College hockey: No. 14 Western Michigan blanks No. 1 Denver 3-0
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Ben Blacker made 24 saves to record back-to-back shutouts for the Western Michigan hockey team for the first time since 2009 as the 14th-ranked Broncos downed No. 1 Denver, 3-0, at Lawson Ice Arena on Friday night.
Frederik Tiffels, Chris Dienes and Sheldon Dries all tallied goals, while the team blocked 17 shots to limit Blacker's work at times. Overall WMU outshot DU 30-24, including holding them five in the first and third periods.
"The building was packed tonight," said head coach Andy Murray. "This is an example tonight of what elite college hockey is all about. That was outstanding hockey. We deserved to win tonight."
The pivotal moment came early in the third period when Denver's Adam Plant sent Wade Allison into the boards head first. Plant was given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. Midway through the major Tiffels netted the game-winning goal at 6:28. Tiffels emerged from a crowd to the left of the Denver net and flipped the puck over the shoulder of Pioneer goalie Tanner Jaillet and into the net for his third goal of the season. Matheson Iacopelli and Cam Lee each picked up assists on the goal.
It's final! Broncos knock off #1 Denver 3-0! pic.twitter.com/vGjHOkJGFR— WMU Hockey (@WMUHockey) January 14, 2017
WMU kept the pressure on for the rest of the game, outshooting Denver 14-5 in the final period. Dienes and Dries each added empty-net goals at 18:45 and 19:05 to seal the victory.
Western Michigan came out firing in the first period, racking up 11 shots while holding the Pioneers to just five. The roles reversed in the second period with Denver outshooting the Broncos 14-5. WMU was able to kill off two power plays in the period and the penalty kill finished the night a perfect 3-for-3.
The two teams face off for the final time during the regular season on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-888-4-WMUTIX, visiting the Lawson Ice Arena box office and online at wmubroncos.com/tickets. The game can also be seen live on NCHC.tv and heard live on the Bronco Radio Network.