More Brothers at Lawson?

Daniel and Vince Bellissimo are the first set of brothers to play for the WMU hockey program at the same time since Bernie and (ESPN anchor) John Saunders in the mid-seventies. Now – if all is right in the recruiting world – the Bellissimo brothers could have another set of brothers right on their heels… the Clackson brothers.

Matt Clackson

Matt Clackson is a forward for the Chicago Steel of the USHL, and he has accepted a partial scholarship to play hockey at Western Michigan beginning in the 2005-06 season. His younger brother Chris – also with the Steel – made an official visit to the WMU campus last Saturday (1/8) and came away very impressed despite the Broncos dropping a 5-4 decision to Michigan.

"Fantastic. One of the best I've ever seen," said the younger Clackson when asked if he liked the atmosphere at Lawson.

And the prospect of being able to play with his older brother could weigh heavily when Chris makes his decision between WMU, Michigan, Miami and Ferris State for the 2006-07 season. "I've always played with my older brother," said Chris. "I have since I was a little kid so I'd like to stay with it."

The Broncos are on the top of the list for the services of the younger Clackson, "after what I saw here tonight. I love it here so far."

Both players describe their style of play as that of a power forward while Chris claims to be the more skilled of the two, but concedes that Matt may be a tougher player. "I like to hit," said Chris. "I also have some skills to score some goals too, but I definitely see myself as a power forward."

Currently Matt has 6 goals and 5 assists for 11 points on 31 games played, while Chris has 8 goals and 4 assists for 12 points in only 26 games played. The real difference, however, is in Matt's 149 penalty minutes while Chris has 51.

Chris is also listed on the NHL Central Scouting Preliminary Rankings list for this summers NHL draft. Playing Tier 1 hockey in the USHL is a big reason for the development of the young player. "I think right now it is the best thing I could be doing to get myself ready for [the college] level," said Chris. "College is definitely a step up from the USHL but it is definitely getting me ready."

Bronco fans should be excited to see the Pittsburgh, PA native Matt Clackson checking opponents next season and Chris may not be far behind him for two seasons from now if he does decide to become a Bronco.

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