No. 13 Western Michigan sweeps No. 4 Denver
Western Michigan bounced back from being swept with a sweep of its own.
The No. 13 Broncos took two from No. 4 Denver over the weekend, winning 5-1 on Saturday night after taking a 3-1 decision on Friday night, at Kalamazoo’s Lawson Ice Arena.
“The effort that our players put in over the weekend was tremendous,” Western Michigan coach Andy Murray said. “We were hard on the puck. We skated, we battled. Trevor Gorsuch was great for us. Our special teams: Our power play, our penalty kill, was effective.”
WMU lost twice at No. 1 St. Cloud State the weekend before.
Those two losses are the only blemishes on the Broncos’ record in their last 14 games as they improved to 15-8-1 overall and 8-5-1 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
Senior goaltender Trevor Gorsuch made 36 saves on Saturday night before an announced crowd of 3,904. His shutout bid was thwarted 4:24 into the third period by Emilio Pettersen’s power-play goal.
Five different players scored for WMU, which jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead. Supplying the offense were Josh Passolt (power play), Paul Washe, Drew Worrad (power play), Lee Cam and Dawson DiPietro.
Red Wings prospect Filip Larsson gave up all five goals on 19 shots for Denver and was pulled halfway through the second period. Detroit selected Larsson in the sixth round (167th pick overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Ethen Frank scored twice on Friday night and Western Michigan killed off more than nine minutes in penalties in the third period.
“I thought our team had great energy tonight right from the first minute to the end of the hockey game," Broncos coach Andy Murray told www.mlive.com after Friday night’s game. "Unfortunately, we're killing nine-and-a-half minutes of penalties in the third period, so you're back on your heels, you're playing defense, and you're allowing their offense to get fed and offensive opportunities. But I liked our energy; I liked our physicality.”
Hugh McGing added a shorthanded goal and had an assist while Gorsuch made 21 saves.
“They played with a lot more desperation than we did,” Denver coach David Carle said on USCHO.com. “They had us on our heels for 40 minutes tonight.”
Larsson stopped 22 of 24 shots on Friday. Frank’s second goal was an empty netter.
Western Michigan travels to Nebraska-Omaha for a pair of games next weekend.