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<< Sports >>

CCHA College Hockey News

Thursday, 24 March, 2011 0:45 AM

WMU surpasses Michigan, 5 - 2 in CCHA Semifinal Game 2

Western Michigan University advances to CCHA Championship Game on Saturday

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Michigan Goalie Shawn Hunwick makes a save to stop the play in CCHA Semifinal Game 2.

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

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DETROIT -- With fourth-ranked Michigan team the favorite against #12 Western Michigan, going by rankings alone, the second semifinal of the CCHA Championship at Joe Louis Arena turned into a lopsided affair Friday night like the game before it.

The surprise was that Coach Jeff Blashill and his 2011 Western Michigan squad were on the positive end of a 5-2 victory, scoring four of the five in the second period. The win vaults them into the Championship Final against Miami, while Michigan aims to keep tournament hopes alive as much Notre Dame does, whom the Wolverines face in a third place game Saturday afternoon.

Michigan Forward Luke Glendening was blunt when he cautioned, “Tomorrow’s [going to] be our season.”

The deciding factor in the Broncos’ win turned out to be the man advantage, scoring their first three goals while on the powerplay. Each of the five Western goals was credited to different player, who were center Mike Leone, right wings Dane Walters and Kyle O’Kane, left wing Derek Roehl, and defenseman Matt Tennyson.

Out of these five, O’Kane, Roehl, Walters, and Leone were also be credited with a single assist each, leaving them tied with left wing teammate Shane Berschbach (who had two assists) for the most points in that game.

Such bounces influenced a sense of frustration among the Michigan bench as the hits and slashes became more frequent, and the divided crowd grew energetic (even leading to an exchange of “We are louder!” and “We are smarter!”).

That frustration became blatant when, during the second period, Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick shoved the net into the backboards in protest of a Western player colliding with him that went uncalled.

Wolverines Captain Carl Hagelin called it a emotional display of hoping to get back on track that his teammates were probably sapped of. “We can’t take stupid penalties. Maybe we weren’t desperate enough,” he said. “[Hunwick] just wanted to win the third period.”

Meanwhile, Broncos Goalie Jerry Kuhn was impressive in stopping 29 of 31 shots, a number of them pivotal, giving him his twelfth win on the season. During the postgame comments, he referred to it as a win that left “Three years of hardship thrown out the window.”

Coach Blashill said the key to playing well was by playing in their normal mindset during games. “You don’t want to come into these situations hoping to win. You want to come prepared.”

Still managing to get Michigan on the scoreboard were defenseman Lee Moffie and left wing Lindsay Sparks, whose respective goals came during the middle of the second period and early part of the third.

Related Story: Miami (OH) beats Notre Dame, 6 - 2 in CCHA Semifinal Game 1

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Dane Walters has the puck for Western Michigan.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Face-off during the second CCHA semifinal game.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

U-M Head Coach Red Berenson addressed the media after the game.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

WMU forwards Mike Leone and Derek Roehl answer questions from the press.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

WMU Head Coach Jeff Blashill speaks to the media.

 

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