Western Michigan hockey will face Air Force in NCAA tournament opener – MLive.com

KALAMAZOO, MI — The Western Michigan hockey team will face Air Force in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday in Providence, Rhode Island.

The Broncos finished the regular season with a record of 22-12-5 and will need to win two games to make the Frozen Four in Chicago on April 8-9. The single-elimination game at Dunkin’ Donuts Center will will be shown live on ESPN3 at 7:30 p.m.

Air Force (26-9-5) has lost once and tied once in their past 14 games, but the Broncos have handled their style of play solidly this season.

The two teams met at Lawson Ice Arena on November 18-19 and fought to a 5-5 tie in the first game. Senior forward Aaron Hadley scored during the 3-on-3 exhibition overtime after the 5-5 tie for a bit of a mental advantage before the Broncos defeated the Falcons 4-1 the following night.

“There are 60 teams in college hockey and for us to be one of the final 16 is gratifying,” Broncos head coach Andy Murray said in a statement released by the college Sunday. “We are forewarned with our series earlier this season. Air Force competes hard. They are very well conditioned and come after you for 60 minutes. They are deserving champions of Atlantic Hockey and they gave us two really tough games at Lawson.”

Sophomore goalie Trevor Gorsuch, in net for freshman starter Ben Blacker who was ill, made 31 saves in the 5-5 tie. The Broncos defense stepped up the following night and only allowed 18 shots to get near senior Collin Olson who allowed just one goal.

Western Michigan hockey will face Air Force in NCAA tournament opener – MLive.com

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