Thursday, November 13, 2008

10 Things to Know About Western Michigan

1) Western Michigan comes in at 1-6-3 on the season and 0-3-3-1 in the CCHA. They beat Niagara in their opener but haven't won a game (in regulation) since, tying Ferris, State and Omaha and beating FSU in the shootout. They're 0-4 on the road (and have given up 19 goals) and 1-2-3 at home.

2) Offense has been hard to come by for the Broncos over the last month or so. After their 6-5 ot loss to Minnesota-Duluth, WMU has scored 1, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2 goals. The good news for them is that they've gotten three ties in those games.

3) Chris Clackson leads the team with 4 goals (that's already a career high for him) and Patrick Galivan has a 3-5--8 line to lead WMU in points. Their defense has two goals, but they've got a couple of guys with 5+ points from back on the blueline. Greg Squires from the NTDP (and a former BU commit) is their top freshman, with a 2-3--5 line. Chris Frank is still there, and he's still a goon, leading the team with 35 PIMs in 10 games. And he's a team-worst -7.

4) In net, Riley Gill and Jerry Kuhn have basically split time. Gill has played four games, and Kuhn six. Gill's numbers are better: 1-2-1, 2.70, .913 to Kuhn's 0-4-2, 3.41, .903. Gill played both games against MSU, Kuhn got both games last week against UNO. My random guess at the goaltending, which I'll probably end up getting wrong like usual, I think we see Gill both games.

5) Their scoring is ranked #42 in the country at 2.20 goals per game. The defense is 45th at 3.30 goals per game. They've gotten off to really slow starts, getting outscored 12-6 in the first period with a 117-73 shot differential, not in their favor. Their third periods have been basically even in shots/goals but the starts have bit them.

6) WMU's power play is middle of the pack at 26th nationally, at 16.1%. The PK is tied for 33rd at 83.3%. They've scored two shorties and given up two.

7) They block a bunch of shots, averaging 16 a night (to 10 for their opponents). Jordan Collins and Chris Frank are the leaders in that department.

8) Michigan leads the all-time series 60-25-10 and have won 9 of the last 10, including 5 in a row. Even though Lawson is a tough place to play, the Wolverines have been victorious in six straight trips to see the Lunatics.

9) Brandon Naurato is Michigan's leading point-getter against WMU, with 3-3--6 in seven career games. Turnbull has 5 points, and Summers has four. Carl Hagelin is the only one of the youngsters to have scored against the Broncos. Billy Sauer has a 5-1-0 mark with a 2.51 and an .889. He's given up just one goal in each of his past three appearances against WMU, making 71 saves in the three games. Hogan hasn't faced Western.

10) Chris Clackson played with Billy Sauer on the Chicago Steel. JJ Crew (yes, JJ Crew) played with Chad Langlais and Bryan Hogan and is from Placentia, CA, the same city as Scooter Vaughan. Jerry Kuhn played (one game) with David Rohlfs with Compuware in the NAHL, and also played with Steve Kampfer and Max Pacioretty in the USHL. Kevin O'Connor played with Tim Miller and Brandon Naurato, and also wins this week's "Dude, get a job" award, for being 24 in his redshirt junior year. Here's one for you: Travis Paeth played with Eric Elmblad on the Traverse City North Stars. He's also an ex-teammate of Palushaj's.

So there you have it. Tonight's game will (hopefully) be shown and subsequently archived on I believe Western has pay per view video, but I think you have to buy a month's subscription and I'm not sure it'd be worth $20 to catch that one.

I'll take the Wolverines easily tonight and a win in a tougher game at Lawson on Saturday.


pz said...

we seriously lost that game? just couldn't capitalize on opportunities. I know there was traffic, but there's no way Sauer should have allowed two goals from the point by Western defensemen.

We are not good on Friday nights...

Lets get 'em tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I was pretty disappointed by our inability to put it in the net. We also seemed to frequently play soft in our own zone. As much as we outshot them, I felt like if you compared time spent in the offensive zone it'd be a bit closer.

I thought Scooter had an especially good game, whereas Chad Langlais had just an average game after really lighting things up most of this season (from my seats in the student section).