Western Michigan Bronco Hockey Receive Season Awards
The Western Michigan Broncos earned their way into the National Collegiate Hockey Conference's Frozen Faceoff this weekend after holding off the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks in their best-of-three series at Lawson Ice Arena.
After falling 2-1 in overtime in Game 1, the Broncos returned to form in Game 2 with a 5-2 victory to even the series. Game 3 on Sunday was a tight contest, but a Michael Rebry goal 34 seconds into overtime gave the Broncos the series clinching win.
The series was the first home series for Western since joining the NCHC four years ago (all eight members, including Western, are charter members). The Broncos enter the Frozen Faceoff in Minneapolis for the second time in school history.
As part of the championship weekend, the Thursday before play is the annual NCHC Awards Celebration where the Broncos received three awards. The biggest of the award of the night was the Herb Brooks Coach of the Year awarded to head coach Andy Murray. Freshmen goaltender Ben Blacker also earned the Three Stars Award (receiving the most number one star performances during conference games) and senior forward Aaron Hadley received the NCHC Postgraduate Scholarship award (pursuing a master's degree in business administration).
The semifinal contests begin tonight at the Target Center in Minneapolis, as the Broncos take on the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs at 5pm. The two squads split the four-game regular season series with a win apiece at each arena. Both teams are also fighting for potential number one seeds in the NCAA Tournament, according to the Pairwise rankings. The NCAA Tournament takes the top 16 teams with four top seeds.
Here's a preview of this weekend's action from Western Michigan Bronco Athletics.