KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Western Michigan hockey is known nationwide for its raucous student sections, featuring the Lawson Lunatics. Opposing players and coaches have long recognized the impact the Lunatics can make on a game.
The Broncos are set to host Colorado College on Friday in game one of a best-of-three series. Because it is an NCHC sanctioned event, students will have to pay for tickets to the games. But if they buy a ticket for Friday, they can get in free on Saturday.
Bronco hockey coach Andy Murray said Monday he will buy all of the student tickets for game two of the series, allowing the Lunatics to enter Lawson Arena for free, provided they bought a ticket for Friday night. Students can exchange Friday's ticket stub for a free ticket on Saturday.
"The Lunatics mean so much to our program," Murray said at his weekly news conference. "(My wife) was kind of wanting a new kitchen. ... I'd rather invest it in the Lunatics. There's some incentive for them to come Friday night and then I'll pay for them to be at the game on Saturday, and we need 'em."
The Broncos and Tigers have met only twice this year. They split a series in Colorado Springs in late February, with WMU winning in overtime in game one, and falling to CC, 8-2, in game two.
"Colorado College was very good the last time we played them, had chances to win both hockey games," Murray said. "We're going to see a team that's great on transition. ... We have to manage the puck much better."
Murray also cited Tiger goaltender Alex Leclerc as a key strength for Colorado. In this past weekend's series against Denver, two Tiger wins, Leclerc allowed only one goal total to what was the No. 6 team in the country.
The series begins at 7:05 p.m. Friday. Saturday's face-off is also set for 7:05 p.m. The two teams will only play Sunday if they split the first two games.