Shorthanded Broncos Sink Lakers

On Friday night 2,177 hockey fans came out to watch the Western Michigan University Broncos pull to within 1 game of the .500 mark in CCHA action. "Well I knew that with our students being gone that I wasn't really sure of what to expect. But, I thought that the size of the crowd, I was pretty pleased," Coach Culhane said about the attendance for the game. In a game that saw 7 Bronco penalties including 9:50 of power play time in the 2nd period for the Lake Superior State University Lakers.

The Broncos came out sluggishly in the first period due to some line changes that needed to be made because of four one game suspensions. "I think we came out not sure what to expect, haven't seen this Laker hockey team in over a year not knowing what to expect," said Coach Culhane. Despite being out shot by the Lakers, the Broncos went into the locker room tied at 2-2.

The Lakers managed to get on the board first at the 5:54 mark when Jeremy Bachusz tapped in a rebound from a Mike Adamek's shot from the slot. Less than three minutes later, as the Broncos were entering the Lakers zone, the puck was sent in along the boards. As goalie Matt Violin came out to play the puck off the boards the puck kept rising before taking a strange bounce off the glass and shot across the front of the net and directly to Nic Boileau. Boileau, who was all alone, promptly put the puck in the empty net to tie the game up at 1-1.

Almost five minutes later the Broncos grabbed their first lead of the game when Brent Rumble took the puck from Trevor Cook after Josh Akright had battled along the boards in one of many scrums on the evening. Rumble moved his way from the left point to the top of the right face of circle and beat Violin with a slap shot. The Broncos held a 2-1 lead for just over 2 ½ minutes until Chris Peterson sent Aaron Davis up the ice with a threaded pass. Davis split the Broncos defense and tucked the puck in behind Scott Foster after drawing him out of position tying the score up at 2-2.

The first period saw 4 penalties (LSSU had the first one and WMU received the next three). Unfortunately for the Broncos, the 3rd penalty came at the 19:10 mark of the opening period that meant that the Broncos would have to start 2nd period down a man for 1:10.

Little did anyone realize that the Broncos would be playing the 2nd period shorthanded for just under ½ of the period. Despite the lack of scoring in the 2nd period and being shorthanded for a good chunk of the period, the Broncos were able to control the play and played the Lakers even. "Then in the second period we got ourselves into trouble like you said with the penalties." Coach Culhane continued "again we're fortunate tonight that we didn't give anything up there." For the 2nd straight period the Broncos took a late penalty, this time Josh Akright was called for tripping after the whistle at the 20:00 mark as the period had ended.

In the third period, the Broncos came out and played their best period of hockey and Coach Culhane agreed, "in the third period I thought we played really well, I thought that was our best period of hockey." After Akright finished serving his penalty the Broncos and Lakers played a penalty free period. At the 4:46 mark, Mike Jarmuth scored the eventual game winner for the Broncos when he fired a wrist shot from just inside the blue line to give the Broncos a 3-2 lead. Jarmuth's goal served as a "pick me up" for the Broncos because just a little over two minutes later, Dave Cousineau's pass was redirected into the net by Trevor Cook to give the Broncos the 4-2 victory and extended their season best winning to three games.

The Broncos out shot the Lakers 31-22 despite being out shot 10-7 in the first period. In the second period the Broncos out shot the Lakers 15-6. On the evening the Broncos were penalized 7 times for 14 minutes however the Lakers went 0-6 on the power play. The Lakers, the least penalized team in the league was penalized 3 time for 6 minutes but Broncos couldn't capitalize by going 0-2 on the power play.

The Broncos are in action again on Saturday when they face off against the Lakers again at Lawson Arena at 7:05pm.

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