Trevor Gorsuch Guides Western Michigan Broncos to Friday WinNovember 17, 2018
Coming into this series, the Western Michigan Broncos were looking to build its resume and pull within one game of the .500 mark on the season, both for the conference and National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) play. Star forward Wade Allison was initially listed on the line chart for the Broncos, but ended up not playing due to injury recovery from an ACL injury sustained last year. Goaltender Trevor Gorsuch, a senior for Western, stole the show in Allison’s absence.
Allison could take the ice tomorrow for the Broncos, but after the game their bench boss, Andy Murray was non-committal about the status of his star forward for Saturday night. That proved to be no matter for the Broncos as 12:24 into the third Josh Passolt used a double-deflection goal to provide the game-winner. The puck went off him, then off a Fighting Hawk, then into the back of the net.
Western Michigan’s Trevor Gorsuch Blanks UND
In the first period, Trevor Gorsuch was the story for the Broncos. The senior netminder dominated in the opening stanza for Western Michigan. He made 16 saves on all 16 shots he faced from the University of North Dakota. He bailed out the Broncos who took three minor penalties. Western Michigan played an aggressive penalty kill in the first, limiting UND to a mere eight shots on goal during their six minutes of power play time in the first frame.
The second period featured more superb saves from Gorsuch as Western Michigan generated a few more chances but could not find the twine.
The Broncos finally tallied a breakthrough goal from Josh Passolt in the third period and an empty net insurance marker from Colt Conrad to provide the final margin of victory. On the evening, Gorsuch made 32 saves on 32 shots. Coach Andy Murray noted that his team played better as the night went on, as, after the first, the Broncos took no penalties in the last 40 minutes. The third was the best period of the night for the Broncos.
In addition, Passolt and Gorsuch noted the value of the team game Western Michigan played. The Broncos surrendered 62 shot attempts on the evening, but of those attempts, Gorsuch only had to save 32. Andy Murray’s side had 13 blocks on the 62 attempts.
University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks Look for Redemption
Throughout the game, the Broncos limited UND’s ability to make cross-ice passes and get backdoor chances, especially on special teams. That forced the Fighting Hawks to take lower quality shots and accounted for 17 shot attempts that went wide.
The Broncos’ solid system allowed them to pick their spots to push forward and mitigated the impact of UND’s chances. Western Michigan was able to disrupt UND’s points and not allow them to set up to generate higher-quality chances. Look for the Broncos to face a strong rebuttal from the Fighting Hawks Saturday night. If Western Michigan can replicate this defensive effort, anything is possible Saturday night in Grand Forks.