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Mike Cichy celebrates after giving WMU a 4-2 lead.
Courtesy: Brett Beier

Broncos Win "Border Battle" Over Western Ontario

Courtesy: Adam Bodnar, assistant director of media relations
Release: 10/05/2013
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KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Will Kessel netted two goals and Frank Slubowski and Lukas Hafner combined for 20 saves as the Western Michigan hockey team won the “Border Battle” with Western Ontario, 5-2, in front of 3,463 fans at Lawson Ice Arena on Saturday night.

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.