Broncos Storm Back

It looked as if the Western Michigan University hockey team (12-12-1, 10-7-0) would follow the Friday night road script but instead the squad rebounded from a sluggish start and stole just its second road win of the season.

Trailing 4-1 after 20 minutes of hockey the Broncos stormed back scoring five unanswered goals on its way to a big 6-4 win against the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (9-10-4, 6-9-4).

Sophomore Jeremy Cheyne played his best statistical game of the season scoring twice and adding a pair of assists to lead the biggest Bronco comeback of the year. WMU has now won four straight and five of its last six.

UAF jumped all over the Broncos in the first period, opening the scoring 1:08 into the game. Five minutes later Cheyne would even the score knocking home his third goal of the campaign but only for 10 seconds. The Nanooks wasted little time reclaiming the lead scoring its second mark of the game at 6:14.

Less than three minutes later the Nanooks struck again, increasing the lead to 3-1. In a period that saw UAF notch 24 shots, Mantua would allow the fourth Nanook score of the night to complete the first period scoring at 4-1.

Head Coach Jim Culhane changed goalies during intermission, inserting freshmen Scott Foster for the remaining 40 minutes. The move, and a heated locker room discussion, worked to perfection as the Broncos dominated the rest of the contest.

Freshmen center Vince Bellissimo pulled the Broncos within two when he tallied his 12th goal of the year as Cheyne added his 11th assist of the season. The second period would end with WMU outshooting UAF 19-9.

Bellissimo continued his torrid scoring steak adding his second goal of the game 1:23 into the third with senior Ben Gagnon and junior Lucas Drake providing the helper. This makes four two-goal games for the Toronto, Ontario native. He now sits with junior captain Dana Lattery as the team leaders in goals (13).

With the Carlson Center crowd silenced, the Broncos slipped another goal past Nanook senior goalie Lance Mayes when junior bruiser Brian Pasko banged home his third career goal to knot the game at four. Cheyne picked up his third of five points on the Pasko score at 3:35 of the third period. His two assists pushed the Calgary, Alberta native into sole possession as WMU's assist leader.

Cheyne's hot stick completed the comeback at 17:25 as the left wing scored his fourth goal of the season and second of the night to give WMU a 5-4 lead with Pasko grabbing the assist.

UAF yanked Mayes but Lucas Drake fired home the empty-netter to clinch the WMU road win with just 31 seconds left on the board.

WMU faces off against the Nanooks again at 11:05 p.m. Saturday night in the Carlson Center. The Broncos now stand at 2-8-1 on the road, while UAF dropped its first home game in the last seven contests.

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