Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our Special Tonight: Campbell's Overtime Soup

Funny how the year 1994 has meaning for more than just New York Ranger fans as to fans of the Western Michigan Broncos it marks the last time they had advanced to the CCHA semi-finals.

Max Campbell (NYR 2007 5th) made sure that his very last game at Lawton Arena home of the Broncos would be one to remember. Campbell's 2nd goal of the game at 2:23 of overtime to give the Broncos a 5-4 win over Ferris State and a 2-1 series win over the Bulldogs.

Campbell rescued the Broncos after they had let a 4-1 second period slip away as Campbell picked up a loose puck in the Ferris State defensive zone and fired a shot that ended 17 years of frustration for the Broncos and their fans.

For Campbell it was a 3 point night as he had an secondary assist on the Bronco's 1st goal in the 1st period for his 17th assist on the season. In the second period Campbell scored his 17th goal at 5:48 which gave WMU a 4-1 lead and it seemed that the Broncos had the game well in hand.

Ferris State fought back to tie the score and in overtime appeared to control the game until Campbell won a defensive zone draw, got the puck up to center ice and then scored the goal that sends the Broncos to Detroit.  For Campbell the 3 point night also set new career highs in goals, assists and points as Campbell is now 18-17-35 on the season.

The win goal earns Campbell and his Broncos a trip to Detroit to face Carl Hagelin (NYR 2007 6th)'s Michigan Wolverines on Friday night. A tough match up but for now the Cinderella Broncos live on to  play another game.

The win also pushed WMU up to 11th in the Pairwise standings which just might be enough to send the Broncos to the NCAA's with an "At Large" bid for the first time since 1995-96.

Also in the CCHA playoffs, Anders Lee (NYI 2009 6th) and his Notre Dame Fighting Irish held off a very pesky Lake Superior State team 4-2 to win their series 2-1 and also advance to the CCHA semi-finals on Friday.

Lee was held scoreless on 4 shots with a +1 but Notre Dame jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead and held off Lake Superior. Next up will be the Miami Redhawks in the CCHA semi-finals but both teams should make the NCAAs win or lose.

One team that is heading home is Corey Trivino's (2008 2nd) Boston University Terriers who saw their season come to an end after losing game 3 of their Hockey East playoff series with Northeastern 5-4. Boston University made the score look close with 2 goals in the game's 90 seconds can only blame themselves for a series loss that cost them a spot in the NCAAs.

Trivino had an assist on BU's last goal of the game finished his junior season 8-19-27. It marks the end of a disappointing season for both team and player (who started season on suspension).

Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) did his best to try to carry his Kingston Frontenacs to a win but did not get enough help as Jason Wilson (2010 5th) and his Niagara IceDogs took the game 4-3 in the shootout. Werek earned the game's 3rd star with a goal and assist showed up to play but feel for him as it sure looked like some of his teammates did not.

Werek played well registering his 28th assist of the season and his 24th goal which tied the game at 3-3 to force overtime as well as the shootout. But it was not enough to keep the Frontenacs from extending their winless streak to 5 games.

Wilson was scoreless for the IceDogs who took advantage of Ottawa's 3-2 overtime loss to Mississauga to increase their lead to 3 points with a game in hand. Ottawa (unless Oshawa catches them) will enter the OHL Eastern Conference playoffs as the 2 seed in the first round. But in the 2nd round Niagara will pass them when they reseed teams.

Werek's Frontenacs have to worry now about holding off the Brampton Battalion for 5th place as their lead over the Battalion is down to 2 points with 3 games left for both teams.

Roman Horak (NYR 2009 5th) and his Chilliwack Bruins won one and lost one on Sunday as they dropped a 3-2 decision in overtime to the Kelowna Rockets. They may lost the game in overtime but the point they gained by going to overtime locked up a playoff spot for the Bruin and with 3 games left tied them in points with the Vancouver Giants for the 5th seed. 

Horak scored his 25th goal of the season to extend his own personal scoring streak to 6 games as the Bruins still remain hot unbeaten in regulation in their last 9 games. We think that if the Broncos can overtake Vancouver for the 5th seed that they could beat 4th seed Tri-City but if they remain in 6th they would not be able to handle Spokane. 


Think folks will like a little surprise that we will be able to share tomorrow; while it is not earth shattering we think Ranger fans will really like it. 

(Image: Western Michigan University)

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