Kalamazoo, MI – The #1 ranked Huskies destroyed the senior night celebration at Lawson Arena on Saturday, March 2 routing the #10 ranked Western Michigan Broncos by a 8-2 score. This was the second consecutive Saturday the Broncos have allowed eight goals having been defeated by the identical score by Colorado College last Saturday. Fifteen SCSU players hit the scoreboard with Blake Lizotte leading the squad with two goals and one assist for three points. Seven different players scored for the Huskies as they racked up their most lop-sided win over the Broncos since an 11-1 thrashing on November 14, 2015 at Lawson Arena. The win continued an undefeated streak of eight games and the Huskies have gone 11-1-1 in their last 13 games. The Huskies overall record improves to 25-4-3 overall and 17-2-3 in the conference as they head into the final weekend of the regular season vs second place UMD.
The Huskies picked up where they left off in period three on Friday scoring three times on seven shots for a 3-0 first period advantage. Jacob Benson got the Huskies on the board 2:38 into the contest with his fourth goal of the season with assists to Jon Lizotte and Jake Wahlin. It was actually a pretty good offensive period for the Broncos as they outshot the Huskies 14-8 and had consistent pressure on the Huskies for most of the first period. Jeff Smith who got the start for the Huskies was up to the task turning aside a number of solid opportunities for WMU in the period. The Huskies took a two-goal lead at 12:54 on a shot from the top of the right circle by Luke Jaycox (Walker | Benson) for his second goal of the year. Dawson Dipietro couldn’t convert on a breakaway shooting it wide at 14:18 and Paul Washe missed an opportunity in close as well with 3:43 remaining in the period. Ethan Frank couldn’t close on a breakaway at 17:20 but the Huskies did 29 seconds later on a goal by Blake Lizotte (Jackson | J Lizotte) at 17:49. Lizotte attacked the WMU zone from the right wall and lifted the puck over Gorsuch for a 3-0 SCSU lead. Gorsuch was relieved and Ben Blacker inserted for the Broncos. WMU outshot SCSU 14-8 and there were no man-advantage opportunities in the period
Western Michigan’s defense had a total meltdown in period two with the Huskies adding four additional goals to take a 7-0 lead. However, it was WMU that had a golden opportunity 4:26 into the period as Ben Blacker, the WMU goaltender hit Hugh McGing with a long stretch pass and WMU had a three on one but Smith got a piece of McGing’s shot. The fireworks then started with Blake Lizotte (Ahcan | Perbix) who scored his second of the game at 9:14. Lizotte beat Blacker with a hard shot from between the dots for a 4-0 SCSU advantage. Next, at 13:09 Sam Hentges (Brodzinski | Ahcan) got on the board with his eighth of the season. He grabbed the puck along the left boards and carried it into the WMU zone beating Blacker with a quick wrist shot from the left circle. One minute and seventeen seconds later, Nick Poehling (Wahlin) scored on a play nearly identical to the Hentges goal. Poehling possessed the puck along the left wall and beat Blacker with a wrister from just outside the left circle for his fifth goal and a 6-0 SCSU lead. Finally, Jack Poehling (R Poehling | Jaycox) wrapped up the scoring for the Huskies in the period with his ninth goal of the year at 14:59. Ryan Poehling took a shot from the high slot through traffic and Jack Poehling converted the rebound for a 7-0 Huskies lead. Shots on goal were even a 11-11 and the Broncos were 0 for 2 on the only power plays of the period. Blacker was given the hook after the Jack Poehling goal and Trevor Gorsuch was re-inserted for the final 5:34 of the period.
Down 7-0 heading into period three, Western Michigan replaced Gorsuch with their third goaltender, walk-on Will Massey for his first-ever game action. Western finally got on the scoreboard at 1:39 on a goal by Dawson DiPietro. Dipietro got some separation on the SCSU defense and slid the puck under Smith for the Broncos first goal of the night and at the same time erasing Smith’s shutout. The Huskies added another goal midway through the final period by Patrick Newell (Lizotte | Jackson) his 17th of the season and second of the weekend for a 8-1 SCSU lead. Lizotte made a nice pass through the slot to Newell who one-timed it under the crossbar from the right circle. The SCSU defense got beat once again with 4:54 remaining as Wade Allison charged the net after snaring a pass from Colt Conrad and he performed a nice backhand to forehand move to beat Smith for the 8-2 final. The Broncos outshot the Huskies 15-9 in the period, SCSU was 0 for 1 on the power play and WMU was 0 for 2.
“We were able to bury our chances early” said Blake LIzotte who scored two goals. “that led the way for the rest of the night. After winning the Penrose, teams thought we would come in and have a little lull. Our goal was to come out and not do that. Coach Larson preached all week to keep up the intensity and not let off the gas pedal.”
Western Michigan outshot the Huskies 40-28 for the game and 80 to 54 over the weekend series. In a poor night for the WMU goaltenders, they allowed eight goals on 28 shots. Starter Trevor Gorsuch was relieved in period one after allowing 4 goals on 7 shots. Ben Blacker struggled as well allowing 3 goals on 10 shots. Gorsuch was re-inserted to finish off period two and he allowed another goal on four shots. Third period netminder, Will Massey turned aside eight of nine shots allowing one goal. SCSU starter Jeff Smith stopped 38 of 40 shots on goal in earning his sixth win of the season.
Neither squad had any success on the power with the Huskies scoreless in two opportunities ad WMU in three power plays. The Huskies blocked 10 shots while WMU blocked 3. The Huskies were dominated in the faceoff circle 31 to 19 by the Broncos.
Robby Jackson (0-2-2), Jake Wahlin (0-2-2), Jack Ahcan (0-2-2), Luke Jaycox (1-1-2), Blake Lizotte (2-1-3), Jon Lizotte (0-2-2) and Jacob Benson (1-1-2) all had a multiple point night for SCSU.
Stars of the Game: #1 B Lizotte (SCSU) #2 Smith (SCSU) #3 Allison (WMU)