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KALAMAZOO (1660 THE FAN) – Reflecting on his team’s opening weekend split with St. Lawrence at the weekly press conference, head coach Andy Murray said of the Saints, “They were a good challenge for us, they played us hard and tested us in both games.”
“Our team came out with the same energy and intensity both nights,” Murray commented, “Saturday we skated with more structure and purpose and that showed in the results.”
Junior defenseman Dan DeKeyser echoed those feelings, saying “On Friday we played really loose, turned the puck over too much, and left our penalty kill unit exposed”.
With five minor penalties called in the second period Saturday night against the Broncos, the penalty killing unit saw a lot of ice time. “We became too complacent,” said DeKeyser. Western Michigan gave up four power play goals.
The Bronco defensive unit played a big offensive role in both games, accounting for three of the six goals, and six of the 12 assists on the weekend. DeKeyser netted the game-tying goal Saturday night, and Garrett Haar added the game-winner.
“Our forwards are doing a great job getting pucks to the goalie’s feet,” DeKeyser said, “It’s no extra pressure on the defense, they’re just creating a lot second chances for us to score.”
Western Michigan returns to Lawson Friday night for a weekend series with Canisius. The Golden Griffins are coming off of a weekend split of their own with Alaska. Western Michigan and Canisius last met in 2010 in Kalamazoo, skating to a weekend split.
“Canisius is a blue-collar team,” said Murray, “They have guys that bring a lot of energy and intensity and we will have to be at our best to beat them.”
Both games can be heard on 96.5 FM WKZO beginning at 6:30 pm.
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