Broncos Host No. 16 Ferris State
#7/8 Western Michigan (8-3-1, 5-2-1-1 CCHA) vs. #16/NR Ferris State (7-4-3, 6-3-1-0 CCHA)
All-Time series — WMU leads 72-51-11
Dec. 7/8, 2012 // Lawson Ice Arena (3,667)
7:05 p.m. // Kalamazoo, Mich. // Bronco Insider
RADIO BROADCAST | LISTEN LIVE | LIVE STATS
The game will be broadcast live on the Bronco Radio Network: 96.5 FM (Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan) on Friday only. Saturday's broadcast wil be on 590 AM. Robin Hook will have the call on Friday and Saturday.
ONLINE BROADCAST | BRONCO INSIDER
Both Friday and Saturday's game will be broadcast via Bronco Insider web stream. A Bronco Insider subscription or weekend pass is required.
WMU earned its first conference sweep of the season in two close games against Northern Michigan. On Friday the Broncos rebounded from a 2-0 deficit with two goals from Chase Balisy and goals from Dane Walters and Kenney Morrison in the 4-2 win.
On Saturday a defensive battle ensued with WMU coming out on top with a 1-0 victory. WMU goalie Frank Slubowski made 23 saves to earn his second shutout of the season and Trevor Elias netted the team’s lone goal early in the second period.
Western Michigan leads the all-time series 72-51-11 with a 42-20-5 edge at Lawson Ice Arena. The Broncos are 5-0-1 in their last six games dating back to March 12, 2011. They are also 5-2-4 in their last 11.
Shane Berschbach leads all Broncos with 10 points in nine career games on five goals and five assists against the Bulldogs. Dane Walters, Dennis Brown and Dan DeKeyser are just behind him with six points each. Frank Slubowski started every game against FSU last season and boasts a 0.74 goals against average, a .967 save percentage and a 3-0-1 record.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Ferris State (7-4-3, 6-3-1-0 CCHA) is currently riding a five game unbeaten streak win which they are 4-0-1. During the streak FSU’s high-powered offense is averaging 3.40 goals per game. On the season the offense has averaged 3.14 goals per game, good for 15th in the nation.
Although the Bulldogs did lose some key pieces for their NCAA Championship runner up team from last season, Ferris State has shown the ability to reload time and time again under Bob Daniels, who enters his 21st season at the helm this year. Kyle Bonis, who finished second on the team in goal scoring last season with 19, has picked up where he left off with eight goals and 13 points this season. Junior Cory Kane and senior Travis Ouellette are tied for second on the team with 10 points each, while Ouellette is tied with defenseman Jason Binkley for the team lead with seven assists.
Despite losing senior Taylor Nelson between the pipes, sophomore C.J. Motte has ensured that the Bulldog defense hasn’t skipped a beat. Motte has started all 14 games this season for FSU with a 7-4-3 record, a .933 save percentage and a 2.09 goals against average. However Motte is 0-2-0 in his career against Western Michigan.
On special teams the Bulldogs boast the sixth best power play in the nation, tallying 13 goals on 52 chances (25 percent). Bonis has done most of his damage with the man advantage, tallying four of his eight goals on the power play. Eric Alexander is FSU’s only other player to have more than one power play goal on the season. Their penalty kill ranks 17th in the nation, killing of 86.8 percent of the power plays it gives up. Ferris State is also the nation’s 15th most penalized team averaging 14.3 penalty minutes per game.
TEDDY BEAR TOSS
Saturday is WMU’s annual Teddy Bear Toss night. Fans are asked to bring new or gently used teddy bears or stuffed animals to toss onto the ice during the first intermission. All the stuffed animals will be delivered to Bronson’s Children Hospital by members of the WMU Hockey team.
HOME IS WHERE THE SHOTS AREN’T, FOR OPPONENTS THAT IS
In seven regular season home games this year the Bronco defense have allowed opponents just 17.7 shots on goal per game. WMU’s smothering defense and puck possession style offense has limited opponents to five or fewer shots in 10 of the 21 regulation periods played at Lawson Ice Arena. The lack of opportunities for opponents have resulted in just 1.4 goals per game.
HOME IS WHERE THE SHOTS ARE, FOR WMU THAT IS
While the Broncos have done an excellent job of limiting chances for opponents, they have been creating them for themselves in droves. Though seven regular season home games the Brown & Gold are averaging 38 shots on goal per game. WMU has reached or exceeded 38 shots on goal in five of the seven games at Lawson Ice Arena.