Western Michigan hockey will look to finish the second half of the 2020-2021 season on a much stronger note than what the Broncos did in the first half in the NCHC Pod. The Broncos welcome the Miami RedHawks to Lawson Arena for a two game series this Saturday and Sunday.
The Good and the Bad from the Pod
During the NCHC pod, the Broncos played 10 games while putting together a mediocre 2-6-2 record. The Broncos had many struggles during the pod, but defense and goaltending was their major weakness. Over the first 10 games of the season, the Broncos allowed a staggering total of 46 goals, an average of 4.6 goals a game.
The Broncos, however, have had spurts of showing how good this team can be when they play at a high level. The Broncos pushed two top 20 opponents in Denver and St. Cloud State to their limits. When the Broncos played the Denver Pioneers, ranked No. 8 at the time, they lost one game 3-2 and took them to overtime, eventually losing in a shootout, in the other. WMU beat St. Cloud State, ranked No. 13 at the time, by a score of 2-1.
Broncos Offensive Threats
Junior Drew Worrad is currently the Broncos leading scorer with two goals and eight assists totaling 10 points. Captain Paul Washe and Josh Passolt both have nine points. Washe has five goals and four assists while Passolt has three goals and six assists. Ethen Frank leads the Broncos in goals with six.
Scouting the RedHawks
Before last season was shortened and canceled due to COVID-19, the Broncos swept the RedHawks in two games series to take the lead in the all-time series 70-68-12. During head coach Andy Murray’s tenure in Kalamazoo, the Broncos are 20-15-2 against Miami with a record of 11-5-1 at Lawson.
Currently, Miami and WMU are tied for the seventh seed in the NCHC with both programs having 8 points.
This is a critical series for the Broncos as far as fixing the defensive issues and goaltending troubles as Miami is No. 46 in the nation in scoring at 1.5 goals a game. Miami’s top scoring threat this season has been Matthew Barbolini, who has earned six points this season.
Miami has consistently used two goalies so far this year in Lidvig Persson and Ben Kraws who have each started five games. Persson has had a better five games than Kraws as Persson is 2-2-1 and Kraws is 0-5. Persson has allowed 1.19 goals a game while owning a .962 save percentage. Kraws has allowed 3.84 goals a game and has put together an .898 save percentage.
Saturday’s contest is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start while Sunday’s contest is scheduled for a 5:05 p.m. start. Bronco hockey fans can watch the game live with an NCHC.tv subscription or listen in live on the Bronco Radio Network.