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Western Michigan Downs Minnesota Duluth 4-3 to Advance to NCHC Tourney

Despite being outshot 37-11, the Broncos down the Bulldogs to earn the weekend sweep and a ticket to the NCHC's Frozen Faceoff.

Western Michigan Sweep Minnesota Duluth
Western Michigan Sweep Minnesota Duluth
Matt Christians

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.

Scoring Summary

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

Goaltending Summary

Frank Slubowski (WMU): 10-13-11 = 34 (3 GA) - W

Aaron Crandall (UMD): 0-4-3 = 7 (4 GA) - L

Game Notes

  • 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.