With new football coach Rich Rodriguez in the stands, the Michigan hockey team displayed its own brand of offensive firepower before a raucous crowd at Yost Ice Arena.

Michigan (19-2-0 overall, 12-1-0 CCHA) easily defeated Western Michigan (6-14-1, 2-11-0), 6-1, in a game that was somehow even more lopsided than the score indicates.

Along the way, Michigan goalie Billy Sauer extended his shutout streak to a personal-best 206:14 before allowing a goal just seconds into the third period.

After failing to capitalize on multiple chances early in the first period, Michigan went to its own version of the spread offense to get on the board.

On the power play, streaking down the left wing freshman Max Pacioretty received a pass from senior Chad Kolarik. Pacioretty skated deep in the zone before sending a pass across to senior captain Kevin Porter who was charging toward the net from the right wing. Western Michigan goalie Riley Gill never had a chance as Porter buried the puck into a wide-open net for his 20th goal of the season with over six minutes remaining in the period.

Aside from Porter’s goal, much of the opening period was more like “three yards and a cloud of dust.”

Hits abound from both sides but none was bigger than Tim Miller’s destruction of Bronco defenseman Kevin O’Connor up against the boards in the game’s opening minutes.

Western Michigan’s best chance of the period came on its lone power play. With Sauer down, and missing his stick, the Broncos appeared to have an empty net. But freshman defenseman Scooter Vaughan lay out across the goal line to keep the visitors off the board.

It was back to high-octane offense quickly in the second period. Just 36 seconds into the frame, freshman defenseman Kevin Quick netted his first career goal.

In an intelligent move, especially for an underclassmen, Quick jumped up from the blueline to receive a pass from Kolarik and wristed the puck past Gill.

Exactly one minute later, junior Travis Turnbull extended Michigan’s lead with a fluky goal in which the puck hit off Gill and then squeaked over the goalline.

Broncos coach Jim Culhane called his timeout immediately after Turnbull’s goal, but whatever he said went either unheard or unheeded.

Michigan kept on going. The Broncos had no answer.

Kolarik added a goal of his own before the game’s halfway point. The alternate captain picked up a Bronco turnover in the slot and easily slipped the puck past a screened Gill.

Western Michigan had a perfect chance to get on the board during a second period power play. Dave Krisky received a great pass from the point and appeared to have an open net, but he fired the shot wide, allowing Sauer’s shutout streak to pass the 200-minute mark.

Michigan added goals in the third period from freshman Carl Hagelin and sophomore Chris Summers after Jerry Kuhn replaced Gill in net for the Broncos for the final 20 minutes.

Otherwise the third period was defined by the after the whistle shoving typical of any Michigan-Western Michigan game in recent years.

The teams meet again tomorrow night at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo.

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