Broncos Win "Border Battle" Over Western Ontario
Kessel, Kyle Novak, Shane Berschbach and Mike Cichy all lit the lamp in the victory. Berschbach and Cichy also had assists for two-point nights.
Nolan LaPorte, Taylor Fleming and Jordan Oesterle each finished the night with two assists.
The Broncos took a 1-0 lead at 11:05 in the first period. A penalty was being called on Western Ontario and the Broncos sprung the extra attacker. WMU ended up a with a three-on-one in the UWO zone and Berschbach fed the puck to Novak at the top of the right circle. Novak skated in alone and back-handed it into the top left corner of the net.
Minutes later Kessel scored on a breakaway during another delayed penalty. LaPorte threaded the needle for the home-run pass and sprung Kessel in for the goal.
The Broncos took a 2-0 lead into the second period and quickly added to it just 1:55 in. Berschbach was left all alone on the right side of the net during a five-on-three power play and buried it to push the lead to 3-0.
The Mustangs responded with a power play goal of their own at 4:46 in the second period. Matt Clarke’s shot was initially saved by Slubowski but the rebound bounced off a Bronco defender and into the net to cut the lead to 3-1.
The lead shrunk again for Western Michigan when Kyle De Coste beat Hafner on his stick side after turnover led to an odd-man rush for UWO at 8:14 in the third period.
Western Michigan responded just under three minutes later when Cichy deflected a shot from Fleming into the net to push the lead to 4-2. Kessel added an empty-net goal with 33 seconds remaining.
The Broncos outshot the Mustangs 35-22 on the night and had a 28-10 advantage going into the third period.
WMU heads to South Bend, Ind., to open up the 2013-14 regular season at Notre Dame on Friday night at 8 p.m. The Broncos then host the Fighting Irish on Saturday 7 p.m. for their regular-season home opener.