Icers Bury the Badgers

The Western Michigan hockey team played their only preseason exhibition game of the year hosting the Brock University Badgers in Lawson Ice Arena. The Broncos won easily 8-1 in front of 1,457 fans.

The turning point of the game was a power play goal by junior Daryl Moore at 10:39 of the first period, which opened the floodgates for an eventual 6-goal period. Moore positioned between the circles buried the puck behind Badger goalie Matt Harpwood after being fed the puck by Pat Dwyer.

Moore would score again just a minute and three seconds later even strength to take a 2-1 lead. "That second goal I think he would have scored that on anybody," said head coach Jim Culhane. "That was a beautiful goal. He made a great play, a heads up play and went top shelf."

Opening the scoring in the game was junior transfer Mike Erickson on a feed from Brent Walton that put a sharp angle shot in the net. Brock would answer seconds later on a Jonathon Labelle deflected shot to even the game.

"We gave up that first goal and we said ‘hey, that's it for the night let's not give up any more' so they challenged themselves and each other," said Culhane. And the Broncos would in fact not give up another goal all night.

Finishing off the scoring for the first period were goals from Brett John, Paul Szczechura and Vince Bellissimo. Rounding out the scoring on the night were tallies from Dwyer and Vince Bellissimo who assisted each other on their goals in the second period.

Freshman Daniel Bellissimo – younger brother to Vince – stood in net for the Broncos in the first half of the game seeing only 6 shots on goal and saving 5 of those shots. Eric Marvin played from the 10:46 mark of the second period on and made 5 saves on 5 shots including an acrobatic dive across the net to halt a reach around opportunity late in the third period.

"I was a little nervous, maybe a little over anxious at times," said the younger Bellissimo of his first time in net at the college level. "It was exciting with the crowd and I'm sure next week will be a little bigger, but it was fun. Next time I'm in net I'll probably stay more calm and I think I'll be alright."

"It was good to get going and finally play guys who aren't your teammates," said Vince Bellissimo. "Everybody contributed tonight and that's the main thing in these games is to get everybody going and try to get prepared for the season."

Culhane had three things he wanted to see in this game: hard work for the full sixty minutes, a positive attitude throughout the whole game and good execution. "For a first game I'm pleased," said Culhane. "We have a lot of things we can show them on the video that is positive and some teaching things too."

A decision has yet to be made on a starting goalie to begin the regular season. Both Bellissimo and Marvin made a case for the job. "Daniel in the net killing off the five on three in the second [period]… and Eric made a beautiful save there late in the game," said Culhane of the performance in net tonight.

What will happen with the goalie situation heading into the first week of the regular season? "We're all working hard in practice and next week we'll see what happens," Daniel Bellissimo. In other words the answer will only be found at Lawson Ice Arena at 7:35pm next Friday when the Broncos take on the Nanooks of Alaska-Fairbanks.

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