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2021-22 MAC Hockey Rewind: Week of December 5th

Western Michigan extends the win streak to six games at Miami’s expense.

Tyler Carlton

Western Michigan Broncos (12-4, 5-3 NCHC) Ranked #4

Western Michigan kept the winning streak going this weekend, taking care of business over MAC brethren Miami, extending their win streak to six games in the process.

Friday night got off to a quick start with Western Michigan’s Jason Polin finding the net five minutes into the game. Miami responded quickly with a goal of their own just 14 seconds later. The game wasn’t tied for long though, as the Broncos netted another goal 1:13 later to make it three goals scored in just under a minute and a half between the two teams. Miami scored the next goal to tie it at 2-2. With just under four minutes left in the first period, the Broncos found the net yet again, this time on the power play to take the 3-2 lead heading into the first intermission. This time, the Broncos would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the game, eventually skating to a 6-3 win.

Miami came out of the gates quickly on Saturday night, looking for revenge from Friday night’s game. Just 37 seconds into the game, Miami scored the opening goal. A few minutes later, the RedHawks went on the powerplay and found the back of the net yet again. The game had hardly started and the Broncos were already staring down a 2-0 deficit.

Western Michigan managed to pick themselves up off the mat and get a goal of their own late in the first period, cutting the deficit to just one goal headed into the intermission. The Broncos would score the second period’s only goal to tie it up 2-2 headed into the final frame. Western Michigan got a power play early in the third period and capitalized, netting a goal to take the lead 3-2. Miami wasn’t done fighting yet, answering with a goal at the halfway mark of the third period to tie the score at three-apiece. Western Michigan answered just over a minute later, scoring what would end up being the game winning goal. The Broncos added an empty-net goal in the final minutes to secure the 5-3 victory.

The Broncos slotted in at #4 in this week’s USCHO rankings. This is tied with the 2011-2012 team for the highest ranking in the history of the program, per the team’s official Twitter account. The Broncos also received one first-place vote.

Next up for Western Michigan is a home series against the number 14 ranked University of Nebraska at Omaha (12-4, 3-3 NCHC) on Dec. 10th and 11th. This will be the Broncos’ final conference series of 2021. Western Michigan will wrap up 2021 with the Great Lakes Invitational Showcase, which includes a trip to Michigan State on Dec. 29th and #3 ranked Michigan on December 30th.

Miami RedHawks (3-12-1, 1-7 NCHC)

As mentioned above, the RedHawks were swept at the hand of Western Michigan this past weekend. Things looked promising for the RedHawks on Saturday after jumping out to a 2-0 lead, but the Broncos slammed the door shut to secure the sweep.

Next up for Miami is a trip to Mercyhurst (4-8-4) in Erie, Pennsylvania, for a single game on Sunday, December 12th. This will be Miami’s last game for 2021, as they’ll get an extended break until Mercyhurst travels to Oxford for the rematch on Tuesday, Jan. 4th, 2022.

Bowling Green Falcons (7-4-3, 5-4-1 CCHA)

The Falcons were off this week, but will welcome the Ferris State Bulldogs (5-13, 3-7 CCHA) to town for a home series on this upcoming weekend. The Bulldogs just snapped a long eight-game losing skid with a win against Lake Superior State this past Sunday.