By Abbey Russell
On Jan. 17-18, Colorado College men’s hockey traveled to Western Michigan University’s Lawson Arena and suffered two tough losses to the WMU Broncos.
“We are definitely not happy with the results from last weekend in Kalamazoo,” said Chris Wilkie ’20. “It has been a tough couple days, but we believe that we can turn it around in the remaining games.”
In the first game of the series, Western Michigan established its lead less than 10 minutes into the game with a power-play goal. Later in the first period, WMU made it 2-0 with a top corner shot that flew over the shoulder of Tigers goalie Matt Vernon ’23.
Heading into the second period with this momentum, the Broncos wasted no time, scoring their third goal only 53 seconds after play resumed. However, at this point CC fought back, reducing the Broncos’ lead to just one goal. Wilkie, assisted by Nick Halloran ’20 on both plays, scored twice at about the five and 12-minute marks. This made an impressive five consecutive games scoring for Wilkie, matching his previous record from the 2017-18 season.
This was the end of the Tigers’ scoring success this game. In the third period, Western Michigan put away another two while CC missed a few key opportunities to get back into the game. At the end of the match, the Tigers had lost 2-5.
The next day’s result was equally unlucky for the Tigers. In the early minutes of the first period both teams were able to get one goal under their belts, with Grant Cruikshank ’22 scoring for CC. Shortly after, however, WMU gained back its lead, which it would hold for the remainder of the match.
By the end of the third period, the Broncos had expanded their lead to 5-1 over the Tigers.
Early in the third period, CC was given a glimmer of hope with Alex Berardinelli ’20 scoring a power-play goal at the 1:44 mark. This marked Berardinelli’s third goal of the season thus far.
However, only seconds later, the Broncos managed to score again, dampening whatever momentum the Tigers had gained. The final game score was 2-6 in favor of WMU.
Halloran saw the bright side of this weekend’s losses.
“Obviously not the results we were hoping for, but it exposed some flaws we will be working on in practice this week,” said Halloran.
He also touched on what he believed his team did well this weekend despite the results.
“I thought at times our team used our speed to our advantage, creating offensive opportunities,” said Halloran.
Wilkie had some hopeful insights on the weekend as well. “At times we played to our capability, so that is always a good sign, but it is the consistency of doing it all the time that we need for the full game every night,” said Wilkie.
This weekend, the Tigers take on the University of Nebraska at Omaha at home. “Omaha is a good team and will be coming in ready to play hard against us,” said Wilkie, “but we need to be more hungry and ready and we are pushing for the sweep to get back on course for the rest of the season.”