The 12th-ranked Western Michigan University hockey team swept its weekend series with sixth-ranked Ferris State University. On Friday, the Broncos traveled north to Big Rapids to explode for four third period goals after trailing heading into the final period. The final was 4-2.
Junior left wing Kyle Bonis put FSU ahead at the 6:42 mark of the second period with assists from senior defenseman Chad Billins and senior center Jordie Johnston. Freshman defenseman Jordan Oesterle put the Broncos on the board at the 8:21 mark of the third period with assists from junior left wing Trevor Elias and senior center Greg Squires.
Junior defenseman Matt Tennyson struck fire in the third period, scoring a delayed penalty goal at the 11:41 mark with assists from senior right wing Ian Slater and Squires. Tennyson then scored a power play goal at the 12:18 mark with assists from sophomore defenseman Dennis Brown and sophomore center Chase Balisy.
FSU answered with a short-handed goal at the 13:49 mark from junior right wing Matthew Kirzinger with assists from sophomore defenseman Scott Czarnowczan and Johnston. Senior left wing Derek Roehl put the match on ice with an empty netter at the 19:12 mark with assist from junior right wing Brett Beebe. Freshman goaltender Frank Slubowski had 23 saves to earn his fourth win of the season. The Broncos outshot FSU 38-25 and were 1-of-6 on the power play while FSU was 0-of-3. The Broncos returned to Lawson Ice Arena for Saturday’s match and won a 3-0 shutout. Netting goals for the Broncos were freshman left wing Will Kessel and junior right wing Dane Walters. Slubowski (5-2-2) finished the evening with 25 saves.
“We played a pretty complete game,” WMU Head Coach Andy Murray said. “Tonight was as good as we’ve played for a while.”
After a rather dull first period, Kessel scored a power play goal at the 4:06 mark of the second period with assists from freshman center Justin Kovacs and senior right wing Kyle O’Kane. Walters scored a second power play goal at the 5:58 mark of the second period with assists from Balisy and sophomore left wing Shane Berschbach. Walters scored at the 16:17 mark of the third period with assists from Berschbach and Tennyson. The Broncos outshot FSU 42-25 and were 2-of-3 on the power play. Walters said he and his teammates have been working on their power play in practice and have just been trying to keep it simple and get back to the thing they were doing last year.
“When your power play gets you a goal, or gets you a couple of goals, it really does a lot for the rest of the players in terms of thinking strongly on the offensive side,” Murray said.
The Bronco offense came to life this weekend, scoring seven goals in two games after not scoring more than two goals in a match in nearly a month.
“We were in a little slump as a team,” Walters said. “It was nice to come out and fire some pucks on net and get a few past them. I think it’s a good momentum boost going into Bowling Green next weekend.”
The sweep puts the Broncos at 8-4-4 overall and 6-4-2-2 in the CCHA. The sweep helped the Broncos jump FSU in the CCHA standings. The Broncos are now in third place with 22 points. Lake Superior State trails the Broncos with 20 points, while the Broncos trail Ohio State University and the University Of Notre Dame, who have 29 points and 24 points respectively. The Broncos have a home and home series with Bowling Green State University next weekend. The Broncos travel to Bowling Green on Friday and will return to Lawson on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start.