December 8, 1998
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's hockey team (1-7-6 overall, 1-7-6 CCHA) will be engrossed in final exams this week leading up to Saturday's faceoff with Bowling Green in the first meeting between the schools in 1998-99. Saturday's contest will be carried live on the Bronco Radio Network (flagship station WFAT96.5 FM) and on the Internet via broadcast.com. After the BGSU tilt, the Broncos are off until Dec. 29 and 30, when they host UMass-Amherst of Hockey East in the first non-conference series of the season. This Saturday's (Dec. 12) match at BGSU Ice Arena begins at 7 p.m.
Western Michigan played two entirely different games in a weekend sojourn to the Upper Peninsula and mid-Michigan. The Broncos were handed a 6-0 loss by last place Lake Superior State Friday (Dec. 4) in Sault Ste. Marie, matching the team's worst loss of the season (WMU also lost to Notre Dame by six goals on Oct. 10). Fred Slukynsky recorded a hat trick and Jayme Platt notched his second career shutout.
Coach Bill Wilkinson's club followed with one of its best efforts of the season on Saturday, playing CCHA leader Ferris State to a 2-2 overtime tie in Big Rapids. Junior Jason Redenius registered his second multiple-goal game of the season with two markers, both coming off special teams (power play goal, short-handed goal). The former redshirt walk-on from Muskegon now leads the team with six tallies. Freshman Jeff Reynaert made 42 saves in goal, the most by a Bronco goaltender dating to March 1, 1997, when Matt Barnes made 48 stops against Ohio State (a span of 53 games).
Western is winless in 10 games (0-5-5) dating to an Oct. 24 win over Notre Dame. The team is also looking for its first road victory (0-4-3). Western heads into its 15th game of the season searching for its second win. Prior to this season, the 1976-77 squad had taken the longest to record two wins, needing seven games. The six ties equals a school record, accomplished twice, and is one shy of the CCHA mark for ties in a season.
Junior RW Brett Mills (0-11, three games) has been lost for the season with shoulder problems. He will undergo surgery this month. Broncos questionable this week because of injuries are Caley Jones (sprained wrist), Chad Kline (broken wrist) and Jeff Lukasak (ribs). Matt Barnes became the fifth WMU goalie to record 2,000 career saves on Friday.
Three times this year Western has lost a lead with under two minutes left in regulation.
Bronco 'Player of the Week'
Freshman Jeff Reynaert has been selected Bronco "player of the week." The 5-11, 160-pound netminder made his second start on Saturday, recording 42 saves and foiling the Bulldogs on seven power play attempts.
Previous Bronco POW recipients: Nov. 30 Frank Novock; Nov. 23 Chuck Mindel; Nov. 9 David Gove; Nov. 2 Jason Redenius; Oct. 26 Jason Redenius; Oct. 19 Matt Barnes; Oct. 12 Jason Redenius.
Bowling Green and WMU are clashing for the first time this season. The only other CCHA teams Western has yet to face are Alaska Fairbanks and Michigan. Western Michigan captured last year's series, three games-to-one (3-0, 8-3, 2-3, 6-3). The Falcons lead all-time, 59-35-3.
Bowling Green (6-7-1, 5-6-1 CCHA7th) gave up three third-period goals in a 5-2 home loss to Michigan on Saturday (Dec. 5). Dan Price (7-1320) and Adam Edinger (8-1119) rank fifth and seventh respectively in overall CCHA scoring. Junior Mike Jones (4-913) is the highest-scoring defenseman in the circuit. Mike Savard (5-4-0, 3.61 GAA) has an edge over Shawn Timm (1-3-1, 4.61 GAA) in goal.
The Falcons are the third-highest scoring team in the CCHA (3.36 goals per game) and possess the second-best power play unit (18.0%) for all games. Head Coach Buddy Powers owns an 81-74-12 record in his fifth season at BGSU.
Western is off for two weeks before entertaining UMass-Amherst in Lawson Arena, Dec. 29 and 30. The Broncos rest the first weekend of the new year prior to hosting Alaska-Fairbanks (Jan. 8 and 9) in a two-game set.
Media contact:Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4138; firstname.lastname@example.org
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