Broncos Open NCHC Play Hosting Colorado College
Western Michigan (1-2-1) vs. Colorado College (1-3-0)
All-Time series — CC leads, 2-0-0
Nov. 1-2, 2013 // Lawson Ice Arena (3,667)
7:05 p.m. // Kalamazoo, Mich. // Bronco Insider
• Both games will be broadcast live on the Bronco Radio Network: 96.5 FM (Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan);
BROADCAST | BRONCO INSIDER
• Both games will be broadcast live online via Bronco Insider subscription service.
• The Broncos come off a bye week after playing a pair of games at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush. WMU defeated Alaska-Anchorage 6-2 to open the tournament and then tied hosts Alaska-Fairbanks 3-3 he following night. Unfortunately the Broncos fell in a shootout and the Nanooks took the championship. Frank Slubowski, Colton Hargrove and Shane Berschbach were all named to the Brice Alaska Goal Rush All-Tournament Team.
AT A GLANCE: THE COLORADO COLLEGE TIGERS
• THE SERIES: Colorado College leads the all-time series 0-2-0. The lone two meets came on Dec. 20-21, 2002
• THE WMU CONNECTION: CC assistant coach Joe Bonnett played four seasons at Western Michigan from 1989-93. Bonnett appeared in 126 career games, scoring 13 goals and adding 11 assists for 24 points. He was voted the Ed Edwards Most Improved Player during the 1991-92 season. He was also an assistant captain under WMU associate head coach and then captain Pat Ferschweiler during the 1992-93 season.
• THE TEAM: Like the Broncos, the Tigers have a large freshmen class with seven joining the team for this season. All seven have seen action so far, with defenseman Jaccob Slavin already making an impact. Slavin, who was drafted by Carolina in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, already leads the team in points with three through four games on a goal and two assists. Five different Tigers have lit the lamp so far this year but no one has yet to tally twice. Senior Josh Thorimbert has been the only goalie to see action so far for CC, posting a .939 save percentage and a 2.21 goals against average.
WELCOME TO THE NATIONAL COLLEGIATE HOCKEY CONFERENCE
• This series with Colorado College marks the first NCHC series in program history for the Broncos. WMU wrapped up it’s moment in time with the CCHA after a 444-516-115 record in 40 seasons.
• WMU opened the season being shutout in back-to-back games by Notre Dame. It had been the first time since the Broncos had been shutout in consecutive games since January of 2010. The drought was stopped at 135:48 on a goal by Josh Pitt at 15:48 in the first period of WMU’s 6-2 win over Alaska-Anchorage.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
• NCHC HONORS: Frank Slubowski and Shane Berschbach received NCHC weekly honors for the first time in each of their careers. Slubowski was named NCHC Goalie of the Week for his performance in the Brice Alaska Goal Rush, while Berschbach was named NCHC Offensive Player of the Week after leading the tournament in scoring.
• ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Slubowski, Berschbach and Colton Hargrove were all named to the Brice Alaska Goal Rush All-Tournament team as voted on by the tournament’s media.
MASTER OF THE HOUSE
• Under head coach Andy Murray the Broncos have become adept at protecting their house. WMU is 18-5-5 in conference play under Murray and finished last season with a 10-1-3 conference mark in the friendly confines of Lawson Ice Arena.
THAT MAKES 22
• Former Bronco hockey player Kevin Connauton made his NHL debut on Oct. 24 for the Dallas Stars. Connauton finished the night +2 in Dallas’ 5-1 win over Calgary. He is now the 22nd former WMU icer to play a game in the NHL. Connauton played at WMU during the 2008-09 season scoring 19 points on seven goals and 11 assists. He was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team but signed with the Vancouver Canucks following his successful year. Connauton is also the third Bronco to make his debut in the past two years, joining Danny DeKeyser (Detroit Red Wings, 2012) and Matt Tennyson (San Jose Sharks, 2012).
EARLIER THAN LAST YEAR
• Last season forward Colton Hargrove rode a strong second-half performance to finish as the third leading scorer on the Broncos with nine goals. All nine came in the 2013 portion of the year after starting off his career scoreless in his first 12 games. It took Hargrove just four games this year before he lit the lamp twice in WMU’s 3-3 tie against Alaska.
THE RACE TO 100
• CHASE BALISY: Balisy just sits six points away from becoming the 52nd Bronco to compile 100 points in a career. WMU’s captain has 95 points on 36 goals and 59 assists. So far in his career he has averaged 30.67 points per season.
• SHANE BERSCHBACH: Berschbach needs 17 points to match the century mark, currently sitting at 83 on 26 goals and 57 assists. He has averaged 26.33 per season in his career.