Jan. 4, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University hockey team (7-7-2 overall, 6-6-2 CCHA) returns from a 33-day layoff to host the University of Alaska Fairbanks (3-13-0 overall, 2-12-0 CCHA) this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 7-8) in 7:05 p.m. faceoffs at Lawson Arena.
The Nanooks and Broncos mirror each other in that both teams haven't played since Dec. 4 and both feature first-year coaches in UAF's Guy Gadowsky (age 30) and WMU's Jim Culhane (age 34).
The UAF-WMU series can be heard live on the Bronco Radio Network (Flagship station WFAT-96.5 FM) and WMU Athletics Web Site <www.wmubroncos.com> via broadcast.com.
The Nanooks and Broncos are meeting for the first time this season. WMU won last year's series, 2-1-0, and leads all-time, 9-5-1.
Alaska Fairbanks is mired in an 11-game losing streak, the program's longest since the 1984-85 season. The Nanooks are embarking on a 10-day, four-game road trip as they travel straight to Lake Superior State after this weekend's series. Sophomore defenseman Daniel Carriere paces UAF with six goals and 10 points while classmate Bobby Andrews stands second in team scoring (4-5-9).
The Broncos are halfway through their CCHA schedule, standing in fourth place after 14 games with a 6-6-2 record. WMU was picked to finish 10th in the CCHA coaches and media preseason polls.
Since returning to campus on Dec. 28, WMU players have experienced a mid-season training camp. Last week the team lifted weights in the morning and participated in two-a-day practices. The players also underwent strength and conditioning tests.
"The guys have done a nice job of staying in shape over the holidays," says coach Jim Culhane. "We've maintained our cardiovascular conditioning but have lost some strength, which happens during the course of a season."
The Broncos take a break from CCHA action next week, traveling to Cornell for a two-game series, Jan. 14 and 15.
Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; firstname.lastname@example.org
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