Hockey Notebook

The Western Michigan University hockey team has released its official schedule for the upcoming 2003-04 season. The Broncos will play 36 regular season games (18 home, 18 away) and 28 games within the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Non-conference opponents include Colgate, Cornell, Mercyhurst and Niagara. WMU opens Oct. 10 against defending CCHA champion Ferris State at Lawson Arena.

This year's schedule also includes a "Foreign Tour" for Jim Culhane's club, which will travel to Ontario, Canada over the holiday break to face Brock, Western Ontario and Sir Wilfrid Lauier in an exhibition series. See enclosed schedule.

BRONCOS ADD RECRUITS

The Broncos have signed 17-year-old forward Mike Lesperance (Newmarket, Ont.) and 18-year-old goaltender Daniel Bellissimo (Toronto, Ont.) to National Letters of Intent. Both players will return to their junior teams this winter, deferring their admission and scholarship offers until the 2004-05 season.

Lesperance (pronounced Less-PER-onse) plans to skate one more season with the Newmarket Hurricanes of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League (OPJHL) where he spent his rookie campaign in 2002-03. In 48 games with Newmarket, Lesperance (6-1, 185) compiled 15 goals and 21 assists for 36 points.

"We are excited to have Mike come to WMU for the fall of 2004," said Culhane. "He is really growing physically and another year of junior hockey will help his game develop. He has the size, skating ability and puck skills to complement our program."

Bellissimo will return to the Georgetown Raiders of the OPJHL, where he spent the majority of 2002-03 after starting the year with the Vaughn Vipers. At Georgetown, Bellissimo compiled a 18-4-1 record, 2.80 goals-against average and .908 saves percentage in 24 appearances.

"Daniel is a big, butterfly goalie with great athleticism," said Culhane of the 6-1, 165-pound Bellissimo. "He's driven on the ice and like his brother, has a real passion for the game." Daniel's older brother, Vince, finished as WMU's co-scoring leader last year (19-17-36), earning a spot on the Central Collegiate Hockey Association All-Rookie Team.

Culhane and his staff secured five players during the early signing period in November: defenseman Kyle Bushee (Otsego, Mich.), center Luke Dubbin (Midland, Ont.), right wing Kevin Labatte (Ogden, Utah), defenseman Ryan Mahrle (Troy, Mich.) and center Paul Szczechura (Brantford, Ont.). Those players will enroll at WMU next fall.

KENNY JOINS STAFF

Former WMU defenseman Brendan Kenny has begun duties as WMU's new assistant coach. Kenny replaces Scott Garrow, who left in June to accept a similar position at Cornell.

Kenny played in 131 career games at WMU from 1993-97, helping the Brown & Gold to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. He also served two seasons as a volunteer coach at WMU from 2000-02. The Edmonton, Alberta native has earned bachelor's (1997) and master's (2002) degrees from WMU.

WMU TO HOST NCAA REGIONALS

In case you missed it, Western Michigan University has been named host institution for the 2005 and 2007 NCAA Midwest Hockey Regionals, to be held at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. WMU and Van Andel partnered to host West Regionals in 1997 and 2001 ? setting attendance records in the process ? and have also been awarded the 2003 Midwest Regional for next March.

ALUMNI REPORT: REYNAERT SELECTED TO TEAM USA

Jeff Reynaert, a four-year goaltender at WMU (1998-02), will compete for Team USA at the 2003 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) In-Line Hockey World Championships. The World Championships are scheduled for July 12-19 in Nuremberg and Amberg, Germany.

Reynaert will be making his second appearance for Team USA after being named Best Goaltender at last year's event.

A native of Sterling Heights, Mich., Reynaert was named to the United Hockey League's All-Rookie Team this past season, splitting time between the Kalamazoo Wings and Quad City Mallards.

2003-04 WMU HOCKEY SCHEDULE

Day/Date Opponent Arena Location Time

Sat., Oct. 4 WESTERN ONTARIO (exhibition) Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 10 FERRIS STATE # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 11 @ Ferris State # Ewigleben Arena Big Rapids, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 17 NEBRASKA-OMAHA # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 18 NEBRASKA-OMAHA # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 24 @ Michigan State # Munn Arena East Lansing, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 25 MICHIGAN STATE # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 31 @ Cornell Lynah Rink Ithaca, N.Y. 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 1 @ Cornell Lynah Rink Ithaca, N.Y. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 7 @ Alaska Fairbanks # Carlson Center Fairbanks, Alaska 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 8 @ Alaska Fairbanks # Carlson Center Fairbanks, Alaska 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 14 @ Niagara Dwyer Arena Niagara University, N.Y. 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 15 @ Niagara Dwyer Arena Niagara University, N.Y. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 21 MERCYHURST Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 22 MERCYHURST Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 25 BOWLING GREEN # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 28 COLGATE Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 29 COLGATE Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 5 NOTRE DAME # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 6 NOTRE DAME # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 17 @ Brock (exhibition) Thorold Arena St. Catherines, Ont. 7:05 p.m.
Thur., Dec. 18 @ Western Ontario (exhibition) Thompson Arena London, Ont. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 19 @ Wilfrid Laurier (exhibition) Clarica Arena Kitchener, Ont. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 2 @ Lake Superior State # Taffy Abel Arena Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 3 @ Lake Superior State # Taffy Abel Arena Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 9 ALASKA FAIRBANKS # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 10 ALASKA FAIRBANKS # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 16 @ Nebraska-Omaha # Omaha Arena Omaha, Neb. 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 17 @ Nebraska-Omaha # Omaha Arena Omaha, Neb. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 23 MICHIGAN # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 24 @ Michigan # Yost Arena Ann Arbor, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 30 @ Ferris State # Ewigleben Arena Big Rapids, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 31 FERRIS STATE # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 6 @ Northern Michigan # Berry Events Center Marquette, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 7 @ Northern Michigan # Berry Events Center Marquette, Mich. 7:05 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 20 OHIO STATE # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 21 OHIO STATE # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 27 @ Miami # Goggin Arena Oxford, Ohio 7:35 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 28 @ Miami # Goggin Arena Oxford, Ohio 7:05 p.m.
Thur., March 4 BOWLING GREEN # Lawson Arena Kalamazoo, Mich. 7:35 p.m.
F-S, March 12-14 CCHA First Round ? ?
F-S, March 19-21 CCHA Super Six Joe Louis Arena Detroit, Mich.
S-S, March 27-28 NCAA MIDWEST REGIONAL Van Andel Arena Grand Rapids, Mich.
T-S, April 8-11 NCAA Frozen Four FleetCenter Boston, Mass.


# Central Collegiate Hockey Association

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