March 8, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- For the first time since March 1997, the Western
Michigan University ice hockey team will be involved in postseason
action, taking on the University of Michigan in a
best-of-three games series (March 10-12) in the opening round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament. All games will be played in Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.
Says Bronco coach Jim Culhane, "The biggest thing this weekend is going to be goaltending. We also need to execute on special teams. We can't afford to give them a lot of open ice. We'll try to force turnovers in their end in hopes of creating some scoring chances."
Friday's game will start at 7:35 p.m. Contests on Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) begin at 7:05 p.m. Saturday's contest will be carried live on FOX Sports Net. All Bronco hockey games can be heard on the Bronco Radio Network (Flagship station WFAT 96.5 FM Kalamazoo) and via broadcast.com. on the Bronco Web site <www.wmubroncos.com>
In regular season, WMU was 12-19-3 overall and 10-15-3 in the CCHA. Michigan was 24-8-4 overall, 19-6-3 CCHA.
Western Michigan enters the CCHA Tournament as the 10th seed
after tying for ninth place
in the league standings. Miami edged out WMU for the ninth seed on a tie-breaker. Michigan is the top seed based on its CCHA regular season championship, which automatically qualifies the Wolverines for the NCAA Tournament. Should the Broncos win this weekend, they would take part in a "play in" game on Tuesday, March 14, with the winner advancing to Joe Louis Arena.
The Broncos are 2-4 lifetime against Michigan in postseason play. The last meeting occurred at the 1994 CCHA semi-finals, where the Wolverines pulled out a 6-4 victory. WMU's last postseason appearance at Yost took place in 1990. Michigan won that series, 2-0.
The Wolverines are unbeaten in their last 11 games (8-0-3)
versus WMU, dating to December,
1995. WMU's last victory in Yost occurred Oct. 25, 1995. Michigan leads the all-time series, 42-22-9, which includes a 24-9-2 mark in Yost Arena.
Junior David Gove (17-23-40) finished third in the chase for the CCHA scoring title, just behind Michigan State's Shawn Horcoff (8-36-44) and Michigan's Mike Comrie (15-28-43). Gove's 17 goals in conference play was second only to Michigan State's Adam Hall, who had 19. Sophomore Mike Bishai tied for fourth in league scoring with 33 points. Western Michigan was the only CCHA team to have two players among the league's top five scorers.
WMU has not out-shot an opponent since Jan. 7, a span of 17 games.
The Broncos' 43 power play goals are the most since the 1996-97 season and marks a 28 percent improvement over last year.
Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; firstname.lastname@example.org
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