Broncos Host Fighting Hawks As Final Regular Season Stretch Begins
The Western Michigan Broncos get ready for their final regular season games in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. It begins this weekend with a pair at home against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
The Broncos were off last week following a split on the road against the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks. The Brown and Gold are still in the top 10 in the nation on the United States College Hockey Organization's (USCHO) rankings at #9.
In the NCHC standings, there was not much movement as half of the eight-team conference was on a bye week. The teams that played last weekend - Omaha, conference-leading St. Cloud State, Colorado College and Miami - are all off this weekend. The other match-up this weekend between Minnesota Duluth and Denver means that the teams sitting in second through fifth could inch their way closer toward the top during the weekend. With the NCHC playoffs just a month away, positions in the top four in the standings become more important with home-ice advantage.
These two teams played in mid-November with the Broncos sweeping the then-11th ranked Fighting Hawks 2-0 and 6-2 in Grand Forks. It would kick start Western's 10-game unbeaten streak and propel them back into the USCHO rankings after falling out a few weeks previous.
During this week's press conference, Broncos head coach Andy Murray talked about the preparations his squad had during the off-week, and update on an injury for one of their freshman forwards. Freshman defenseman Jared Kucharek also chats about his experience in Kalamazoo and playing with veteran line mate Cam Lee.
Very few tickets remain for the Friday night contest at Lawson Ice Arena. Face-off is at 6:30pm, as the game will also be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Tickets for Saturday night at 7pm are Standing Room only.