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Sunday, November 07, 2010

Broncos take both from Michigan State

By Karl Henkel/Western Michigan Beat Writer

Last season, Western Michigan had to wait until February to pick up its first CCHA weekend sweep.

The Broncos accomplished that feat this weekend after knocking off Michigan State in back-to-back games at Lawson Arena.

WMU edged the Spartans 4-3 in the opener before winning the second game, 3-1.

"Were taking a step toward becoming a good hockey team,” WMU coach Jeff Blashill said. “We're going to have to take a lot of steps all year long, so hopefully by the end of the year we're a really good hockey team. This was certainly one of those steps forward.”

It was the first time Western Michigan swept the Spartans since Feb. 16-17, 2007, during a home-and-home series.

In the first game, after Brett Perlini’s two goals gave Michigan State an early 2-0 lead, the Broncos scored three second-period goals.

Matt Tennyson, Greg Squires and Max Campbell scored for Western Michigan and then Tennyson scored a power-play goal midway through the third to give WMU a 4-3 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Nick Pisellini made 22 stops for Western Michigan. Drew Palmisano stopped 26 for Michigan State.

In the second game, WMU’s Ryan Watson and MSU’s Dustin Gazley traded first-period goals, despite Western Michigan holding a 12-6 advantage in shots on goal.

WMU outshot Michigan State 24-20 overall.

Former Spartan Ben Warda, who scored his first goal for Western Michigan, then put the Broncos ahead 2-1 in the second.

"It was one of the best feelings that I've had playing so far,” Warda said. “Scoring against those guys was awesome, and even better to get the win."

Campbell added an empty-net goal in the third.

The Spartans had two goals — one in the second and one in the third — disallowed.

Pisellini stopped 19 shots and Palmisano 21.

Western Michigan (6-2-2, 2-1-1-0 CCHA) takes a weekend off before heading to Big Rapids Nov. 19-20 to face Ferris State. Both games start 7:05 p.m.

Michigan State (3-2-3, 1-2-1-0) hosts Ohio State next weekend. Friday’s game begins at 6:35 p.m. and Saturday’s contest at 7:05 p.m.

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