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Western Michigan Stays Hot; Sweeps Miami, OH

After coming out of the Great Lakes Invitational as the top team in Michigan, Andy Murray keeps his team pushing forward, rolling over the Miami Redhawks in two narrow victories.

Chase Balisy nets 5 points, including two shorthanded goals | Photo Credit
Chase Balisy nets 5 points, including two shorthanded goals | Photo Credit
Matt Christians

Shorthanded goals are real treat in the sport of hockey; it's a complete change of momentum.

From one team having complete control while a man ahead, and then to the sudden breakaway down the ice and scoring leads to a complete change in momentum and is truly a treat for hockey fans to see.

This weekend at the Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Michigan, there were three shorthanded goals, helping the Western Michigan Broncos sweep the Miami Redhawks 5-4 on Friday and 3-2 the following night.

Nashville Predators prospect and WMU captain Chase Balisy tallied two shorties throughout the weekend; the first which came on Friday in the third period, allowing WMU to tie the game up with Miami, and again just 2 minutes into Saturday night's game.  The other shorthanded tally, and most exciting, belonged to Nolan LaPorte.

With under a minute remaining in Friday's game, it looked as though fans were going to see some overtime hockey, but LaPorte, with just 8 seconds left in the game, put his SHG by Miami netminder Ryan McKay for the dramatic win.

Saturday's game didn't have quite the crazy finish that Friday's game brought, but it was still one for the Bronco's to be proud of...

The Bronco's held a comfortable 3-1 lead until the last minute of the game when Washington Capitals prospect Riley Barber was able to capitalize while the Redhawks had an extra attacker.  In the midst of chaos during the remaining 60 seconds, Slubowksi was able to hold strong and give Western Michigan their first conference sweep since November 1st and 2nd against Colorado College.

Miami received multiple points from Barber (4), San Jose Sharks prospect Sean Kuraly (3), Matt Joyaux (2), and Justin Greenberg (2), while Western Michigan's Balisy (5), LaPorte (4), Kenney Morrison (3), Montreal Canadiens prospect Mike Cichy (2), Taylor Fleming (2), and Jordan Oesterle (2) all tallied multiple points throughout the weekend.

Weekend Scoring Summary


1st Period - WMU (6:55) Colton Hargrove from Taylor Fleming and Chase Balisy

1st Period - MU (7:36) Matt Joyaux from Bryon Paulazzo and Justin Greenberg

2nd Period - MU (2:42) PPG Riley Barber from Justin Greenberg and Matthew Caito

2nd Period - WMU (9:38) Mike Cichy from Will Kessel and Jordan Oesterle

2nd Period - MU (12:35) Sean Kuraly from Ben Paulides and Anthony Louis

3rd Period - WMU (3:06) SOG Chase Balisy from Nolan LaPorte

3rd Period - WMU (6:03) PPG Josh Pitt from Dennis Brown and Jordan Oesterle

3rd Period - MU (13:42) Sean Kuraly from Alex Wideman and Riley Barber

3rd Period - WMU (19:52) GWG SHG Nolan LaPorte from Chase Balisy and Kenney Morrison


1st Period - WMU (2:01) SHG Chase Balisy from Nolan LaPorte

2nd Period - MU (8:48) Riley Barber from Sean Kuraly and Chris Joyaux

2nd Period - WMU (17:52) 4x4 Taylor Fleming from Mike Cichy and Kenney Morrison

3rd Period - WMU (4:46) GWG Nolan LaPorte

3rd Period - MU (19:00) EAG Riley Barber from Cody Murphy and Matt Joyaux

Weekend Goaltending Summary


Frank Slubowski (WMU): 0-5-8 = 13 (1 GA) - W

Lukas Hafner (WMU): 4-5-0 = 9 (3 GA) - N

Ryan McKay (MU): 18-12-10 = 40 (5 GA) - L


Frank Slubowski (WMU): 9-9-18 = 36 (2 GA) - W

Jay Williams (MU): 7-9-4 = 20 (3 GA) - L

Game Notes

The Broncos outshot the Redhawks 45-26 on Friday night, but Miami came back to earn the 38-23 upper-hand in Saturday's rematch game.  The final tally ended at 68-54 in favor of the Broncos.

On Friday, both Miami and Western Michigan tallied a powerplay goal, but failed to score on the man-advantage on Saturday.

The Redhawks finished the weekend 1/13 on the powerplay, while the Broncos faired a bit better at 1/8.

Miami's Ryan McKay tied a season high with 40 saves on 45 shots during Friday's outing.

Western Michigan's Frank Slubowski saved 49 of the 52 shots he faced (.942).



Matt Christians covers Minnesota Duluth and the NCHC for SB Nation and College Hockey News. You can also give him a follow here ->