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Broncos rally in third period for 5-3 win over Nebraska-Omaha

by Colin Windecker

Kalamazoo, MI (WKZO) – The Western Michigan men’s hockey team scored four third period goals, erasing a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 5-3, splitting the two game weekend series. With the win the Broncos snapped their three game winless streak.

Trailing 3-1 after two periods, Nolan LaPorte, Colton Hargrove and Chase Balisy each scored in the third period to put the Broncos in the lead and Shane Berschbach added an empty netter with 40 seconds left in the game for the Broncos’ final goal.

A night after failing to convert on any of their eight power plays, the Broncos scored once with the man advantage in six opportunities, and killed off all but one of the Mavericks seven power plays.

Josh Archibald scored the first two goals for the Mavericks (13-15-2, 10-8-2-1 NCHC) but Justin Kovacs was able to tally his 12th goal of the year in-between Archibald’s two goals, a shorthanded goal.  Tanner Lane scored the Mavericks third goal midway through the second period.

Frank Slubowski made the start in goal for the Broncos and made 25 saves. Ryan Massa stopped 20 of the Broncos’ 25 shots, a night after allowing just one goal to WMU.  LaPorte also recorded two assists, while Balisy, Kovacs and Berschbach were the only other Broncos to finish with multiple points.

WMU ( 15-12-5, 9-9-2-2) will next take on Denver for two games on Friday and Saturday at Lawson Arena. Face-off is set for 7pm for both games. Heading into the series the Broncos will be in either 4th or 5th place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, eight points out of first with four games remaining.