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November 10, 2012

Brown and Goaled - WMU wins in a shootout

Dennis Brown may have a new nickname: The Magic Man. With another sly move, Brown put gave the Broncos their 5th shoot-out win in Andy Murray's tenure in 5 tries. The additional point also gave the Broncos 5 of 6 points this weekend against the Bowling Green Falcons, who may be finding their stride right at the start of conference play.

The Broncos started out strong, scoring just 26 seconds into the game on a Kenney Morrison PP goal. It was his second goal in as many games from the point, and he might be stepping into departed defenseman Matt Tennyson's skates.

However, after the goal, Bowling Green recovered and played blow-for-blow with the Broncos. The Falcons seemed to play the tough, hard-nosed game WMU plays, holding Western to just 5 shots total in the period while totaling 11 of their own.

Bowling Green turned that play into a pair of even strength goals against Frank Slubowski (5-2-1). Coming out of the first intermission, Connor Kucera threw a shot on net and Ryan Carpenter deflected it over Slubowski's stick to tie the game at 1. Later, Andrew Wallace put in a puck that bounced off the boards on a Chad Sumsion shot that went wide. Slubowski went to deflect the rebound away, and wound up slightly out of position. With the goal, the Falcons led 2-1.

But the Broncos were not out.

After picking up their play in the last part of the 2nd period, the Broncos drew a penalty on Adam Berkle for cross-checking. Again, an early-period goal came of it as Shane Berschbach took a pass from Dane Walters in front of the net to bury the 2nd PP goal of the night for WMU. The goal tied the game. Said Berschbach, "We work our power-play pretty well. Dane had a great strain, but unfortunately (the puck) hit him right in the stop, and he slid it backdoor to me."

The next 24 minutes would be grind-it-out hockey as both teams traded great scoring chances in the 3rd period and OT. With the score still tied at 2 after 65 minutes, the game went into a shoot-out to determine the winner of the 3rd point of the game. After Bryce Williamson rang one off the post, Berschbach stepped up to take the penalty. He would bury it stick-side to give the Broncos a 1-0 advantage after the first round. The second round would feature the Broncos at their best, as Slubowski would save a Dan DeSalvo attempt before Dennis Brown pulled out another magical penalty shot to win the game.

For Berschbach, getting the first chance at the penalty shoot-out was somewhat redeeming. Having been suspended for the first 5 games of the season, Shane was just in his 3rd game of the season.

"It feels good. It shows that coach trusts me and has faith in me. You can't disappoint (the team) in that situation. You have to bury those chances, and I did."

For Brown, the move and subsequent goal was just another page in his PK career. Said Brown, "I don't know honestly (where the touch comes from). I've had some experience my freshman year, and didn't have the results I wanted last year." As for the move, Brown said, "It's usually a fake shot with a toe drag in it, but (Burke) played me well, didn't bite on any fakes, so I just tried and went 5-hole on him, and I got lucky there (tonight)."

For the Falcons, the lone point against a tough team in Western Michigan might just be where the season turns around for them. Coach Bergeron was happy with his team's performance, and their resiliency throughout the weekend.

"We fought hard (Friday), and we fought hard tonight. We're finally getting our edge back that we had last year. I don't know where its been, and I don't know why, but we have to find a way to stay at this level."

Said Bronco Head Coach Andy Murray about the Falcons and their strong showing, "(The Falcons) were in the Final Four (of the CCHA) last year, and they are better than they were last year. They have great young players and great goaltending."

Heading into next weekend's series at Alaska, the Broncos still stand in 7th in the CCHA, but are a mere 2 points behind the 2nd place Nanooks having played two fewer games than most of the CCHA. Dan DeKeyser is still day-to-day, but appears to be probable for the series. He was seen before the game with the team, and may have been held out for precautionary reasons as to not aggravate his injury. Game times for next weekend's games are 11:35 pm EST.



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