DETROIT — On Friday night, the No. 5 Michigan hockey team looked to advance to the CCHA Tournament title game for the fifth consecutive year.
But Western Michigan had other plans, as the Broncos defeated the Wolverines, 5-2, at Joe Louis Arena in the second CCHA semifinal contest. With the loss, Michigan will square off against Notre Dame in the consolation game on Saturday afternoon.
Western Michigan held a 1-0 advantage after the first period, and continued to pour it on in the second.
Seven minutes into the middle frame, Bronco forward Dane Walters took a pass in the slot and fired a one-timer past Michigan netminder, Shawn Hunwick — the goal was the Broncos’ first of three power play tallies on the night.
After another Western Michigan goal at the 13:53 mark of the second to make the lead, 3-0, Michigan finally got on the board.
Wolverine sophomore defenseman Lee Moffie whistled a one-timer from the right point, with Kevin Lynch deflecting the puck in past goaltender Jerry Kuhn with just under seven minutes left in the frame.
Despite Michigan cutting the lead to two, Western Michigan added two more insurance goals late in the second period, both of the even strength variety.
Defensive breakdowns and bad penalties plagued the Wolverines all night, especially in the second period, as the Broncos netted two power play markers in the period.
The damage had been done as the teams skated into the final period, but the Wolverines added another goal of their own midway through the frame. Freshman defenseman Jon Merrill let a slap shot go from the left point that deflected off sophomore Lindsay Sparks’s inner leg and past Kuhn.
The Wolverines will now face the Fighting Irish at 3:35 PM tomorrow at Joe Louis.