Tough Lessons

Few non-conference schedules have been as difficult as the one Head Coach Jim Culhane put together for the 2002-2003 WMU season.

The Broncos faced arguably three of the nation's best programs in Maine, Cornell, and Colorado College with four of those contests occurring on the road.

"It was a great experience for us as a program," Culhane said.

In each series opener the Broncos came out flat, getting outscored 18-5 on the initial nights. Yet the Brown and Gold looked very different the following night, holding leads in each of the games but failed to put the powerhouse programs away. WMU forced two overtime sessions but dropped two third period leads and only mustered one point in those six games.

"I think it's a learning experience for us. We couldn't stand in awe of our opponents," Culhane said.

In Culhane's mind his team must excel in two areas in order to grab key points against tough opponents.

"Our work ethic must be superior to our opponents and our execution must be tremendous," Culhane said.

WMU wrapped up its non-conference schedule in early January and the lessons learned from the games versus top-notch competition must be applied to the end of the season if the Broncos want to make a run in the conference playoffs. Did a young Bronco team absorb what they needed to improve?

"That's the big question. The outcome in these next sixteen games will answer that question," Culhane said.

BRONCO NOTES: WMU looks to extend its streak of rookie conference scoring leaders as freshmen Brent Walton leads all CCHA rookies with 19 points in 20 games…junior captain Dana Lattery is tied for the team lead in goals with nine despite missing six games with a broken hand…The Broncos are 0-4-0 on Olympic-sized ice and 1-7-1 on the road.

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