Broncos Cap Off Oilers

The Western Michigan University hockey team returned to the ice for the first time in 2003 and they wasted no time getting the 2,808 fans in attendance into the game. For those that arrived late they missed the opening goal scored by Pat Dwyer just 14 seconds into the game.

Dwyer was able to get a hold of the puck along the boards in the neutral zone. As he was moving towards the net he was brought down to the ice but managed to poke the puck past Findlay goaltender Jamie Vandespyker. "It's good to get off to a good start," Dwyer said. "I think it's something like 14 seconds and it sets the tone for the game. Kind of a new season, the second half, so it's important to get us off to a good start."

The Broncos however did take three penalties in the first period while the Oilers were called for just one penalty. Neither team scored a power play goal, but the Broncos made the most of their scoring chances. The Broncos scored three goals on their first four shots and chased Vandespyker from the net just 10:32 seconds into the game.

The Broncos second goal game at the 4:15 mark when Lucas Drake passed the puck from the Broncos zone to Vince Bellissimo who worked his way up ice to feed the puck to Brent Walton as he was falling to the ice. Walton put the puck past Vandespyker by going top shelf. "The puck was under my feet in the neutral zone, I thought I might get hammered at center ice," Bellissimo said. "Fortunately I had some time and I kind of made one move on the first defender and he kind of shifted him off. The second defender came to me and I had Walton driving to the net so I just shoved it over to him. It was a pretty simple play and Walton buried it on his backhand it was a good play."

Just six minutes after Walton's goal, Dana Lattery put the Broncos ahead 3-0 off of a shot by Matt Ponto banked off the back boards and came to Dwyer to the right of Vandespyker. Ponto just got done serving a two-minute minor penalty for interference when he was fed a pass from Vince Bellissimo.

Findlay pulled Vandespyker after Lattery's goal and replaced him with Kevin Hines. Hines then faced 31 of the Broncos 35 shots. Hines didn't allow a goal until 15:59 of the third period when Bellissimo scored on his own rebound. Bellissimo was streaking through the slot when he launched a shot that bounced off Hines' chest and Bellissimo than poked the puck into the net.

Findlay scored their lone goal late in the second period when Mike Mantua gave up a rebound off an Andrew Radzak shot. Rigel Shaw was standing in front of the net when he put the puck past Mantua.

In a planned move, Coach Jim Culhane substituted Scott Foster for Mantua at the start of the third period. Mantua faced 16 shots on the game allowing just the one goal while Foster faced 5 shots stopping them all.

Findlay's record is now 8-8-1 faces Ohio State on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio. The Broncos (8-11-1) are in action next weekend for a home-and-home series with conference rival Michigan. Friday night's game is set for 7:35pm at Yost Arena in Ann Arbor. Saturday's game is part of a triple-header for Western Michigan when the Broncos host "Blackout Saturday". The Wolverines and Broncos face off at 7:05pm at Lawson Arena. All fans are asked to wear black to the game.

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