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VIDEO: Western Michigan earns first CCHA title since 1986

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WMU claims their first CCHA title since 1986. Photo courtesy of Western Michigan University
Chase Balisy speaks with WKZO following the Broncos 3-2 win over Michigan in the CCHA Championship game on March 17th, 2012.
Ian Slater speaks with WKZO at Joe Louis Arena following the CCHA Championship win over Michigan on March 17th, 2012.
WMU claims their first CCHA title since 1986. Photo courtesy of Western Michigan University

DETROIT (WKZO) -- A title that was 26 years in the making, Western Michigan claimed the CCHA crown Saturday night over Michigan at Joe Louis Arena 3-2. The Broncos took a 3 goal lead into the final period and held off a ferocious effort by the Wolverines to hoist the Mason Cup for the first time since 1986.

Ian Slater recorded his fourth playoff goal at the 13:26 mark of the opening period to open the scoring for Western Michigan. The Broncos added a second goal in the middle frame on a Dane Walters back-hand, his 16th score of the season. Chase Balisy padded the Western Michigan lead in the final period on his 13th of the year at the 17:56 mark.

The Wolverines mounted a comeback in the final period, scoring a short-handed and a power play goal to pull within a single score, 3-2, with less than six minutes to go in the game.

The Bronco defense held strong behind the CCHA’s defensive defenseman of the year Dan DeKeyser. Frank Slubowski turned in a monumental performance, recording 27 saves and being named to the All-Tournament team as well as CCHA MVP. Greg Squires was also named to the CCHA All-Tournament team.

While acknowledging the accomplishment of winning their first conference title in 26 years, the Broncos hope there is still hockey yet to be played this year. The NCAA tournament selection process takes place on Sunday, and predictions have Western Michigan in the tournament with a conference title in hand. Stay with WKZO for all the latest on the Broncos future in the postseason.

 

 

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