Icers Fall to RedHawks

The Western Michigan (10-14-1, 5-13-1 CCHA) hockey team played their first home game since a 5-4 win over Michigan State three weeks ago. The return home wasn't so sweet though as the Broncos dropped a 5-2 decision to visiting Miami (12-13-4, 8-10-3 CCHA) in front of 2,741 fans at Lawson Ice Arena.

WMU would come out sluggish in the first two periods managing only two shots in each of those periods. Miami on the other hand would get a goal off of nine first period shots and three more tallies on fourteen second period shots.

"We just needed to get the puck to the net and we didn't do that in the first forty minutes," said Bronco coach Jim Culhane. "We've got to shoot the puck and we just didn't do that."

To open the scoring Matt Davis would take the play behind the Bronco net and score on a rap around that deflected off goalie Daniel Bellissimo's pads. The Broncos would have no answer and the teams would skate into the first intermission with a 1-0 Miami lead.

"We made some adjustments after the first period," Culhane said. "But we didn't execute those adjustments very well."

Opening up the second period at 1:30 was Todd Grant who would fire a shot to the back of the net off a turnover setting the tone for a period the Broncos never seemed to be in. Geoff Smith would get the eventual game winner at 7:49 of the second on a feed from Miami captain Andy Greene.

Matt Christie would cap off the scoring in the second for Miami as he picked up a neutral ice turnover while the Broncos were on the power play. Christie would skate in uncontested and beat Bellissimo five-hole. Bellissimo would show his frustrations throwing his stick into his own net.

"We talked about [the adjustments] again in the second intermission and we did a better job of executing on those adjustments that we made," said Culhane. "We were more willing to shoot the puck there in the third period."

The Broncos would come out strong and quick in the third period scoring the first of two power play goals at 1:38. Brian Bicek deflected a Nathan Ansell shot past Brandon Crawford-West and momentum seemed to finally be in the Broncos corner.

That momentum would end as Grant got his second goal of the night for Miami on a slap shot from just outside the slot at the 4:07 mark of the third. "It kind of deflates your sails when they're able to score," said Culhane.

WMU would find the net one more time in the game on a Brent Walton one-timer from the blue line on a feed from Daryl Moore. The goal would be Walton's 100th career point, but it would be the end of any comeback attempt for the Broncos, as the final 13 minutes of the game would go scoreless.

In the game the Broncos were 2 for 7 on the power play while Miami went 1 for 5 plus a shorthanded goal. Crawford-West would stop 16 of 18 shots for Miami and Bellissimo would stop 28 of 33 shots he faced.

With the loss the Broncos are in a tie with Notre Dame for last place in the CCHA. The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at Lawson for a 7:30pm face off.

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