College Hockey Scoreboard from CHN

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bowling Green stymies Broncos

By Tom Morelli/WMU Beat Writer

Western Michigan had a great opportunity to end their five-game losing streak against Bowling Green State over the weekend, but instead added to it.

The Broncos traveled to their opponents’ barn for the first game and the Falcons fans were behind their team from the opening face-off.

Derek Whitmore of Bowling Green produced a hat trick, scoring his first goal midway through the first period. Teammates Dan Sexton and Kevin Schmidt were credited with the assists.

Three minutes into the following period, Whitmore tallied another, with Sexton and Schmidt helping out on the play once again.

Western Michigan broke their scoring drought at the halfway point, as Whitmore sat in the penalty box on a boarding call. Junior forward Dave Krisky seized the opportunity on the man-advantage, scoring off a pass from Jeff LoVecchio at 10:34.

Broncos head coach Jim Culhane took a gamble in the last minute of the third period, pulling goaltender Jerry Kuhn. Unfortunately, the extra attacker proved no good, as Whitmore and Brandon Svendsen added empty-net goals.

Chaos ensued after the Svendsen goal, as a line brawl broke out with 12 seconds remaining in regulation. Jordan Collins, Chris Frank, Matt Clackson, Chris Clackson and Patrick Nagorsen were given fighting majors and tossed out of the game. Five Falcons were given the boot as well and all 10 players involved in the scrum were exempt from the next game.

Both teams combined for 207 penalty minutes, 120 of which were handed out to Western Michigan.

Despite the 4-1 loss, Kuhn produced a career-high 38 saves. Additionally, the Broncos held Bowling Green scoreless on nine power-play attempts.

Saturday night’s game took place at Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo, but the storyline remained the same.

While this match-up didn’t have any melees, the Falcons continued their dominance over Western Michigan.

Whitmore continued his scoring binge, giving his team the early edge with 9:22 elapsed in the opening period.

Not to be outdone, Broncos defenseman Kevin O’Connor netted his first goal of the season in the following period, with freshman Ryan Watson being credited for the helper.

Just like their first two games back in November, the teams needed overtime to declare a winner. Bowling Green wasted little time in the extra period, as Schmidt fired the puck past Kuhn with 1:20 gone by for the 2-1 win.

Though he lost for the second time in as many nights, Kuhn reached a new carrer-high in saves with 39.

With their regular season series in the books, the Falcons took all four games against Western Michigan.

The pair of losses extends the Broncos losing streak to seven, and the team is now 6-17-1 overall (2-14-0 CCHA).

A home-and home series with Ferris State University is next for Western Michigan, who previously lost both contests to the Bulldogs.

The Broncos will host Friday night’s game before heading up to Big Rapids to conclude the series.

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