By Tom Morelli/WMU Beat Writer
Western Michigan’s series with Ohio State University last weekend came with some good news and bad news.
On a positive note, the Broncos put on an offensive clinic to their counterparts in Friday’s game, as forwards Jeff LoVecchio and Patrick Galivan frequented the stat column. The 4-2 win by Western Michigan was their first conference win since beating Northern Michigan back on November 9th by the same score.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, momentum from the previous game had disappeared, as they were blanked by the Buckeyes, 3-0 on Saturday night.
LoVecchio’s leadership pulled through in the first game, as he was involved in every goal for Western Michigan.
Senior winger Mike Lesperance notched his second goal of the season with five minutes remaining in the opening period. LoVecchio (pictured left) and defenseman Nathan Ansell were credited with the assists.
The offense would settle down through most of the second period, until Galivan took a pass from LoVecchio and Max Campbell, blasting the puck past Buckeyes goalie Joseph Palmer at the 16:18 mark.
Not to be outdone, Ohio State mounted their comeback, thanks to a Tommy Goebel goal on the power play with eight seconds remaining in the middle stanza.
What appeared to be a sure lead for the Broncos vanished less than three minutes into the final period, as John Albert scored a game-tying goal by outmaneuvering goaltender Riley Gill.
Both teams continued to attack each other relentlessly, matching every move like a human game of chess. Galivan (pictured right) broke the stalemate at 15:54 by feeding the puck to LoVecchio, en route to his 12th assist of the season.
The Buckeyes pulled Palmer with under a minute remaining, but LoVecchio made them suffer the consequences for it, scoring an empty-netter with 18 seconds left in regulation for his fourth point of the night.
For Galivan, this was his fifth multi-point game of the 2007-2008 season, and now has a team-best 14 points.
Gill was awarded his fourth win of the season, denying 22 of 24 shots.
Ohio State refused to let Western Michigan earn the weekend sweep in the following contest, putting points on the board early. With 2:46 elapsed in the first period, Brad Gorham chipped the puck past Gill, which remained the only score for nearly another 40 minutes.
The Buckeyes added an insurance goal with a minute gone by in the third period, as Mathieu Picard earned his second lamp-lighter of the year.
Kyle Reed put an end to any hope for a Broncos comeback at the 14:22 mark, giving Ohio State a three-goal cushion and a shutout for Palmer.
Gill fell to 4-6-0 as a starter, stopping 26 shots on net.
The weekend split moves the Broncos to a 4-8-0 overall record (2-6-0 CCHA), with a chance for improvement against Ferris State University next weekend.
Western Michigan will travel to Big Rapids, Michigan on Friday November 30th, and then host the Bulldogs at Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo the following night.