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No. 6 Western Michigan Heads to Big Rapids

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 01/31/2013
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#6/6 Western Michigan (16-6-4, 12-4-2-1 CCHA) vs. Ferris State  (13-10-3, 11-8-1-0 CCHA)
All-Time series ­— WMU leads series
Feb. 1-2, 2013 // Ewigleben Ice Arena (2,493 seated)
7:05 p.m. // Big Rapids, Mich. // FSU Live Stream

The games will be broadcast live on the Bronco Radio Network: 96.5 FM (Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan) on Friday. Saturday the game will be broadcast on 590 AM.

Both Friday and Saturday's games can be purchased for live internet streaming through Ferris State.

The Broncos swept Michigan for the first time since 1986 after beating the Wolverines 3-2 and 5-1. Last Friday UM was spotted a two-goal lead but the Broncos responded with three unanswered, including Colton Hargrove’s game-winner in the second period.

In Saturday’s win Michigan once again took an early lead but WMU responded with five unanswered, including two by Hargrove, to put the game away.

Western Michigan leads the all-time series 74-51-11 after sweeping Ferris State earlier this season in Kalamazoo. The Broncos are 5-0-1 against the Bulldogs under head coach Andy Murray. Two of the five wins have come at Ewigleben Ice Arena by a combined score of 7-1.

Shane Berschbach leads all Broncos with 12 career points on five goals and seven assists in 11 games. Linemate Dane Walters has nine points in 14 games, while defensemen Dan DeKeyser and Dennis Brown each have eight in 11 games. Slubowski is 5-0-1 with a 0.99 goals against average and a .955 save percentage.

Ferris State (13-10-3, 11-8-1-0) has won six of their last eight games heading into this weekend. The Bulldogs had a four-game winning streak snapped last Saturday in a loss at Notre Dame, but not before they won the Friday contest. Heading into their last meeting with the Broncos, FSU had a five-game unbeaten streak before being swept in Kalamazoo.

Both the offense and defense has been hitting on all cylinders despite the five-goal hiccup against the Fighting Irish. In their six wins the Bulldogs have given up just seven goals, while scoring 22. On the season FSU is averaging just under three goals per game at 2.92. In CCHA play Ferris State is ranked third, averaging 2.70 goals through 20 games. They are led by a veteran group of scorers, with senior captain Kyle Bonis at the top with 13 goals and 20 points. Junior Garret Thompson is tied with Bonis for the team lead in points with nine goals and 11 assists. Sophomore defensemen Jason Binkley and Simon Denis are both big threats from the blue line. Binkley is the top-scoring defensemen on the team with 16 points on two goals and 14 assists, while Denis is the top goal-scorer from the blue line with four goals.

C.J. Motte, the reigning CCHA Goalie of the Month for January, has seen the bulk of the minutes in net. The sophomore has started in 24 games with a 12-9-3 record, a .929 save percentage and a 2.12 goals against. As a team they have allowed 2.38 goals per game, ranking them 14th in the nation. In CCHA their defense is a little stingier, allowing just 2.20.

Nationally their power play ranks ninth, converting on 22 percent of their chances. Seven of Bonis’ 13 goals have come on the power play, while nine other Bulldogs have also earned a tally with the man advantage. FSU’s penalty kill also ranks amongst the nation’s best, coming in at 15th overall and killing off 85.1 percent of power plays. FSU’s penalty kill is even better in conference play, ranking third overall and killing off 87.5 percent.

After Monday’s announcement of Colton Hargrove being named CCHA Rookie of the Week, the Broncos ended up taking three out of the four Rookie of the Week awards in the month of January. Hargrove was honored twice for his performance at Bemidji State and his play in WMU’s sweep of Michigan. Kenney Morrison was named Rookie of the Week after the Broncos tied and beat Lake Superior State.

WMU netted eight goals in their weekend sweep of Michigan. Of the goal scorers, only Kenney Morrison had more than two goals on the season coming into the weekend. Shane Berschbach (2), Colton Hargrove (2), Trevor Elias (2) Jordan Oesterle (1) and Josh Pitt (1) had a combined eight goals on the season before the Michigan series.

WMU goalie Frank Slubowski is currently in third place behind Boston College’s Johnny Gaudrea and North Dakota’s Corban Knight. The sophomore from Prince Rupert, B.C., has 5,418 votes just slightly ahead of Greg Miller from Cornell, who sits in fourth with 4.873. Slubowski is the lone goalie with at least 3,000 votes. Fans can vote for Slubowski at]


Kenney Morrison sits at 16 points on seven goals and nine assists with 10 regular season games left to play. Morrison could become the first freshman defenseman to break 20 points since Mike Jarmuth tallied 21 during the 2000-01 season. Kevin Connauton (18, 2008-09) and Dan DeKeyser (17, 2010-11) have come the closest as freshmen but neither were able to get to 20.