Note: For WMU Hockey score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373
KALAMAZOO (WQLR) – Western Michigan’s defense of the CCHA title opened Friday night with a 4-3 loss to a surging Michigan squad at Lawson Ice Arena.
The Broncos fell behind early in the opening period behind a pair of goals by the Wolverines. The first came at the 8:43 mark when Phil DiGiuseppe rifled a shot past Frank Slubowski giving Michigan the 1-0 lead. Justin Selman tacked on another score nearly 10 minutes later finding the back of the net off of a feed from Mac Bennett to put his team up 2-0 after the first frame. Shots on goal were even at nine through the first 20 minutes.
Chase Balisy put the Broncos on the board at 3:40 in the middle period off of a feed from Dane Walters and Garrett Haar. Colton Hargrove tied the score at 2 when Ben Warda set him up to scorch a shot past Michigan goaltender Steve Racine. The teams would trade goals to end the period with Jacob Trouba scored the first of two goals at 7:13 to give Michigan the lead back at 3-2. Josh Pitt found the back of the net in traffic tallying his third goal of the season to tie the score at 3-3 after two periods. On five shots on goal in the period, the Broncos scored three times. Michigan held a 20-14 shots-on-goal advantage through 40 minutes of play.
The penalty kill was the downfall for the Broncos in the final frame. After holding Michigan scoreless on three attempts with the advantage, Jacob Trouba scored at 9:15 to put the Wolverines up for good. Michigan finished the game with the edge in shots-on-goal, 30-18. The Broncos were held scoreless on four power play chances on the night.
Trailing in the best of 3 series 1-0, the Broncos and Wolverines will battle Saturday night in Game 2. Faceoff is set for 7 pm, pregame on WKZO is 6:30.