Western Michigan Broncos (10-4, 3-3 NCHC) Ranked #5
Another weekend, another sweep. The Broncos were on the road last weekend for a trip to New York to take on St. Lawrence University and took both games in dominating fashion.
The Broncos wasted no time getting the scoring started, with Paul Washe scoring a goal less than three minutes in to Friday night’s game. St Lawrence responded with a goal of their own to tie it at 1, but from there on out it was all Broncos. Ethen Frank added another Western Michigan goal and gave them a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission. The Broncos would go on to score three more goals in both the second and third periods, making sure the game was never in doubt. The final tally was 8-2 in favor of Western Michigan. Drew Worrad had a big night with four points (three assists and one goal).
Saturday night’s game was more of the same. Once again, Paul Washe scored an early goal, this time just under four minutes in. Cole Gallant added a goal of his own to give the Broncos a 2-0 lead. St Lawrence responded with a score in the waning moments of the first period to narrow the deficit to one headed into the first intermission. That is as close as they would get, as the Broncos netted two more goals in the second period, plus one more in the third for good measure. Western Michigan completed the sweep with a 5-1 victory. Ethen Frank netted two more goals and Drew Worrad grabbed two more assists. Worrad now leads college hockey in points (25), while Frank leads in goals scored (15).
The Broncos continue to ascend the rankings, landing at the #5 spot this week. Next up for Western Michigan is a trip to Oxford, Ohio to take on their non-conference “conference mate” Miami. Miami has been having a tough year (3-10-1), so the Broncos will be on the hunt to continue their four game winning streak with another sweep.
Bowling Green Falcons (7-4-3, 5-4-1 CCHA)
Bowling Green took the long trip up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to face off with the Northern Michigan Wildcats for a pair of games. The Falcons got the scoring started on Friday night with a goal at the 10 minute mark. Northern Michigan responded and added two more goals of their own to take a one goal lead into the first intermission. Bowling Green tied it up half way through the second period, but then the dam broke loose. The Wildcats poured on four consecutive goals and put the game away. Austen Swankler scored one in the final moments of the third period for the Falcons, but it was too little too late as they fell to Northern Michigan 2-6.
Saturday night’s game got off to a slow start, but it certainly ended with fireworks. The first period came and went without a goal from either team. The Wildcats would eventually strike first at the three minute mark of the second period. Bowling Green quickly responded with a goal of their own just over a minute later. They wasted no time putting up another goal up on the board, again scoring just over a minute later and the Falcons took a 2-1 lead. The Wildcats scored the next two goals to set the score at 2-3. Once again, Bowling Green wasted no time responding and scored just 34 seconds later to tie it at 3-3 mid-way through the third period. We headed to overtime, but again neither team was able to break the tie. Since this was a CCHA conference game the game headed to a shootout, where Northern Michigan prevailed 2-1 and claimed the win.
Bowling Green is off next weekend, but will host the Ferris State Bulldogs (4-12) on December 10th and 11th. The Bulldogs are currently on a seven-game losing streak and have given up six or more goals in each of their last four games
Miami RedHawks (3-10-1, 1-5 NCHC)
It was a weekend of mixed emotions for Miami. On one hand, they snapped their six-game losing streak. On the other hand, they gave up seven goals in a home loss to a Long Island team that was previously winless against Division I opponents.
Friday night’s game was a rough one for Miami right from the start. The RedHawks gave up four first period goals and headed into the first intermission behind 1-4. They managed to narrow the deficit to one goal early in the third period, but that is as close as they’d get. Long Island added three more goals in the third and handed Miami the 4-7 loss. This was Long Island’s first win over a division one opponent this season. This also stretched Miami’s losing streak to six games.
The RedHawks rebounded on Saturday, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Sharks got a goal of their own in the second to make it a one score game headed in to the third period. Miami took tare of business and slammed the door shut with two third period goals, securing the 4-1 lead and snapping their losing streak.
Next up for the RedHawks is a matchup with MAC and NCHC conference foe Western Michigan (10-4, ranked #5). The top five Broncos will be looking for a sweep, so stealing a game could potentially be a major turning point for the RedHawks season.