Wildcats, Huskies, Wolverines advance; Broncos set to begin

By @MichaelCaples –

It went down-to-the-wire for one of Michigan’s Division 1 schools, while it was smooth sailing for two. And now, the Broncos get going, too.

Northern Michigan survived an upset bid from Alabama Huntsville, while Michigan Tech pulled off an ‘upset’ of Bemidji State and Michigan rolled over Wisconsin. Western Michigan has now concluded their regular season, and the Broncos begin NCHC postseason play Friday.

The round-up:

Wildcats go the distance but advance

In a Sunday evening affair to decide who advances to the WCHA semifinals, the Wildcats took care of business. The No. 2-seeded NMU squad beat Alabama Huntsville 5-2 to ‘survive and advance’ in the conference tournament. On two goals from Denver Pierce, two goals from Troy Loggins and one goal from Mitchell Slattery, the Wildcats avenged a 3-2 Saturday loss in the final round of their best-of-three series.

Northern Michigan will now take on No. 3-seeded Bowling Green – fresh off a sweep of Ferris State – in a best-of-three semifinal at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.

Tech readies for Minnesota State

No. 5-seeded Michigan Tech ‘upset’ No. 4 Bemidji State on the road over the weekend, which means another road set – this time with the WCHA regular-season champs. The Huskies will play a best-of-three against Minnesota State at the Verizon Center in Mankato, Minn.

MTU had no problems in their first-round sweep of Bemidji State; a Saturday night 5-4 win secured an early trip home. Mitch Reinke, Jake Lucchini, Justin Misiak, Joel L’Esperance and Mark Auk scored in the series-clincher, while Devin Kero recorded a 33-save win between the pipes.

Wolverines bounce Badgers, get Buckeyes

Thirteen goals in two games…the Wolverines’ offense is humming along. After a 6-5 win Friday and a 7-4 win Saturday, Michigan swept Wisconsin to earn a date with the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten semifinals.

The Wolverines are now truly living in March Madness, however – their semifinal match-up with their Ohio-based rival is single-elimination with a spot in the Big Ten title game on the line.

The two programs square off Saturday night in Columbus.

Ferris State’s campaign closes

After taking Bowling Green to double overtime on Friday, the Falcons made sure the Ferris State Bulldogs didn’t get any more chances at an opening-round upset. Saturday saw BGSU close out FSU with a 5-2 victory. That brings the Bulldogs’ season to a close.

Broncos ready to roll

Western Michigan posted eight goals on Colorado College on the road Saturday night to close out their NCHC regular season. If they can keep scoring like that…well you can fill in the rest. The No. 6-seeded Broncos start the postseason at No. 3 Minnesota Duluth Friday night for a best-of-three series. Last season, the two teams met in the Frozen Faceoff semifinals, and UMD prevailed. Now, WMU gets a chance at some revenge.

MiHockey Staff

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