Western Michigan hockey suffered a sweep at the hands of Bowling Green after the Broncos traveled to Bowling Green Friday, Oct. 18, coming out on the short end of a 2-1 match. It was the same result Saturday night where the lone goal by Dawson DiPietro wasn't enough, losing again, 2-1.
Game one was a close contest in all three periods, but ultimately, the Falcons won the game 2-1, thanks to some third period heroics.
Both goaltenders for the Broncos and Falcons flexed their muscles throughout game one. Western Michigan freshman goaltender Brandon Bussi in just his third career game had a career high of 36 saves, while Eric Dop had 21 saves.
The game remained scoreless through almost 2 full periods of play until Freddy Letournea of Bowling Green netted the first goal of the night putting the Falcons up 1-0 going into the third period.
Western Michigan tied the game around six minutes into the period tvhanks to a goal from senior captain Hugh McGing, who scored off of a shot deflection from teammate Josh Passolt. Shortly after the Broncos evened the score, the Falcons netted another goal to take the lead 2-1 after Western failed to convert on a penalty shot. That goal by Max Johnson would ultimately decide the game.
The Falcons capitalized on power plays which led to both of their goals on the night. The Broncos continued to fall victim to penalties as they went to the box nine times during the contest.
The Broncos came back home to Kalamazoo Saturday for their regular season home opener and the series finale.
Saturday was another hard fought contest between the two teams, but unfortunately for the Broncos, the Falcons would take the contest 2-1 and sweep the series.
The first period was all goaltenders and defense for the entirety of the period. Western took 12 shots on goal during the first period and created scoring chances as they kept the puck in Bowling Green’s zone for the majority of the period. However, Bowling Green’s goaltender Eric Dop responded and blocked all 12 Bronco shots.
Western came out of the gate strong to start the second and scored within the first minute of play thanks to a goal from Dawson DiPietro. The Broncos lead wouldn’t last too long, as the Falcons responded with a goal from Alec Rauhauser to tie it up 1-1 halfway through the second.
The third period saw no offense from either team as it was an all defensive period. Western’s defense held the Falcons to only a mere four shots on goal during the third while the Broncos put up seven. It wouldn’t be enough to put a goal on the board and the game would get sent into overtime.
Overtime wouldn’t last long as the Falcons answered with a goal in the first 11 seconds of the period.
The Broncos now fall to 1-2-1 on the season and are currently on a two game skid. They have also dropped the season series against the Falcons two games to one.
Over the course of the series, both teams played physically hard and gave it all they had. The Broncos and Falcons also committed a lot of penalties over the two games. The Broncos committed 16 penalties over two games, which really hurt their chances of trying to score goals and the Falcons committed 13.
A bright spot for WMU was stellar young goaltender, Brandon Bussi, who had a total of 58 saves over the course of the series and they have stellar defensemen across the roster who know how to get the job done. However, the constant penalties need to stop for the Broncos, this was a problem that hurt them in many games they could’ve won last season.
Now that the Broncos disappointing series is in the rearview, Andy Murray’s team has to get their minds right in order to prepare for a very tough Big Ten opponent in Michigan next weekend. This will be another home and home series as the Broncos going to Ann Arbor on Friday and coming back home for the series finale on Saturday. The Friday game will start at 7:30 p.m. and the Saturday game will start at 7 p.m.