Western Michigan's Frank Slubowski was tested throughout the game, but stood strong between the posts in the 4-3 triumph over Minnesota Duluth at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minnesota.
The Bulldogs' Tony Cameranesi and Adam Krause gave UMD a 2-0 lead late in the 1st period, but Bronco Shane Berschbach would tally a goal of his own on the man-advantage before the first period would expire.
Chase Balisy, who finished the game with an impressive 4 points, tied the game 2-2 early in the second period for the Broncos, scoring on WMU's second shot of the game. Minutes later, Bulldog captain Joe Basaraba would find a hole in Slubowski's net to regain the lead before heading into the locker room for the final period of play, 3-2.
The Bulldogs were 13-0-3 entering the 3rd period with a lead, while the Broncos were just 2-12-2, but that didn't seem to phase Western Michigan. Goals by Justin Kovacs and Kenney Morrison allowed Western Michigan to sweep the quarterfinal series away from home, picking up a ticket to the Target Center for the NCHC Frozen Faceoff as well.
1st Period - UMD (1:21) Tony Cameranesi from Justin Crandall
1st Period - UMD (14:47) Adam Krause from Dan Molenaar and Dominic Toninato
1st Period - WMU (15:35) PP Shane Berschbach from Chase Balisy and Dennis Brown
2nd Period - WMU (5:25) Chase Balisy from Sheldon Dries and Mike Cichy
2nd Period - UMD (12:00) Joe Basaraba from Caleb Herbert and Austin Farley
3rd Period - WMU (6:22) Justin Kovacs from Shane Berschbach and Chase Balisy
3rd Period - WMU (7:49) PP Kenney Morrison from Dennis Brown and Chase Balisy
Frank Slubowski (WMU): 10-13-11 = 34 (3 GA) - W
Aaron Crandall (UMD): 0-4-3 = 7 (4 GA) - L
- The Bulldogs finish the year 16-16-4 (11-11-2 NCHC)
- The Broncos are now 19-14-5 (11-11-2 NCHC)
- Chase Balisy tallied four points on the night (1 goal 3 assists)
- Minnesota Duluth outshot Western Michigan 70-33 throughout the quarterfinals, but lost both nights by one goal.
- Western Michigan's powerplay bested that of Minnesota Duluth's... WMU went 3/7 throughout the weekend compared to UMD's 0/7.
- Minnesota Duluth will lose goaltender Aaron Crandall, defenseman Tim Smith, and forwards Joe Basaraba and Max Tardy to graduation this spring.