Broncos Complete the Sweep

The Western Michigan University Broncos hockey team opened up their 2002-2003 CCHA season on Friday by defeating the Bowling Green Falcons 6-5 in overtime, in Bowling Green. Saturday the Broncos opened up their home season by hosting the Falcons in the final game of the home-and-home series.

In front of 3,145 frenzied fans at Lawson Ice Arena, the Broncos treated their fans to an exciting 3-2 victory and in the process, 2 rookies, freshman goaltender Scott Foster and freshman center Vince Bellissimo have emerged in just two games as fan favorites. On Friday, Bellissimo started and ended the scoring with his first two goals as a Bronco, the game-winning goal coming in overtime.

On Saturday, Bellissimo scored the game-winning goal at the 2:40 mark of the 3rd period when he nudged the puck across the goal crease in the middle of a scramble in from of the Falcons goaltender Jordan Sigalet. Jeremy Cheyne and Mat Ponto were credited with the assists on the goal.

The Broncos got the scoring started on a power play in the first period. At the 9:16 Bowling Green's Kevin Bieksa was escorted to the penalty box after taking a slashing penalty. Just 50 seconds into the power play at 10:06, the Broncos scored on their first shot on the power play when Dave Cousineau ripped a slap shot from the left point. The goal, which was assisted by Pat Dwyer and Bellissimo, put the Broncos up 1-0.

The Broncos than capitalized on their 2nd power play of the game at 17:38 of the 1st period. Kevin Bieksa was caught tripping up a Bronco just 42 seconds earlier, for his 2nd penalty of the game. This time the Broncos couldn't score until their second shot on the power play, when Dana Lattery and Cousineau set up Jeff Campbell who put the puck in the top shelf of the net. The goal gave the Broncos a 2-0 at the end of the 1st period. The Broncos also had the edge in shots-on-goal 12-5.

In a span of 2:07 seconds in the 2nd period the Falcons scored two goals to tie the game at 2-2. At 11:53 Mark Wires to the pass from Mike Falk and slid the puck between the pads of Foster, going 5-hole for the goal. Erik Eaton got the 2nd assist on Wires goal.

Just over 2 minutes later, with the teams scrambling around the Broncos net, Ryan Minnabarriet was able to gain control of the puck and put a wrist shot in at the top of the net to tie the game. Steve Brudzewski and Tyler Knight were credited with the assists.

Both teams recorded 10 shots-on-goal in the 2nd period. In the 3rd period the Falcons held a 6-5 advantage in shots-on-goal, but for the game the Broncos out shot the Falcons 27-21.

The Broncos killed of both shorthanded situations after Trevor Cook took a charging penalty and Rob Yamashita took a slashing penalty, both penalties were in the first period.

Game Notes:

For his efforts on Saturday Vince Bellissimo earned the 1st Star of the Game. The Broncos sweep of the Falcons gives them 5 straight wins over the Falcons. After going 0 for 7 on the power play on Friday, the Broncos scored on their first two power plays Saturday. Bellissimo leads the team in goals scored with 3 and in game winners with 2 in as many nights.

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