Western Michigan Broncos (14-5, 6-4 NCHC) Ranked #3
The Broncos have had a great first half of the season.
They’re currently sitting at #3 in the USCHO rankings, which is an all-time high for the program. Their 14 wins include a victory over then-first ranked Michigan on the road as well as a sweep of then-second ranked St Cloud State. Senior Drew Worrad is currently sitting tied for second in the country in points scored with 27 (5 goals, 22 assists) , just two points behind the leader. Teammate Ethen Frank leads the country in goals scored with 17.
Their most recent game was a victory over Michigan State in the Great Lakes Invitational showcase. The Broncos headed to East Lansing on December 29th. and came home with the 3-1 win. Western Michigan was scheduled to play the Michigan Wolverines on the following night, but this game was cancelled with Michigan citing player safety concerns. This move was not popular amongst the Broncos faithful and Western ended up getting the last laugh as they took Michigan’s #3 spot in the rankings.
Next up for the Broncos is a trip out to Colorado Springs to take on Colorado College on January 14th and 15th.
Bowling Green Falcons (9-8-3, 6-5-1 CCHA)
It’s been an up and down season for the Falcons as they currently sit right around the .500 mark both overall and in conference play. Highlights include a road win over then 17th-ranked Bemidji State, and an undefeated series with MAC counterpart Miami. The Falcons are being led in scoring by freshman Austen Swankler (21 points), which is a bright spot for the future.
Most recently, the Falcons took a trip to Milwaukee for the Kwik Trip Holiday Face-off for a pair of games on December 28th and 29th. They dropped their opening game vs #16 Providence, but managed to bounce back with a victory the following night over Yale.
Bowling Green will get back to it this upcoming weekend with a series against CCHA foe St Thomas. The Falcons will certainly be hoping for a sweep as St Thomas is in the midst of a dreadful season and are sporting a 1-19 record. Bowling Green swept their home series with St Thomas earlier this season with a 4-2 victory on Friday and a 3-0 victory on Saturday.
Miami RedHawks (4-13-1, 1-7-0 NCHC)
It’s been a rough season for hockey in Oxford. Wins have been hard to come by, especially in conference play. With a sole conference win over Omaha, the RedHawks will definitely be looking to turn things around after the holiday break.
Miami recently finished off an unconventional home-and-home series with Mercyhurst. The RedHawks headed out to Pennsylvania to take on Mercyhurst on December 12th and managed to bring a 7-4 victory back home with them. The second game of the series wasn’t played until January 4th with the two teams facing off on Miami’s home ice. Unfortunately, the hometown ice wasn’t as friendly to the RedHawks as they lost the game 4-5 in overtime. The RedHawks held a two-goal lead at two different points in the game, but Mercyhurst clawed back and tied it before scoring the game winner in OT.
Miami will welcome Colorado College (4-11-3, 1-6-1 CCHA) to town for a series on January 7th and 8th. This is the most win-able series for the RedHawks in the next several weeks, so they will definitely be looking to capitalize and grab a win or two.