The No. 10 ranked Western Michigan Broncos defeated the Northern Michigan Wildcats, 1-0, at Lawson Ice Arena on Saturday night.
Senior forward Trevor Elias was the lone goal scorer for the game, as he netted his second goal of the season in the second period.
“We knew they were going to come in and battle, and that it was going to be a grind right to the end,” said Elias. “We’re a team that does as much as we can by getting guys to the net.”
The Broncos (8-3-1, 5-2-1-1 CCHA) earned six points this weekend, but the Wildcats (5-8-3, 2-7-3-1 CCHA) did not make it easy.
“Well certainly anytime you play a CCHA team, every game is going to be a battle,” Head Coach Andy Murray said after the win. “Northern Michigan came in here missing a couple of their top guys but they fought tooth-and-nail.”
For the second night in a row, the first period was scoreless.
The first and only goal of the game came at 5:36 in the second period when Elias back-handed a puck delivered from Ben Warda past NMU goalie Jared Coreau. Warda and Justin Kovacs were credited with assists on the goal.
In the third period, sophomore goalie Frank Slubowski made spectacular save after save as NMU got off 12 shots. Slubowski made 23 saves in all, including 5 shots on Northern Michigan power plays, most of which came on a five-on-three.
“It was a tough game, especially mentally,” said Slubowski. “I stayed in there with it and was able to make some saves.”
For his effort, Slubowski was named the first star of the game.
For the second game in a row, WMU played in front of a sell-out crowd of 3,871.
“Place was packed this weekend and I firmly believe the rest of this season, [Lawson Ice Arena] is going to be packed,” said Murray.
Western Michigan will play at home next weekend against CCHA rival Ferris State on Friday and Saturday. Ferris State (7-4-3, 6-3-1-0 CCHA) is coming off a season in which they reached the National Championship. Both games start at 7:05 p.m.