Western Michigan hockey opened up its 2021 campaign with a 3-1 victory against Ohio State in an exhibition Saturday.
The game started slow from both sides until Western Michigan went on the power play after an elbowing penalty on Ohio State’s Tate Singleton seven minutes into the game. WMU capitalized off the man advantage with a power play goal by Ethen Frank 7:37 into the game. The goal was assisted by Drew Worrad and Michael Joyaux.
Western Michigan held the lead through the first period and four and a half minutes into the second period until Ohio State evened it up with a goal by Georgii Merkulov. The rest of the second period saw both sides having chances to break the tie, but both teams couldn’t and the period ended at 1-1.
The third period saw more of the same with Ohio State and Western Michigan both having great chances at the net and each team had two power play chances in the period but were unable to capitalize off of the man advantage.
Western Michigan finally broke the tie with a goal by Josh Passolt with only six minutes left in the game. Only 25 seconds later, the Broncos scored again thanks to a goal by Luke Grainger to give WMU the 3-1 lead.
The shots were even from both sides with each team having 26 shots. Ohio State and Western Michigan each had four power play chances with WMU having the lone power-play goal, and WMU had the slight edge in faceoff wins, 36-34.
Western Michigan will be back in front of fans at Lawson Arena Friday when regular season play starts with a home-and-home against Ferris State. The first game will be in Kalamazoo Friday at 7:05 p.m., while the second matchup will be Saturday in Big Rapids at 7:07 p.m.