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Courtesy: Dave Harwig

Big Second Period Leads to 5-3 Win Over Minnesota-Duluth

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 12/14/2013
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DULUTH, Minn. -- Western Michigan rode a big second period to a 5-3 win at Minnesota-Duluth in front of 6,330 fans at AMSOIL Arena on Friday night to earn the team’s first conference road win of the season.

Colton Hargrove netted two goals and the Broncos also got tallies from David Killip, Chase Balisy and Justin Kovacs. Kenney Morrison finished a career-best +5 on the night and Lukas Hafner made 20 saves in the win. The Bronco defense clamped down after being outshot 11-6 in the first period, allowed just 12 shots during the final two period.

Minnesota-Duluth took an early 1-0 lead on a power play goal by Justin Crandle at 14:35 in the first period. Crandall punched in his own rebound after an acrobatic save by Hafner.

The lead didn’t last long as Killip netted his first of the year just 1:16 later. Killip fought off his man in the corner and rushed to the slot to roof a rebound on a shot by Mike Cichy for his first goal of the season. Cichy and Aaron Hadley picked up their first assists of the season on the goal and Hadley tallied his first collegiate point.

Sammy Spurrell took the lead back for UMD at 17:48 in the first period on an odd-man rush after a pass from Charlie Sampair deflected off his leg and into the net.

Balisy tied the game 2-2 at 2:29 in the second period. Dennis Brown kept the puck from going out of the zone and found Kovacs along the wall. The junior forward took the puck into the right circle and faked out UMD goalie Matt McNeely and found Balisy to the right of the goal with an open net. The goal was Balisy’s second of the season and Kovacs tallied his 10th assist.

Kyle Oesterberg gave the Bulldogs the lead for the third time after he netted a goal on a breakaway just 1:30 after Balisy had tied the game. Justin Crandall sprung him at the blue line and he beat Hafner high stick-side for his fifth goal of the season.

Just 1:01 later Balisy returned the favor and set up Kovacs on a centering pass through traffic for his seventh goal of the season to square the game at 3-3. Shane Berschbach also tallied his team-leading 13th assist on the game-tying goal for his 100th career point. Berschbach became the 53rd Bronco to reach 100 after Balisy also reached the century mark earlier in the season.

Not even two minutes after Kovacs’ goal Hargrove gave WMU its only lead of the game. The Boston Bruins’ draft pick fired a shot from the deep slot and McNeely made the initial save. Hargrove then skated past a defender and punched in his own rebound for his fourth goal of the season. Freshman defenseman Chris Dienes also notched his second assist of the season on the game-winning goal.

Hargrove put the game out of reach at 13:29 in the third period. Morrison blocked a shot from a UMD defenseman and then Hargrove raced down the ice on a breakaway and put it past backup goalie Aaron Crandall for his fifth of the season.

All five WMU goals came even strength, with the team going 0-for-5 on the power play. WMU’s penalty kill held strong on 4-of-5 Bulldog power plays on the night.

The two teams battle again on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.