Article Written by Luke Paider.

The Western Michigan Broncos extended the NCHC Quarterfinal series to three games after defeating the St. Cloud State Huskies 6-1 on Saturday night. The Huskies had an opportunity to get the home sweep and head to the Frozen Faceoff in St. Paul with a win but Western Michigan needing a win to extend their season came to play.

The Broncos had a strong and balanced attack in the first period. Western Michigan put up 15 shots on goal with no player having more than two shots on goal. But St. Cloud State Freshman Goaltender Isak Posch was up to the task. He saved all 15 shots he faced and along with St. Cloud winning 13 of 24 faceoffs in the period the Huskies made it to the 1st intermission still tied 0-0 despite being outshot 15-4.

In an interview after the first period, Senior Captain Dylan Anhorn said the Huskies needed to move their feet better and get more offensive zone time in the next 40 minutes.

The Huskies struggled with penalties early in the second period with Senior Forward Kyler Kupka going to the penalty box for interference one minute into the second frame. Then, five minutes into the period Western Michigan’s Carter Berger and St. Cloud’s Mason Salquist found themselves in the box for cross-checking and hooking.

The game went to 4-on-4 and during this Freshman Forward Tyson Gross scored his seventh goal of the season and scored for the fourth straight game to give St. Cloud St. the 1-0 lead. The Broncos wouldn’t be denied though as they finally broke through the glove of Posch with three minutes left in the period with a goal from Sam Colangelo who scored his 21st goal of the season.

The period would end with the contest still tied at one all. Western Michigan held a major shot advantage through 40 minutes 22-12.

St. Cloud’s inability to get consistent opportunities would cost them in the final period. The Huskies were short handed after Karl Falk was called for interference and the Broncos would cash in just 16 seconds into the man advantage. Dylan Wendt scored his 22nd goal of the year with assists from Alex Bump and Luke Granger to give the Broncos the 2-1 lead. Western Michigan’s power play wasn’t done there.

With eight minutes left to play, Senior Luke Granger added to the Broncos lead. The wheels would truly fall off for St. Cloud when, with three minutes left, Sam Colangelo would score his second and third goals within the sixty seconds to get a hat trick. His third goal was with an empty net which Posch did return to once the Huskies fell down 5-1.

Even with Posch back in net the Broncos scoring was not over. With only 16 seconds remaining Dylan Wendt would add one final tally for Western Michigan to give them the lopsided 6-1 victory in the Herb Brooks Center.

After the game, Dylan Wendt said the Broncos just continued to play their game.

Even after the loss the night before they stuck to their game plan and it paid off with the win. With the teams splitting the Friday and Saturday matchups the series will be sent to a decisive third game on Sunday night. The winner keeps their season alive and heads to St. Paul for the Frozen Faceoff and strengthens their resume nationally.

It’s all to play for between St. Cloud St. and Western Michigan Sunday Night.

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