KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Michigan Wolverines (17-10-3 overall 12-7-3 CCHA), backed by two Kevin Porter goals and three T.J. Hensick points and a solid 25 save performance from Noah Ruden, beat the Broncos of Western Michigan (6-20-4, 6-15-3), 4-1.
The scoring started just 49 seconds into the game, when Kevin Porter sent T.J. Hensick in alone against Bronco goalie Daniel Bellissimo. Hensick placed his shot just under the crossbar over Bellissimo’s glove. Jason Dest was given the other assist.
“Some games we started strong and some we haven’t,” said Wolverine head coach Red Berenson. “It was a big goal and a huge lift for our team.”
Porter added his first goal at 10:34 when he received a pass from Hensick and beat Bellissimo to the far blocker side. Matt Hunwick was given the other assist on the goal that gave Porter and Hensick two points each.
Jack Johnson scored his seventh goal of the season at 16:00 on the power play. Johnson skated to the high slot and fired a slapper that snuck under the crossbar giving Michigan a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period. Brandon Kaleniecki and Andrew Ebbert were each given assists on the goals.
Porter added his second of the night at 15:51 when Hensick once again set him up. Hensick battled down low and found the loose puck, sending it out front and Porter sent it home. Travis Turnbull was also given an assist.
“It was nice to see them (Porter and Hensick) connect on a few plays,” Berenson said.
Western Michigan spoiled any chance for a Noah Ruden shutout when Brent Walton scored a shorthanded goal. With an extra skater on the ice, giving both teams five skaters, Walton received a pass from Paul Szczechura and he beat Ruden low. Ryan Mahrle was given the other assist giving him 10 on the season.
The Broncos finished the game with 26 shots on net and were 0-5 on the power play while Michigan had 24 shots and was 1-7 on the power play.
“We had some chances and we couldn’t get it to the back of the net,” Western Michigan head coach Jim Culhane said.
The Broncos will play host to Bemidji State, in their final non-conference dates of the season, on February 10th and 11th. Michigan plays host to Lake Superior State on those same dates.