While we wait until mid-next week for Adam Bodnar of WMU media relations to dig through reams of archives to find out how long it’s been since the Broncos were atop the CCHA this late in the season …
ALONG THE RAIL …
- To hold the league’s top spot is certainly worthy of pause and reflection, given where this program has been the last decade. Still, Andy Murray kept things in perspective when he spoke to the Kalamazoo Gazette: ”To me, first, second, third (place), as long as we’re up there at the end of the year, that’s the only thing that’s important.” Because, chances are, Lake Superior State will not shut out Ohio State again tonight.
- Friday’s 4-1 victory was like watching a kid struggle to unwrap a present: the end result was inevitable; the process bulky, messy and, frankly, a little boring.
- First period: knock off bow, tear away a few corners, shake box, stretch ribbon. Props to Bowling Green goaltender Andrew Hammond, who made 17 saves to keep the game scoreless and add a little suspense. The Broncos machine gunned the BG zone, but couldn’t crack Hammond despite a pair of power plays early. And poor Derek Roehl. The WMU forward had two point-blank chances that, upon video review, bounced off the clear sheet of plexi-glass that Hammond apparently screwed onto the front of the net.
- Second period: strip away brown and orange wrapping paper, struggle with taped box top, finally bust it lose. Welcome back, Dane Walters. The junior forward, in his return from a separated shoulder, had two goals in less than six minutes to help make it 3-0. Here’s a question: How does a guy who’s a little more than two weeks removed from a separated shoulder score on a wicked wrister from the top of the circle? #bigupsbrianbauer. Senior Greg Squires also scored for the first time since October.
- Third period: pick away last bits of tape and paper, thrash tissue paper, glory. Shane Berschbach’s seventh of the year into an empty net capped the scoring.
- The Broncos were apparently in a hurry right after the game to pack up and head down to Ohio for tonight’s rematch. Apparent quote from Murray: “We want to beat Bowling Green … then beat them back to Bowling Green.”
- No NHL hockey operations people of note attended Friday’s game. In fact, it was hard to spot a single scout on the concourse. Figures, given the opponent was Bowling Green and most scouts and GMs have seen WMU multiple times this season. Plus, we’re close to the NHL’s Feb. 26th trade deadline, so priorities may lie elsewhere — including Ottawa, where the league hosts this weekend’s All-Star Game.