KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Ethen Frank became the first Western Michigan Hockey player to score four goals in a game since 2006 as the 13th-ranked Broncos downed No. 2 St. Cloud State, 6-2, at Lawson Ice Arena on Friday.
The win was WMU's third over a top-five team this season. Frank finished with a career-high five points on four goals and an assist. The last Bronco to put four in the net in a single game was Brent Walter back on Jan. 16, 2006 in a 5-4 win at Bowling Green. Senior forward Drew Worrad had three assists, as did senior defenseman Mike Joyaux. Cole Gallant had two assists, while the Broncos also picked up goals from Ty Glover and Max Sasson.
Brandon Bussi finished with 28 saves for Western Michigan (7-4-0, 2-3-0 NCHC). The Broncos were outshot 30-26 on the night but finished 2-for-6 on the power play while holding the Huskies to one on four chances.
Early in the first period Bussi took a stick to the face from SCSU's Nolan Walker. Walker was given a five-minute major for high sticking and a game misconduct. Freshman goalie Ross Hawryluk was subbed in as Bussi received treatment for a cut, making his collegiate debut. Hawryluk played for 8:09 before Bussi returned from the locker room and reentered the game.
Western Michigan took a 1-0 lead with 4:05 left to play in the first period on Glover's first goal of the season. Frank got the puck from Joyaux in the left circle and dished it to Glover in the slot, who redirected it into the net. Frank picked up his seventh assist of the season on the goal and Joyaux tallied his ninth.
Late in the second period the Huskies were peppering Bussi with shots but the Broncos broke out of the zone and Worrad dished it wide right to Gallant, who took it into the right circle and passed it through the slot to Frank in the left circle and he buried his first of the night to make it 2-0 WMU at 17:41.
Frank picked up his second of the night just 54 seconds into the third period, punching in a rebound on a shot by Cedric Fiedler. Fiedler fired a shot from the left circle and it was deflected in front of the net, bouncing right to Frank in the slot and he put it into an open net. Fiedler picked up his fourth assist of the season and Gallant tallied his sixth.
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Just 1:02 later Frank scored again from the left circle, this time on the power play, to complete the hat trick. Joyaux and Worrad picked up assists on the eventual game-winner.
Sasson scored his second goal of the season at 7:53 to push the lead to 5-0. Joyaux connected on a long pass to Chad Hillebrand for a two-on-one rush. Hillebrand took the puck into the left circle and dished it across the slot to Sasson, who punched it into the net.
SCSU scored two quick goals at 11:17 and 11:38 to cut the lead to 5-2 and then pulled backup goalie Jaxon Castor with over five minutes to go.
Frank capitalized on the empty net, scoring his fourth of the night at 17:57.
The two teams battle it out again on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.