Nebraska Omaha vs. WMU Recap

The Western Michigan University hockey team wasted no time getting comfortable in the friendly confines of Lawson Arena in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 2,507 fans. Just 5:55 into the game the Broncos got on the scoreboard Lucas Drake tapped in a rebound off of a Dave Cousineau shot, to the left of UNO goalie Dan Ellis.

Brent Rumble scored his first goal of the season late in the 1st period when he deflected a Mike Jarmuth shot, in traffic, past Ellis at the 16:59 mark. The 1st period saw a strong defensive effort from the Broncos, allowing just 4 shots to reach goalie Mike Mantua.

The Broncos led at the end of one period 2-0. They also led in shots on goal with a 10-4 advantage. The Broncos had a chance to go up 3-0 but a Brent Walton shot from the left face-off circle clanked off the post.

In the 2nd period, the Broncos got busy early when Jeff Campbell knocked in a shot from the slot as he was pushed in the net. After talking with his linesman, referee Steve Piotrowski made the call that the goal counted because Campbell was forced into the net by a UNO defender. Campbell's goal was scored unassisted and gave the Broncos a 3-0 lead.

It took ten minutes before another goal was scored. This time it was UNO's John Thomas putting in a rebound off a Micah Sanford shot past Mantua. The goal pulled the Mavericks to back within two goals, 3-1, at 10:11 of the 2nd period. However, the Broncos had yet to deliver the knockout punch.

Two minutes after the UNO goal, freshman Vince Bellissimo sprung the Broncos on a 2-on-1 rush when he made a perfect pass to Pat Dwyer. Dwyer than fed Brent Walton who finished the rush for the Broncos 4th goal of the game at 12:26.

Just 17 seconds later, Pat Dwyer got free on a breakaway. Just as he was taking a shot Cody Blanshan tripped him up from behind. Piotrowski awarded the most exciting play in hockey, the penalty shot, to Dwyer and the Broncos. Their first penalty shot since Frank Novock vs. Bowling Green on November 8, 1997. Dwyer was able to pull the goaltender out and as Ellis committed to saving the low half of the net, Dwyer put the puck in the top of the back of the net at 12:43 for a 5-1 lead.

With the Broncos jumping out to a 5-1 lead, UNO head coach Mike Kemp pulled Ellis and put in Brian Haaland to stop the bleeding. In 32:43, Ellis had allowed 5 goals on 17 shots.

Almost two minutes passed before Andrew Wong registered his first goal of the season when he put a cross ice pass from Scotty Turner and put the puck past Mantua at 14:22 for the Mavericks final goal of the contest. Wong entered the contest tied with to other Mavericks for the team lead in scoring with seven assists for seven points. Turner's assist extended his points streak to five games.

In a game that saw 9 penalties, 5 by UNO and 4 by WMU, neither team could get their power play going. UNO went 0-5 on the power play while WMU went 1-4 on their power play opportunities. That one goal coming less than one minute after Wong scored his goal. With Jason Jaworski in the box for tripping, the Broncos were able to get the puck set up for a one time feed by Brent Walton, that Dana Lattery slapped past Haaland at 15:20 of the second period, giving the Broncos a 6-2 lead.

The Broncos had to kill of a late 2nd period penalty, a delay of game call on Mantua when he lifted the net of its moorings. The Mavericks led the second period in shots with 11 while the Broncos recorded 10 shots on goal. The Broncos outscored the Mavericks in the 2nd period by a 4-2 margin.

Halfway through the 3rd period, Rumble was called for a questionable boarding call at 9:20. The Mavericks however, were not able to get set up on the power and the Broncos were able to capitalize on the Mavericks miscues and Campbell and Drake broke away for a 2-one-1 shorthanded opportunity. Drake put a shot on net and the rebound came to Campbell in the front of the net. Campbell was able to put the puck into the empty net as the rebound game to the other side of the net. Campbell's goal came at 9:59 of the third period and gave the Broncos a 7-2 lead.

The Broncos closed out the scoring at 13:35 of the 3rd when Lattery notched his 2nd goal of the game. Lattery redirected a Campbell pass from across the slot that eluded Haaland and gave the Broncos an 8-2 victory.

The win was the most lopsided win for either team in the nine all-time games between the two teams. It was also the most goals UNO has allowed since an 8-2 loss to Niagara on January 29, 1999 and the first time WMU has registered back-to-back wins in series history, they defeated UNO the last time these two teams met last season. Jeff Campbell also recorded a single-game career high of 5 points, 2 goals and 3 assists, giving him the 1st star of the game. Pat Dwyer was awarded the 2nd star and Dana Lattery was given the 3rd star of the game.

The Broncos out shot the Mavericks 28-22, including an 8-7 shot advantage in the 3rd period. Dan Ellis recorded his 4th loss on the season and has a 2-4-0 record. Mike Mantua recorded 20 saves in registering his 1st win on the season and raised his record to 1-2-0. The Broncos raised their CCHA record to 3-2-0 while the Mavericks fell to 1-2-0.

The Broncos are in action at Lawson again tonight at 7:05 when they face-off against the Mavericks for the final meeting between the two teams during the CCHA regular season.

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