The Western Michigan Broncos are coming off of being swept last weekend at home at the hands of NCHC rival Miami. The sweep dropped the Broncos to 2-8-2 this season and WMU has fallen to the bottom of the NCHC in eighth place. The Broncos will look to turn things around as they travel to Oxford, Ohio to take on Miami for a two game series this Friday and Saturday.
With the sweep last weekend, Miami took away the Broncos two game advantage in the all-time series, tying it up at 70-70-12. However, WMU has had recent success on the road against the RedHawks, going 3-0-1 in its last two series in Oxford.
Last weekend showed continued defensive struggles for the Broncos as they allowed eight goals over two games against the RedHawks. Entering the series, Miami was scoring less than two goals a game.
Broncos Keys to the game
There are two main skaters that the Broncos will need to have continue to perform well if they hope to have a chance at a sweep this weekend. So far this season, forwards Josh Passolt and Ethen Frank have been some of the Broncos’ most dominant offensive weapons.
Passolt earned his tenth point of the season last weekend as he was responsible for an assist. He has seven assists with three goals for a total of 10 points through 12 games. Passolt is on pace to break his personal best point total of 34 from the 2018-19 season.
Frank currently leads the team in goals with seven just 12 games into the season. Frank has only played in 11 games this season missing one to a minor injury.
Despite a bad defensive series, the RedHawks are still scoring less than two goals a game. This needs to be a series where the Broncos can fix their defensive issues, like time on attack and shots allowed. WMU is allowing its opponents to get an average of 31 shots on goal this season.
WMU has also struggled heavily on the power play and penalty kill this season as they allowed three penalty goals against the RedHawks last weekend. Bronco opponents have scored 30.2% on power plays this year while WMU has only converted on 15.9% of its power plays. This is another problem the Broncos must fix this weekend to help turn things around.
Scouting the RedHawks
The eight goals that Miami had scored against the Broncos last weekend are the most the RedHawks scored in two games all season. The scoring fest Miami had pushed their scoring average from 1.50 to 1.92 goals per game.
RedHawk junior defenseman Derek Daschke leads the team in goals this season with three. Several other Miami players have two goals each.
Matt Barry is the RedHawks best offensive threat, leading the team with eight points on two goals and six assists.
Ludvig Persson started both games for Miami last weekend only allowing two goals in two games to drop his goals against average to 1.13 goals a game, good for fourth best in the nation. Persson also owns a .963 save percentage along with a 4-2-1 record.
The series starts with a Friday night contest with puck drop coming at 7:07 p.m. Saturday's contest will start at 5:07 p.m. Fans can watch the action live with an NCHC subscription or listen in on the Bronco Radio Network.