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Courtesy: WMU

Broncos Welcome Wolverines to Lawson This Weekend

Courtesy: WMU
Release: 01/23/2013
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#9/9 Western Michigan (14-6-4, 10-4-2-1 CCHA) vs. Michigan  (8-14-2, 5-11-2-2 CCHA)
All-Time series ­— UM leads 69-30-10

Jan. 24-25, 2013 // Lawson Ice Arena (3,667 seated)
7:05 p.m. // Kalamazoo, Mich. // Comcast/Bronco Insider
7:35 p.m. // Kalamazoo, Mich. // Fox Sports Detroit

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.

Friday's game will be broadcast on Comcast and simulcasted on Bronco Insider online. Saturday's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit, with no internet stream. Check with your local cable/satellite provider for channels and availability.

The Broncos split their final CCHA series with Bowling Green. WMU dropped Friday’s game at BGSU, 3-2, but rebounded on Saturday with a 2-1 win.

The Broncos took a 1-0 lead in Friday’s game on an early goal by Chase Balisy before the Falcons struck with two goals to take the lead. WMU tied it on a Kenney Morrison power play goal but Dajon Mingo punched in a rebound in the third period for the game-winner.

On Saturday Bowling Green struck first before Luke Witkowski tied the game in the second period on a power play tally. Mike Leone netted the game-winner in the third, while Frank Slubowski needed to make just 18 saves in the win.

The two teams split back in December with the Broncos winning the Friday tilt 4-1 and the Wolverines blanking WMU 2-0 on Saturday night. Michigan holds a comfortable lead in the all-time series at 69-30-10 and a 25-13-8 edge at Lawson Ice Arena. The Broncos have not defeated the Wolverines in Kalamazoo since Jan. 11, 2003, when they beat Michigan 4-3. Since then WMU is 0-8-0.

Dane Walters leads all Broncos with 11 points in 10 career games on seven goals and four assists against Michigan. Chase Balisy has eight points in eight games, while Mike Leone has seven points in six career games. Frank Slubowski is 2-2-0 in four starts with a 2.27 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.

Michigan is coming off a split at Lake Superior State, earning their first conference road win of the season on Friday in a 6-4 win over the Lakers. The win also ended a three-game losing streak, with all three coming at home.

The Wolverines, (8-14-2, 5-11-2-2, T-9th CCHA) still possess a potent offense, as evident in their eight goals scored last weekend, and it ranks 25th in the nation at 2.88 goals per game. In conference play UM ranks fifth at 2.56 per game. A.J. Treais is the lone double-digit goal scorer for Michigan, leading the team with 11. Seven other Wolverines have at least four goals each on the season with freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba in second on the team with eight goals. Five of Trouba’s goals have come on the power play, and six of the eight have come in conference play. Freshman Cristoval Nieves leads the team in assists with 11 and has 15 points on the season, while last year’s CCHA Rookie of the Year has 16 points on six goals and 10 assists.

Defensively is where the Wolverines have had their struggles. Nationally  they rank 54th out of 59 teams, giving up 3.50 goals per game. The goals per game average stays the same in conference play with Michigan ranking last in the CCHA. Three different Wolverines have seen time between the pipes with freshman Steve Racine seeing the most action with 12 starts. Junior Adam Janecyk has recently been the go-to-guy in net, starting in the last three games for Michigan. Janecyk, who was in net for Michigan’s 2-0 win over WMU back in December, has a 3-5-0 record with a 3.16 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.

Despite Michigan’s solid offensive numbers, the power play has struggled at times this season. Nationally they rank 49th and have converted 13 percent of their chances (13/100). The penalty kill has been a little better, ranking 35th while killing off 82.1 percent of their opponents chances.

After losing Friday’s game at Bowling Green the Broncos responded with a 2-1 win. The Broncos have not lost two consecutive games all season long and are 5-0-1 following losses this season. The lone tie came against Michigan State at the Great Lakes Invitational. The Broncos lost to Michigan, 2-0, in their previous game before tying MSU 1-1.

WMU held the Falcons to 19 shots on goal in Saturday’s win. The Broncos are now 8-0-0 when holding their opponents to 19 shots or less on the season. Five of the eight games have been in conference play with WMU holding Bowling Green to 12 and 19, Northern Michigan to 12, Ferris State to 15 and Lake Superior State to 19.

WMU is 7-0-1 in their eight CCHA games at home this season. The Broncos have shut down opponents in nearly every statistical category. WMU is allowing just 1.1 goals per game and 18.9 shots per game. The penalty kill has been nearly perfect, killing off 96.9 percent of chances, allowing just one power play goal in 32 opportunities. Sophomore goalie Frank Slubowski has a 1.11 goals against average, a .940 save percentage and a 7-0-1 record in the home CCHA contests.

Western Michigan has scored 55 goals, tallied 101 assists and 156 total points through 24 games this season. The junior class has produced the most points with 67 coming off of 16 goals and 51 assists. Chase Balisy leads the junior class with 18 points and both Shane Berschbach and Dennis Brown each have 12 assists to spark the juniors. The senior class has tallied the most goals with 23 and the second-most points with 58. Dane Walters leads the team and his class with 11 goals and 19 points, while Mike Leone has netted five goals to help the seniors.

Freshman defenseman Kenney Morrison accounts for 65 percent of the production of the freshmen class. Morrison has accumulated 15 points on six goals and nine assists. The class as a whole has produced 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points. The sophomore class has tallied 18 points on six goals and 12 assists.


Both games against Michigan are being televised this weekend with Friday’s on Comcast and Saturday’s on Fox Sports Detroit. The Broncos have played in three televised games this season, going 1-1-1 in them. WMU’s win came at Michigan in a game broadcast by CBS Sports Network. The loss and the tie both came during Fox Sports Detroit’s coverage of the Great Lakes Invitational. Western Michigan battled Michigan State to a 1-1 tie and then fell to Michigan Tech, 4-0.