Behind Slubowski's 32 saves in goal, Western Michigan beats Miami (Ohio)
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Western Michigan goalie Frank Slubowski made 32 saves as the sixth-ranked Broncos shut out No. 3 Miami (Ohio) 2-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 3,832 fans at Lawson Ice Arena on Friday.
Slubowski stopped everything Miami shot at him, including 12 saves on five RedHawk power plays, earning his fourth shutout of the season and seventh of his career. WMU (18-6-5, 14-4-3-1 CCHA) reclaimed first place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association with the help of goals from Jordan Oesterle and Chase Balisy. Balisy extended an assist streak to three consecutive games and also scored his ninth goal of the season.
The Bronco defense also blocked 17 shots with senior defenseman Luke Witkowski leading the team with four.
Western Michigan took an early 1-0 lead three minutes into the first period on Oesterle’s third of the season. Balisy won the draw to Dane Walters and Walters passed it back to Oesterle. He skated to the center point and fired a low shot into the left corner of the net. The assist was Balisy’s 13th of the season and Walters’ 10th to push his team-leading point total to 22.
During the second period the Broncos had a chance to push the lead to 2-0 on a penalty shot by Mike Leone. WMU was awarded the shot after Joe Hartman closed his hand on the puck in the crease. Leone tried to go glove side with a back-hand attempt, but Miami goalie Jay Williams made the save.
The Broncos started off the third period with a four-on-three power play after Curtis McKenzie took a penalty for roughing after the whistle. Balisy capitalized to give WMU a 2-0 lead after he banked in a shot from the bottom of the right circle off of Williams’ shoulder. Dan DeKeyser and Kenney Morrison were each credited with assists on the goal.
WMU held on despite being outshot 13-6 in the third period and 32-23 in the game.