Feb. 19, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's hockey team split a two-match series with 11th-ranked Niagara, winning 2-1 on Friday (Feb. 18) and losing 3-2 in overtime on Saturday (Feb. 19). Both games were played at WMU's Lawson Ice Arena.
Coming into the weekend, Niagara had the most wins (25), the best winning percentage, the top-rated defense, and the longest winning streak -- 16 games -- in NCAA Division I hockey.
Goals by Ryan Crane and Brent Rumble and an exceptional performance in net by goaltender Jeff Reynaert lifted WMU to Friday's 2-1 victory. Reynaert stopped 33 of 34 shots, including three on break-away opportunities for Niagara. He was named the player of the game.
Defenseman Crane, also a sophomore, returned to the lineup the previous weekend after a nine-game layoff resulting from an ankle injury. He scored his third goal of the season against Niagara.
In Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss, the Broncos received goals from rookie David Cousineau, his seventh of the season, and from sophomore Anthony Battaglia, his third for the season. Reynaert made 21 saves on Saturday and 54 in the two-match series.
WMU is 10-17-3 overall. In the past four contests on their home ice, all against nationally ranked opponents, the Broncos are 2-1-1. WMU is 5-2-1 in its past eight games at Lawson Arena. The Broncos will play three of their final four games at home, a fortunate turn of events for coach Jim Culhane's club, which has lost 10 straight on the road, dating back to Nov. 26.
The Broncos are 8-13-3 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and return to CCHA action next week, when they host third-place Lake Superior State on Thursday and Friday night, Feb. 24-25. The series, originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, was shifted to accommodate Thursday, Feb. 24, television coverage on FOX Sports Net.
WMU concludes the regular season with a home-and-away series with Ferris State, March 3-4. The CCHA playoffs begin March 10.
Bronco hockey can be heard on the Bronco Radio Network (Flagship station WFAT-96.5 FM Kalamazoo), and via broadcast.com on the Bronco Web site <www.wmubroncos.com>.
Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; firstname.lastname@example.org
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