Freshman forward Lindsay Sparks and the Wolverines played with an urgency in the attacking zone and scorched the nets all weekend in a sweep in a home-and-home series against the Western Michigan Broncos.

Michigan (7-7 CCHA, 12-10 overall ) 6-1 on Saturday and 4-3 on Friday. It was the team’s’ second CCHA sweep of the season and its first sweep since the offense exploded for 11 goals in two games against Lake Superior State on Halloween weekend.

The scoring came in all different forms. Defensemen scored from the point, the Wolverines found wide open teammates off crisp passing and Michigan tallied a season-high four power play goals to win Friday’s game.

But it was fitting that a defenseman opened the scoring in both games. Michigan coach Red Berenson expected his blue liners to contribute offensively before the season, and they were consistently in the middle of the scoring all weekend.

On Saturday, Junior defenseman Chad Langlais wasted no time, scoring 26 seconds into the first period on a slap shot — the fastest goal of the season for Michigan and his first this season. Sophomore Brandon Burlon got a shot through from the point that beat the Broncos’ goaltender on Friday.

Burlon and senior defender Steve Kampfer each had a goal and two assists on Friday.

Even though the defenders contributed offensively, Western Michigan (2-11-3-1, 6-12-4) took advantage of a few uncontested opportunities. The defense responded with an energetic effort Saturday that seemed to feed off of the offense’s success.

“I think it gives the defense more confidence to step up, to play more aggressive,” junior forward Matt Rust said. “The forwards play off the ‘D,’ and the ‘D’ plays off the forwards. If the forwards are struggling then the ‘D’ feel like they need to play more cautious and their confidence goes down. I think their confidence is up when we’re scoring goals.”

Junior goalie Bryan Hogan bounced back from a soft goal on Friday to make some key saves the following night.

Facing a five-on-three in the middle of the second period, the defense successfully killed off a five-on-three Western Michigan advantage to preserve a 3-1 lead.

“That’s a big boost for our team,” senior defenseman Chris Summers said. “I think that was a definite turning point in the game saying, ‘This is our game, and you can go five-on-three or whatever, but we’re going to shut you down.’ ”

Hogan and the defense showed up at a crucial time, but the offense propelled Michigan. And along with a few of the regulars on the stat sheet, like juniors Carl Hagelin and Louie Caporusso, Sparks is starting to be a factor on the ice.

And the offensive firepower may be the key to success for Michigan for the rest of the season. In the Wolverines losses, they have scored an average of 1.4 goals per game, but when Michigan wins, it tallies 4.5 goals per game. But the Wolverines haven’t been able to sustain the success — or score big against ranked teams. Their longest winning streak of the season is three games, and it was matched with this weekend’s sweep.

Their inconsistency certainly has been noticed too. Michigan only sings “The Victors” after it sweeps a weekend series, and Berenson joked that his team had forgotten the words.

“There’s no room for error at this point,” Berenson said. “We’ve got to take advantage of this weekend. I think it will give us confidence. It got some guys on the score sheet that haven’t been on the score sheet for a while.”

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