Michigan beats Western Michigan 4-3 to advance to CCHA tournament semifinals
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Michigan cruised to a 5-1 victory at No. 9 Western Michigan to complete the CCHA quarterfinal sweep on Saturday night inside Lawson Ice Arena. Alex Guptill scored two goals for the Wolverines, while Luke Moffatt posted a three assists and captain A.J. Treais added two helpers.
Michigan jumped out to 1-0 lead at 1:08, before WMU tied it 15 minutes later. The Wolverines burst out for four goals in the second period and held off the Broncos in the third for their second consecutive series sweep. The Wolverines are now 7-0-1 in their past eight games.
Up next for Michigan is a CCHA semifinal game on March 23 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Michigan took control early in the opening stanza, as Kevin Lynch took a cross-ice pass from Lee Moffie in stride and went top shelf with a quick wrist shot to put the Wolverines up 1-0.
The Wolverines were outshooting WMU 9-1 until a slashing penalty at 11:00. The Wolverines' penalty kill kept Western off the board and without a shot on net. Michigan outshot WMU 15-3 in the first period.
During the next 20 minutes, Michigan controlled the play again and found the back of the net four times.
First it was Treais who made a great move to the net but was stopped by WMU goalie Frank Slubowski. Treais got the puck back behind the net and threw it back to a wide-open Andrew Sinelli, who ripped it home to give the Wolverines the lead for good at the 2:53 mark.
At 10:09 of the period, Michigan had its first power-play opportunity, and Guptill cashed in for the Wolverines, scoring his first of two with a great second effort. With a scramble in front of the WMU net, he settled the puck for a second-chance shot, lifting it over the top of a sprawling Slubowski.
Only 49 seconds later, Derek DeBlois swatted in a rebound after a great move and shot by Phil Di Giuseppe to make the score 4-1 and chase Slubowski from the game.
A great Steve Racine save and Guptill's second goal came in the last minute of the second stanza to seal it. Racine made a pad save on a breakaway, and Michigan responded quickly with Guptill's second goal from the slot with only 18 seconds left in the period. Racine finished with 22 saves for the Wolverines.