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2021 MAC Hockey Rewind: Week of November 21st

Sweep or get swept was the mantra this past weekend.

Tyler Carlton

Western Michigan Broncos (8-4, 3-3 NCHC) Ranked #7

It was a huge weekend for the Broncos, as they welcomed #2 ranked St Cloud State to town and took care of business, sweeping the Huskies in dominant fashion. This impressive pair of wins shot the Broncos up into the top ten of the rankings, landing at #7.

Friday’s game was definitely one that Ethen Frank will remember for a long time. He found the back of the net a career best four times and also added an assist for good measure to tally a career best five points on the night. The Broncos were already up 5-0 when St Cloud State scored to break up the shutout. The Huskies added a second goal, but Western Michigan responded with a goal of their own to end the game with a 6-2 victory.

Saturday night’s game was another strong showing from the Broncos. After neither team could find a goal in the first period, Western Michigan added two goals in the second period to take a 2-0 lead into the final intermission. Two more goals in the third period brought the final score to 4-0 in favor of the Broncos. This was goaltender Brandon Bussi’s second career shutout, with his first coming earlier in the season in the home opener vs Ferris State.

Next up for Western Michigan is a pair of games at St Lawrence University in New York on November 26th and 27th. The Saints are 3-4-4 on the year, so the Broncos will be looking for another sweep.

Bowling Green Falcons (7-3-2, 5-3 CCHA)

Not to be outdone, the Falcons also recorded a dominant sweep over a conference foe. Bowling Green welcomed Lake Superior State to town, but certainly did not make their guests feel comfortable.

Friday night’s game got off to a bit of a slow start with both teams going scoreless in the opening period. The second period was more of the same, until the Falcons managed to break through and score a goal with just under four minutes remaining in the period. That goal seemed to break open the floodgates as they scored again just under three minutes later to take a 2-0 lead into the final intermission. The Lakers got one back on the power play early in the third period to make it a one score game, but Bowling Green stepped back on the gas and added three more goals of their own and take the 5-1 win.

Neither team wasted much time getting the scoring started on Saturday night. Bowling Green scored just over a minute into the game to take the lead. Lake Superior State responded not even two minutes later to tie it up. The Lakers would add another goal less than three minutes later to take the lead. At 5:50 into the game the teams had already combined for three goals, a stark contrast to Friday night’s action. From here on out it was all Falcons. They scored late in the first period to tie it up heading into the first intermission. A pair of goals in both the second and third periods put the game away and secured another four goal victory for Bowling Green.

The Falcons aren’t ranked quite yet, but are mentioned in the “others receiving votes” section of the USCHO rankings. Next up for Bowling Green is a trip up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to take on Northern Michigan (7-6, 5-5 CCHA). The Wildcats are unranked, but are fresh off of a sweep of their own vs Ferris State.

Miami RedHawks (2-9-1, 1-5 NCHC)

Unfortunately, Miami could not harness any of the good fortune that befell their MAC brethren. The RedHawks took a trip out to Colorado and were swept by Denver. The pair of losses extended Miami’s losing streak to five games.

Friday’s game got off to a decent start with a 1-1 tie at the end of the first period. Denver broke the game open with a pair of second period goals, then added another in the third to extend their lead. Miami was unable to find the back of the net again and was handed a 1-4 loss.

Saturday night’s game was an ugly one for the RedHawks. Denver struck first, then added four goals in the second period to take a five goal lead over Miami. The RedHawks managed to score early in the third, but it was too little too late. Denver added another pair of goals for good measure and the final tally was Denver 7, Miami 1.

Miami is home next weekend as they welcome the Long Island University Sharks to town. LIU is 3-7-3 on the year and are one of the four independent teams in college hockey (Alaska, Alaska Anchorage, and Arizona State are the others). It should be noted that all three of LIU’s wins are over Division II opponents, so the RedHawks will have a great opportunity to stop their current losing skid.