KALAMAZOO, Mich. – No. 7/8 Western Michigan scored three goals in the third period to snap a tie game and beat the Omaha hockey team, 5-2, to even the best-of-three NCHC quarterfinal series.
Wade Allison scored 52 seconds into the final period, and Hugh McGing and Michael Rebry tallied later to help the Broncos pull away for the victory at Lawson Arena.
The two teams will play a deciding game three on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. CT. If the Mavericks win, they will advance to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff for the first time in school history.
The Mavericks (17-16-5) wasted little time getting the lead. Just 48 seconds into the game, Justin Parizek beat at Western Michigan defender to a loose puck deep in the Broncos’ zone. He centered it to Tyler Vesel who fired home his 13th goal of the season.
The Broncos (21-10-5) tied the game when Colt Conrad converted the rebound of a shot by Wade Allison at 7:56, and they took the lead when McGing finished an odd-man rush with his seventh goal of the season at 10:49.
The Mavericks again struck quickly at the start of the second period. Just 13 seconds in, David Pope fed the puck to Austin Ortega who raced in on a breakaway, beating goalie Ben Blacker with a sharp wrister for his team-leading 20th goal of the year. He became the first player in school history to register three 20-goal seasons.
Evan Weninger finished the game with 27 saves while Blacker had 36. The Mavericks outshot the Broncos, 38-32.