WMU blanks No. 6 Minnesota-Duluth
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Western Michigan sent its senior class off in style after a 3-0 shutout win against No. 6 Minnesota-Duluth in front of a sellout crowd of 3,715 at Lawson Ice Arena on Saturday night.
Lukas Hafner made 18 saves and the Broncos picked up goals from Chris Dienes, Mike McKee and Justin Kovacs. WMU killed off all four of the Bulldog power plays and converted 1 of 5 of their own. The shutout was the first for WMU since the Great Lakes Invitational Finals win against Michigan Tech on Dec. 28, 2013.
Dienes got the Broncos on the scoreboard at 8:08 in the first period. Colton Hargrove played the puck across the blue line and left it for Nolan LaPorte at the top of the right circle. LaPorte hit Dienes, who was trailing the play, and Dienes fired a shot from the right edge of the left circle and into the net for his second goal of the season.
McKee pushed the lead to 2-0 at 11:37 in the third period during a five-minute major power play for the Broncos. Scott Moldenhauer played a perfect pass to spring McKee at the blue line and he skated in and ripped one past UMD goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo for his second of the season.
Kovacs added an empty-net goal with 1:13 remaining after Dienes broke up a play and passed it to senior captain Will Kessel at center ice. Kessel had a two-on-one with Kovacs and passed it to him in the slot for the easy tap-in.
Western Michigan heads to Miami for the NCHC Quarterfinals, taking on the RedHawks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday if necessary.