Hockey is back! Fans anxiously piled into Lawson Ice Arena to watch their Broncos take on the visiting Bulldogs from Ferris State for their first home game in over 500 days. The team certainly held up their end of the bargain and gave the fans plenty to cheer about.
The first period was filled with back and forth action as neither team was able to break through and put the first goal on the board. Shots on goal were nearly even until Paul Washe took a pass from Jason Polin and buried it into the back of the net with just over forty five seconds remaining in period. That late goal seemed to break the spirit of the Bulldogs and from there on out the Broncos took charge and never looked back.
It felt as if the second period was being played on tilted ice with the Broncos keeping the puck in the Bulldogs zone for much of the period. They lit up the scoreboard again as Ethen Frank broke away into clear ice and beat the goaltender one-on-one. Drew Worrad added another goal in the final minute of the period and the Broncos took a 3-0 lead into the final intermission. In addition to adding two goals, Western Michigan also outshot Ferris State 15-3 in the period.
The third period was more of the same. Ethen Frank scored his second goal of the night and put the Broncos up 4-0 midway through the third. That score would hold for the remainder of the game.
It turned out to be a night of many firsts for Western Michigan. First game of the season, first win of the year, first win for new coach Pat Ferschweiler, and first career shutout for goaltender Brandon Bussi. The Broncos will certainly look to keep that momentum going forward as the season rolls on.
Below is a gallery of photos from the night’s action: