January 13, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's hockey team (3-10-6
overall, 2-9-6 CCHA) entertains Northern Michigan this Friday
in Kalamazoo before meeting Michigan (ranked seventh nationally
last week) for the first time this season Both games begin at
7 p.m. and can be heard on the Bronco Radio Network (Flagship
station WFAT-96.5 FM) and on the internet via broadcast.com. Saturday's
contest will be carried live by WWMT TV-3, the CBS affiliate in
In a showdown of eighth place teams fighting for the last CCHA playoff spot, Western Michigan and Alaska Fairbanks split a two game series held in Kalamazoo (Jan. 8-9). WMU won the series opener, 3-2, behind a pair of goals from Chuck Mindel. Corey Waring notched the game-winning goal and freshman goaltender Jeff Reynaert earned his first victory behind 26 saves. The Nanooks answered with a 4-1 victory Saturday to deny Western its first back-to-back wins of the season. Mindel scored the Brown & Gold's lone goal to move into a share of the team's goal-scoring lead with seven markers.
Coach Bill Wilkinson has placed his three fastest players on a line together in LW David Gove, C Corey Waring and RW Frank Novock * Caley Jones broke into the starting lineup after a nine-game layoff and was joined by D Jeff Lukasak, who missed three games with a rib injury * the Broncos have been involved in 10 games decided by one goal or less (3-1-6 record) * Saturday's game broke WMU's streak of eight consecutive games in single-digit penalties. Among the culprits was David Gove, who made just a seventh trip to the box in his 54th game as a Bronco. On the whole, Western's penalty totals are down 19 percent from last year * the WMU power play is 1-for-18 (5.6%) over the last three games * following Friday's tilt against Northern Michigan, Western begins a five-game road trip before returning to Lawson on Feb. 5 * with 19 games completed, Western has reached the mid-point of the 1998-99 season * WMU plays its final nonconference games of the season January 22-23 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.
Western suffered a 6-3 loss to Northern Michigan in a Nov. 27 encounter in Kalamazoo. The Broncos are 0-4 against the Wildcats since NMU rejoined the CCHA. The series finale is slated for March 5 in Marquette. Northern leads the all-time series, 20-10-2.
Michigan is the only CCHA school the Broncos have yet to face this season. The Wolverines are 5-0-1 against WMU over the last two seasons and lead the all-time series, 39-22-7.
Northern Michigan (13-9-0, 8-8-0 CCHA6th) was idle last week. J.P. Vigier shares the CCHA for total goals (14) with eight coming on the power play. Buddy Smith is the league¢s leading assist man (22). Vigier and Smith are third and 10th in league scoring and Roger Trudeau 11th. Head coach Rick Comley owns a 463-385-50 record in 23 seasons at NMU.
Michigan (15-4-2, 12-2-1 CCHA2nd) created distance in the CCHA race with a sweep of Ferris State (3-2, 4-3) and will host the Bulldogs again on Friday. Freshman Mike Comrie owns a team-high 11 goals and 23 points while defenseman Bubba Berenzweig ranks third in team scoring (5-1116). Rookie Josh Blackburn (no relations to MSU's Joe Blackburn) leads CCHA goalies with 15 wins and is third in goals-against average (1.75). Coach Red Berenson has a 384-190-32 record in 15 seasons.
Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4138; firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA