Broncos Lose In OT; Fall To Fourth Place
The tightness of the NCHC standings spotlights the parity of the league. A bad weekend can really mess up a team's playoff position and and even more so, its hopes for a title. Both WMU hockey games with North Dakota this weekend were hard fought nail-biters. And Saturday night's loss was a heartbreaker at that, with an overtime goal disallowed and a UND goal a minute later ending it.
Saturday night's game was expected to be tight checking and low scoring, and it turned out that way. A goal for each team in the first period and then tense hockey the rest of the way into overtime. WMU's Rhett Kingston scored in overtime, only to have the goal waved off, for goalie interference.
The weekend sweep for UND resulted in the team clinching the Penrose Cup, the NCHC regular season championship trophy. The Fighting Hawks can now get ready for the conference playoff tournament, while the teams behind them, including WMU have a lot of unknown ahead for them.
This coming weekend is the final weekend of the season. Third place Denver and fourth place WMU play the two team at the bottom of the standings; Denver against local rival Colorado College and Western against Miami (at Lawson Arena). Fifth place St. Cloud State is up against defending two time champion Minnesota-Duluth.