SCSU Shutout 4-0 and Swept by Western Michigan

Aiden Spellacy (Photo Prout)

Kalamazoo, MI – Western Michigan’s winning streak over St. Cloud State at Lawson Arena will be broken at some point. However, it’ll have to wait for at least a year if the schedule has them returning to Kalamazoo for the 2022-23 season. For now, the hex on the Huskies increases to six straight wins at Lawson Arena.

It wasn’t that the Huskies were outplayed in the series finale on Saturday (Nov. 20). In fact, they controlled large portions of the game and outshot the Broncos by a 36 to 24 margin. What derailed the Huskies were a couple of timely goals 17 seconds apart in period two and an outstanding weekend between the pipes for junior goaltender Brandon Bussi.

Bussi, the native of Sound Beach, NY left the game on Friday after being jabbed through the mask by the blade of a stick early in the game. He missed eight minutes but returned after some needed medical attention in the locker room. After that, he was pretty much lights out holding the Huskies to two goals in the next five and a half periods of play and certainly earned MVP honors of the weekend for the Broncos.

Most importantly, the Broncos atoned for being swept at Denver last weekend, earned six league points, and catapulted to a tie with the Huskies for fourth place in the tightly bunched NCHC standings.

Brandon Bussi who earned his second career shutout said “I felt really good and was seeing the puck really well. It makes it a lot easier playing with a 3-0 lead rather than a 1-0 lead. We buried our opportunities and made plays when we had to.”

Michael Joyaux scored the Broncos’ second goal and has more than half of his career goals against the Huskies. ” It’s something about playing this team just given their ranking and how good they are I always tend to pick up my game against them. Our strategy was to stay on top of them and play fast and not allowing them to get shots and blocking shots as well,” said Joyaux.

Bronco coach Pat Ferscheiler was obviously pleased with the result. “It’s a great win and obviously a lot of it has to do with Brandon Bussi who played great in the first two periods. I thought the third period was a real team effort.”

“We needed that first goal,” said Ferschweiler. They were carrying the play – let’s not kid ourselves. We were under a lot of heat and it was the end of a power play. We just found a way to get it in the net and then Michael Joyaux makes a high-end skilled play likes he does most nights.”

“This was a gutty effort. We are proud of the guys,” said Ferschweiller.

The Huskies, on the other hand, have now lost three straight games and need to return to the drawing board to figure out where their offense has disappeared scoring just four goals in the last three games. Likewise, the previously potent power play has gone dormant as well scoring just twice in the last 22 opportunities.

Damage control needs to occur with some urgency as the Huskies have a weekend break for Thanksgiving and then return for their final league series of 2021 on December 3/4 vs league leader University of North Dakota.

Thomas Rocco (Photo Prout)

Period One 

The Huskies shook things up for the series finale with Easton Brodzinski, David Hrenak, and Brendan Bushy out of the lineup. There were no reports of injury however that was not confirmed. In any case, the Huskies revamped a few lines and it certainly showed promise early controlling play for much of the period. They outshot the Broncos 14 to 7 but once again couldn’t solve Bussi and couldn’t find success on their only power play of the period placing only two shots on goal.

One of the Huskies’ best opportunities was when Thomas Rocco, who was inserted for the Saturday game split the defense and placed a backhand on Bussi at the doorstep with less than 5:00 minutes left in the period.  But, Bussi was there to thwart the opportunity.

(Photo Prout)

Period Two   

After again controlling possession early in period two, the Huskies Nick Perbix was whistled for cross-checking at 5:37. However, the Broncos generated little with the man advantage and the Huskies had a successful penalty kill. But, an untimely line change by the Huskies shortly after the penalty expired had the Broncos attacking the SCSU zone with a three-on-one.  An outmanned Jaxon Castor made the initial save but the Broncos kept chopping at it with Jason Polin getting it past Castor for a 1-0 Bronco lead.

Seventeen seconds later, offensive defenseman Michael Joyaux who had five career goals against the Huskies added another on a screened shot from the right point to double the lead to 2-0.

The Huskies found themselves back in the penalty box two more times before the period’s end and had another man-advantage opportunity generating only one shot on goal.

Again, the Huskies outshot the Broncos 14-11 but trailed 2-0.

Micah Miller / Brandon Bussi (Photo Prout)

Period Three  

The Huskies had one more period to try to salvage some points out of the weekend but the Broncos were content to build a wall on the blue line to negate the Huskies’ offensive attack. In fact, it was the Broncos who nearly punched the lead to two goals placing a puck off the crossbar with 10 minutes remaining in regulation.

A penalty to Aiden Fulp for interference at 15:24 had the Lawson Lunatics howling but gave the Huskies one last opportunity to get back into the game. Without any results, Castor was pulled for a sixth attacker but the tactic backfired with the Broncos Paul Washe breaking free for an empty-net goal at 16:57 to increase the lead to 3-0.

The Broncos added another empty-net goal by Ronnie Attard at 19:52 to cap off the 4-0 win and sweep of the Huskies.

(Photo Prout)

Statistics 

For the game, the Huskies attempted 57 shots on goal with 36 hitting their mark while the Broncos attempted 41 with 24 shots on goal. SCSU’s Castor stopped 20 of 22 shots to see his record fall to 1-2-0. The Broncos Bussi turned aside all 36 shots he faced to earn his 8th win of the season (8-4-0).

Both teams were penalized four times for 8 minutes. SCSU was 0 for 3 on the man advantage as was Western Michigan.

Contrary to Friday’s game, the Huskies were badly outdueled in the faceoff circle winning only 21 of 53 faceoffs (39.6%). WMU’s Paul Wasche, one of the best on faceoffs in college hockey, won 70% of his faceoffs.

Stars of the Game: #1 Brandon Bussi (WMU), #2 Paul Wasche (WMU), #3 Jason Polin (WMU)  

Box Score

Photo Gallery

 

 

 

 

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