
Are you glad you don't have to play in front of the Ferris
State student section as a visitor?
For sure. You see the faces of the opponents when they're
skating around for warmups and they're kind of looking at
you 'What's going on here?' I wouldn't want to play here.
What's it like to play for one of the college hockey's really
nice guys in Bob Daniels?
Bob has treated me with nothing but great respect since
I've been here. He's got a system that adapts his players
well. His system works.
You had an amazing season last year (28 goals, 38 points)
and part of that was due to the way you and linemate Rob
Collins worked together.
Rob's kind of a playmaker, and I'm a guy who's been known
to finish with the puck once in a while, so we clicked like
that. Just our personalities – we hung out together
and we had kind of the same mindset. Those are just a couple
things that all together that made us feel like we played
well together. We liked playing together and things worked
Rob has graduated. How has the transition been to your new
The guys I'm playing with right now are at the top of the
league, too. Jeff Legue's the center and Derek Nesbitt –
they're both sophomores and both proved themselves last
year to be at the top of the league among freshmen and they're
going to do a great job this year. We're going to click
Ferris State is one of those pesky teams that teams always
seem to dread playing, and always seems to be pulling off
an upset or two every season.
We have been on-and-off for the last couple years, and when
we've been on, we've been really on. I don't think people
don't know what kind of team to expect. Night in and night
out, they don't really know who's going to show up and what
kind of effort they're going to have to put forth to match
us. That, and the fact we're always going to have a hard-working
team, tenacious, and hard-hitting. But it depends on which
(Ferris State) team is going to show up each night.
You mention being on-and-off for the last couple years.
Is this the year your team develops more consistency?
We have great leadership. Every one is starting to come
together. We've got the freshmen there, we've got the goaltending,
our defense is there. We've got great speed and a lot of
goal scoring. I think we're there.