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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Broncos beat RedHawks, to play for Mason Cup

By Bob Miller/Western Michigan Beat Writer

DETROIT - Western Michigan continued its workman-like trip through the CCHA championship playoffs with an efficient 6-2 win over Miami in the tourney semi-finals at Joe Louis Arena late Friday afternoon.

The Broncos dismissed Lake Superior State in two games last weekend to earn their spot in the final weekend playdown and gave the RedHawks similar treatment, dominating Miami from start to finish.

Greg Squires and Will Kessel each scored a pair for the Broncos, with Squires earning his 100th career point in the process, and Frank Slubowski added his usual steady performance in goal.

“They are expected to score,” said WMU coach Andy Murray of Squires' and Kessel's two-goal games. “To be successful, you need all of your units. We’re a four-line team. We play everybody. Everybody has the same mission out there. Last weekend, it was the same thing.”

The win punches Western Michigan's ticket for a spot in the CCHA playoff final against Michigan on Saturday night.

“Tonight was one of those games where the puck was going in the net,” Squires said. “We were fortunate to get six tonight. This is huge for us. Not just for myself, but for the team. We talked about where we came from, but like Coach (Murray) said, we have more tomorrow. Then, we’ll be happy.”

In Murray's estimation, the quick start provided by Squires two early goals and one more of the shorthanded variety by J.J. Crew were crucial to the win.

“I thought it was important because I watched a tape of Miami against Michigan State and Michigan State was down after 11 seconds in the hockey game,” said Murray of the Broncos' early lead. “We knew that it would be imperative to get off to a strong start.”

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