Game 3: UMD 5, Western Michigan 2
Justin Fontaine 1 (Jack Connolly 1, Michael Gergen 2), 1:45 1st. Connolly (Jack) won the faceoff to Gergen in the WMU zone. After he got the puck back, Connolly (Jack) skated toward the area behind the net and fed a quick drop pass to Fontaine, who had a pretty easy shot at the net. It was a sign of things to come from those with the last name Connolly.
Justin Fontaine 2 (Mike Connolly 4, Jack Connolly 2), 18:00 1st (power play). A Connolly (Mike) shot created a scramble in front of the net, as WMU goalie Riley Gill couldn't control the puck. Eventually, Fontaine got a hold of the puck and jammed it in the net. A lengthy review by referees Todd Anderson and Brad Shepherd confirmed the original ruling.
Mike Connolly 1 (MacGregor Sharp 1), 5:18 2nd. Sharp established the offensive zone and gave a great feed to Connolly (Mike), springing him behind the defense. Connolly put a sick move on Gill and stuffed the puck into the open net. Goal of the year so far for UMD.
Josh Meyers 2 (Jack Connolly 3, Justin Fontaine 3), 2:54 3rd (power play). Connolly (Jack) found Meyers high in the right circle. Meyers made no mistake with a one-timer, beating Gill to give UMD a three-goal lead.
Nick Kemp 1 (Andrew Carroll 1, MacGregor Sharp 2), 18:54 3rd (empty net). Kemp came down the right side and shot the puck into the open net from the blue line.
Not a virtuoso performance, but it'll work. The Connollys both impressed, making great plays with the puck and always finding ways to get involved in the play. Sharp and Fontaine had strong games, and much credit should be given to veterans Kemp and Carroll, who were big factors in UMD's ability to hold the lead late in the game. Alex Stalock was good in net, making a couple huge saves when the Broncos were within a goal or two.
UMD does have to work on their consistency. There were a couple of letdowns, especially in the third period, and they can't afford to let that happen. WMU was a last-place team in the CCHA last year, but they lost a gaggle of one-goal and overtime games. They worked their tails off for most of the game last night, and they'll come at UMD tonight with a similarly relentless effort. To get the sweep, UMD must maintain their focus and intensity for much closer to 60 minutes.