Club hockey splits weekend against WMU
The CMU club hockey team came into this weekend looking to upset Division 1 Western Michigan University.
On Friday in Kalamazoo, the team was almost always the first one to get to the loose puck and it showed on the score board, as CMU carried a 2-1 lead going into the second period.
In the second, the team stepped up its game and dominated time on attack, taking a four-goal lead into the third.
“It was one of our strongest second periods of the season,” said head coach Mike Willett. “In the third, however, we looked like a totally different team.”
CMU began the third period complacent with its four-goal lead and the sense of urgency was lost on the bench. They weren’t getting to loose pucks as fast as they were earlier in the game and the Broncos capitalized.
While the Broncos made a comeback, tying the game at 7, CMU responded with a late goal to win 8-7.
“We had our good periods and we took a few off and the bad ones hurt us,” said senior Mike Lesnau. “We need to start playing a full 60 minutes if we are going to get to nationals.”
As Saturday’s game started, CMU started the game off even stronger than Friday.
CMU capitalized on two early scoring opportunities and carried a 2-0 lead going into the second.
Five minutes into the second, WMU capitalized on an early scoring opportunity. For the next 10 minutes, the Broncos dominated the ice. They scored four times in the second and held a one-goal lead over CMU going into the third.
In the third, CMU tried to fight back but couldn’t top WMU’s defense , coming up empty on scoring chances. Both teams traded goals but the game was over after the Broncos scored an empty net goal with less than a minute remaining to finish with a 6-4 win.
“This weekend’s lesson to the team is that we need to play hard for all 60 minutes,” Willett said. “The bench is as positive as it could be, everyone is buying into the system, and if we do play hard for the full 60 minutes we can beat anyone.”
Saturday’s game at the Mount Pleasant Ice Arena was the last home game for seniors Mike Lesnau and Jordan Jakubik. Unfortunately, their last memory will be one of a loss.
“Losing is always a disappointment,” Jakubik said. “But we’ll move forward and get ready for the playoffs.”
CMU’s playoff seed won’t be known until later this week, but the feeling in the locker room is that whoever they play, the team has a chance to win.
“My confidence in the team is at its highest point,” Willett said. “The team has a serious chance to get to nationals and I believe the team will be there in the end.”