Surprising offense has Western Michigan atop NCHC standings


Add within the early signing of would-be senior Freddy Tiffels (Pittsburgh Penguins) and the commencement of six different seniors and Western Michigan misplaced greater than fifty five % of its objectives from final yr’s staff — second-most within the NCHC.

However a bizarre factor has occurred this season.

Getting into this weekend’s two-recreation collection with UND (7:37 p.m. tonight, 7:07 p.m. Saturday, Ralph Engelstad Area), the Broncos are literally averaging extra objectives per recreation this season (three.sixty seven) than they did final season (three.33).

“We misplaced some high quality gamers,” Western Michigan coach Andy Murray stated. “However we’ve received a small senior class this yr they usually’ve been excellent. They’ve set a very good commonplace from the start of the yr. Someone’s received to attain objectives and we’ve been scoring by committee. We’ve had plenty of gamers concerned. We have now no selection. Somebody has to attain the objectives.”

Western Michigan, which presently sits in first play within the NCHC at 5-1, has had some spectacular offensive outbursts in every of its final 4 weeks.

In early November, the Broncos swept No. 1 Denver, piling up thirteen objectives on the weekend. They torched reigning Mike Richter Award winner Tanner Jaillet for six objectives one night time.

The subsequent weekend, Western Michigan had a 5-objective night time towards defending nationwide runner-up Minnesota Duluth. The next weekend, the Broncos scored 9 occasions towards Nebraska Omaha.

And every week in the past, Western Michigan scored 5 occasions on Colgate goalie Colton Level, who entered that collection with a .952 save proportion and one loss in 12 begins.

The important thing aim-scorers have been linemates Wade Allison, Colt Conrad and Dawson DiPietro.

Allison, a second-spherical decide of the Philadelphia Flyers who had a hand in all 4 Western objectives in The Ralph final season, and Conrad, a Manitoban who performed at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, have been anticipated to have robust years.

DiPietro, who was scratched in all however one recreation a season in the past, has been considered one of school hockey’s largest surprises. He has sixteen factors in 15 video games.

“That’s an ideal story,” Western Michigan captain Scott Moldenhauer stated. “He simply caught to it. Final yr, it was unlucky he didn’t get in. However he had an incredible summer time. He labored very exhausting and it’s paying off on the ice. Everyone seems to be seeing it. He had perception in himself and he’s doing a tremendous job for us.”

UND coach Brad Berry stated that beginning goalie Cam Johnson, who has missed the final eight video games with a decrease-physique damage, ought to be obtainable for this weekend’s…



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