January 21, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University hockey team (3-12-6, 2-11-6 CCHA) steps out of conference for the final time this season with a two-game set at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Engineers are ranked 10th nationally this week in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll. Friday's game can be heard on the Bronco Radio Network (Flagship station WFAT-96.5 FM) and on the internet via broadcast.com. The games are Friday, Jan. 22, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 23., at 7 p.m. in Houston Field House, Troy, N.Y.
Western Michigan lost its grip on the final playoff spot in
the CCHA with back-to-back losses to Northern Michigan and No.
5 ranked Michigan. Western now stands ninth in the Central Collegiate
Hockey Association standings. J.P. Vigier and Tyson Holly scored
two goals apiece to help the visiting NMU Wildcats to a 6-2 victory
Friday (Jan. 15) in Lawson. Western managed just two goals on
goaltender Dan Ragusett despite matching a season-high for shots
(31). The following
evening in Ann Arbor, Dale Rominski recorded a hat trick to lead Michigan to a 6-3 victory. Chuck Mindel scored his team-leading ninth goal for his fifth marker in four games.
Western's winning percentage (.286) is identical to last year's
(5-14-2, .286%) total after 21 games * WMU's three-game losing
streak matches the longest dry spell of the season * Chuck Mindel
has scored goals in four straight games * the Broncos are still
winless on the road (0-6-3) * Bryan Farquhar's power play marker
against the Wolverines was the first goal scored by a WMU freshman
this season in 113 combined games * senior netminder Matt Barnes
needs 45 saves to pass Brian Renfrew for fourth place on WMU's
career list * forwards Mark Wilkinson and Anthony Battaglia moved
back on defense Saturday for the fifth time in six games * Western
returns to Houston Field House for the first time since capturing
the 1979 RPI Invitational championship. The 49-year old building
saw Bill Wilkinson score his first goals as a player at
St. Lawrence; WMU assistant Jim Culhane also played in Houston as a member of the AHL Capital District Islanders * coach Wilkinson is a guest on "Bronco Hockey Review," an hour-long radio show hosted by Robin Hook on WFAT-96.9 FM at 7 p.m. every Monday.
RPI broke open a scoreless deadlock with two third period goals
to post a 2-1 victory last
season in Kalamazoo. The all-time series is knotted at 2-2.
Rensselaer (13-5-1) brings a seven-game win streak into this weekend's series. Junior goaltender Joel Laing (9-3-0, 2.36 GAA, .930%), a teammate of Daryl Andrews' with the Melfort Mustangs, has three shutouts in his last five games. Danny Riva (12-1426) and Matt Murley (7-1926) lead a pack of five RPI forwards with 20-plus points. Head coach Dan Fridgen owns a five-year record of 80-66-16.
Western continues its road swing next week with a pair of games at Ohio State (Jan. 29-30) prior to returning home against Alaska Fairbanks (Feb. 5).
Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4138; firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA