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SOUTH BEND (WKZO) -- The Western Michigan Broncos took the first of the two game matchup tonight over Notre Dame. The Broncos and Irish seemed to be at a standstill early but WMU found their groove in the second. The Irish did counter push in the 3rd period but came up short in the 3-2 Broncos win.
From the drop of the puck in the first period it was clear Western was up against a worthy opponent. Early on the Broncos had trouble gaining control of the puck and their dump and chase mentality was countered by the Irish poise and patience. WMU's defense was the main story of the first as they blocked several shots while shorthanded. Goaltender Frank Slubowski also made several great saves to keep WMU in the game, stopping all 10 shots faced in the period.
As the 2nd period began the Broncos came out with a high level of intensity. Their forecheck lead to a Dane Walters redirection goal following a turnover just 1:28 into the period. WMU kept up the forecheck which lead to a Broncos powerplay. Just seconds into the man advantage Walters netted his second goal of the game. Notre Dame finally countered the WMU agression with some big hits but were once again unable to find the back of the net due to the stellar performance of goalie Frank Slubowski.
In the 3rd the Irish seemed to come alive. Just 58 seconds into the period Notre Dame's Anders Lee scored bringing the Irish within one. The goal seemed to be a huge momentum change as the Irish were all over the ice. The momentum was shifted after a costly Irish penalty which led to another Broncos goal, this time by Balisy. Once again the Irish wouldn't go away and moments later scored a powerplay goal to pull within one. Notre Dame had scoring chance after scoring chance to finish the game but were unable to bury a rebound leading to the 3-2 Broncos victory.
Western and Notre Dame will play again Sunday at 5:05.
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