By Bob Miller/Western Michigan Beat Writer
Western Michigan (the geographic region, not the university) shared two of the CCHA's top teams in Ferris State and Western Michigan (the university) this season.
Fittingly, the regular season's final weekend series matched the Bulldogs and the Broncos with top spot in the conference at stake.
Ferris State removed all doubt Friday night in the series opener with a 1-1 draw that Western Michigan eventually won in the tiebreaker. The Bulldogs were the real winner, however, as the tie clinched the regular season championship for Ferris State.
Greg Squires score the only goal in the shootout to clinch an extra point for the Broncos.
Jordie Johnston, for Ferris State, and Shane Berschbach, for Western Michigan, had the game's only regulation time scores.
“The fans certainly got their money’s worth tonight,” WMU head coach Andy Murray told mlive.com on Friday. “It was an exciting hockey game. I thought the officials did a good job of letting the players play the game. It was physical. On the first shift (of the game), there must have been four or five big hits. Both teams battled and both teams wanted the points. It was a great game for everybody to watch and it was certainly nice to see a senior get the shootout goal.”
Danny Dekeyser's two goals and Frank Slubowski's shutout performance led the Broncos to a Saturday night 3-0 win in the regular season finale for both teams.
“I don't think tonight's a night to worry about,” Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels told USCHO. “We had enough opportunities to score, but their goaltender (Slubowski) deserves a lot of credit. He played a great game.”
Both Ferris State and Western Michigan earn first round CCHA playoff byes by virtue of their finish in the top five in the conference. The Bulldogs and Broncos will both host second round playoff series starting on Friday, March 2.
Photo/Ferris State Athletics