WMU Hockey edges Niagara



KALAMAZOO, MIch. – The Western Michigan hockey team won its third straight game after a 3-2 victory over Niagara at Lawson Ice Arena on Friday night.

Trevor Gorsuch made 20 saves to pick up his fifth win, while Ethen Frank netted two goals, including the game-winner for the Broncos (7-6-0). Freshman forward Rhett Kingston scored his first collegiate goal and the Broncos blocked 20 shots on the night, including nine by Luke Bafia.

Frank’s first of the night gave the Broncos a very early 1-0 lead, just 1:39 into the game. Paul Washe won the puck below the goal line and sent it to Mattias Samuelsson. Samuelsson skated through the slot to the left circle, drawing to goalie to his side. Samuelsson dished the puck back to Frank in the slot to put it into an open net for his third of the season. Samuelsson and Washe both picked up their third assists of the season on the goal.

WMU pushed the lead to 2-0 at 8:48 in the first period on Kingston’s first career goal. Conrad found him in the slot and the freshman tucked it under the cross bar. Conrad notched his team-best 10th assist of the season and Cam Lee recorded his sixth.

Niagara cut the lead to 2-1 early in the second period. A Bronco shot went high and the rebound bounced all the way to center ice. Justin Kendall picked it up and scored on a breakaway for his fourth goal of the season at 2:22.

WMU answered back at 14:46 to push the lead back to two, 3-1, on Frank’s second of the night. Bafia sent the puck into the Niagara zone and Dawson DiPietro raced down to the goal line to grab it. DiPietro used a no-look between-the-legs drop pass to Frank and he slipped it through the legs of NU goalie Brian Wilson for the game-winner.

Niagara cut it back to one just 3:34 into the third on a goal by Noah Delmas. Luke Edgerton found Delmas in the deep slot and his low shot slipped through traffic and past Gorusch.

The Purple Eagles pulled their goalie with 2:34 remaining but Gorsuch and the Broncos kept them out of the net to seal the victory.

The two teams battle it out again on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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