By John Lachmann
WHO: Western Michigan Broncos (12-10-4) at Miami RedHawks (10-11-3).
WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Friday—7 p.m. Saturday—7:05 p.m.
TV: Friday—CBS Sports Network (DirecTV. Ch. 221, Dish Network Ch. 152). Saturday—TW Cable Channel 311.
MIAMI RADIO: None.
WESTERN MICHIGAN RADIO: WKZO-FM (96.5) both nights.
NOTES: Miami suffered a pair of tough losses in Kalamazoo, both by one goal Jan. 10-11.
Western Michigan is 0-12-1 in its last 13 games in Oxford, and has been outscored, 52-18.
The Broncos are 1-2-1 since their sweep of Miami last month, but they lost a pair at home against Minnesota-Duluth last weekend.
It’s unclear which goalie will start this weekend, since sophomore Lukas Hafner has the better numbers (5-3-1, 1.86, .928), but he surrendered four goals in a loss last Friday. Junior Frank Slubowski (7-7-3, 2.66, .911) was 32-for-35 last Saturday.
Former Miami commit Shane Berschbach leads WMU in points (10-16-26). Junior forward Justin Novics is second with 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points.
Senior forward Chase Balisy is the only other Bronco with 20 or more points (6-14-20, team-best plus-15 rating).
Miami is hoping to build on the momentum of its 6-1 win at Colorado College on Jan. 25.
The RedHawks had gone 0-4-1 in its previous five and 2-8-2 in its last 12.
Picked to win the NCHC, Miami is in seventh place in the first-year conference, and desperation does not begin to describe the position the RedHawks are in presently.
Reilly Smith turned 23 in early April, yet he is already ascending the Miami alumni Stanley Cup playoff scoring chart.
Texas Stars forward Curtis McKenzie was named the AHL Rookie of the Year on Monday.
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Miami’s entire season, especially since the start of the NCHC Tournament, has been all about drama.
Miami is now one win away from extending its streak of NCAA Tournament berths, a task that would have been seemingly impossible a few weeks ago.
The last time Miami and North Dakota played, UND scored nine times in the most lopsided loss the RedHawks have suffered under Coach Enrico Blasi.
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