Note: For WMU Hockey score updates, text BRONCOS to 80373
EAST LANSING, MI (WKZO) – Western Michigan used a three-goal second period to dominate Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena Friday night in the regular season finale opener, 5-2.
The Spartans struck first on a power play chance at the 9:19 mark when Brett Darnell stuffed a rebound past Frank Slubowski for his 10th goal of the year.
Ben Warda, a former Spartan, tallied the equalizer eight minutes later when he ripped a forehand under the right-corner cross bar to tie the score at 1-1. The teams finished with 10 shots on goal apiece.
The Broncos’ offense exploded in the middle frame, firing 15 shots on net, and making good on three of those chances. The first came at the 14:11 mark of the period when Shane Berschbach picked up the puck off of a Frank Slubowski save and took it the distance for his fourth goal of the season giving Western Michigan the 2-1 lead. Just 44 seconds later, Nolan LaPorte lit the lamp on a feed from Dan DeKeyser for his third goal of the year extending the Broncos’ lead to 3-1. Chase Balisy added a power play goal on a 5-on-3 advantage in the period for his 10th of the season. Colton Hargrove delivered the dagger in the final frame to round out the scoring for Western Michigan.
Michigan State scored mid-way through the third on their second power play goal on the night, and finished 2-fo-5 with the man advantage compared to 1-for-4 for the Broncos. Western Michigan finished with a 36-22 shots-on-goal advantage in the game.
With the win and the Miami shutout loss to Ohio State, the CCHA Regular Season Championship comes down to Saturday night with the Broncos trailing Miami by two points. Western Michigan (19-8-8, 15-6-6 CCHA) and MSU will battle at 7:05 on 96.5 FM WKZO.