Center Jeremy Welsh got his goal-scoring touch back. Goalie Troy Grosenick is becoming a great glove man.
Welsh recorded his second career hat trick, and Grosenick was sharp in the third period and overtime as No. 11 Union and 12th-ranked Western Michigan played to another non-conference college hockey tie Saturday at Messa Rink, this time by the score of 3-3.
Friday night, the teams skated to a 2-2 draw.
Welsh, who was Union’s second-leading scorer last season with 16 goals and 21 assists, hadn’t picked up a point in his first two games.
“It felt good,” Welsh said about ending a mini-slump to start his junior season. “It really didn’t hit me that I got the monkey off my back. It was good to get one in.”
Welsh got more than one in, of course. But Union coach Rick Bennett saw something more.
“It was great for Jeremy to respond to the coaching staff and how we approached it,” Bennett said. “I thought he did an excellent job responding. Obviously, putting three goals in the back of the net is nice, but it wasn’t about the three goals. It was about him keeping it simple, not being too cute, finishing his hits and he worried about that process which, in turn, hopefully our guys see that and leads to points.”
Welsh scored his first goal on the power play in typical fashion, a one-time from the right circle off of a Kelly Zajac pass at 9:15 of the first period to tie the score, 1-1.
With the Dutchmen trailing, 2-1, entering the second period, Welsh came through with another tying goal. Daniel Carr pulled goalie Nick Pisellini away from the net to the left side as he shot. Pisellini got a piece of the puck, but it rolled to an open Welsh in front of the net, and he had an easy tap-in.
Welsh thought his hat trick goal was the best. It came on the power play less than nine minutes into the second and gave Union a 3-2 lead. Max Novak sent a pass from the right of the net to Welsh in the slot, and he buried it past Piselilni’s stick side.
“That was my personal favorite,” Welsh said. “It was a great pass. Great work down low, too. Max just made a great play. I put it where I wanted to put it. The other two, I wouldn’t say they were fluky, but they were lucky for me, I guess.”
Meanwhile, Grosenick was flashing the leather against the Broncos in the third period and overtime. Every time the Broncos tried to fire pucks over Grosenick’s left side, the sophomore was quick to get the glove up and catch them.
“It’s just a matter of seeing the puck,” Grosenick said. “Guys did a great job of clearing bodies in front. That allowed me to see the puck and make some glove saves.”
Grosenick’s biggest glove save came early in overtime, when he robbed Shane Berschbach from about five feet out in the inner arc of the left circle.
“That was right off a draw,” Grosenick said. “It was kind of scrum, so I lost track of the puck for a second. It squirted out to [Berschbach]. I saw it right off the stick. I read it glove side. I tried to grab it, and it ended up in the glove.”
It took a fortuitous carom off the backboards to help Western Michigan tie the score with 11:56 left in the third period. While on the power play, a Dennis Brown drive from near the right circle hit the backboards and came out the left side. Chase Balisy was there, and he tapped it in before Grosenick could get over.
“Berschbach wheeled it up top and passed it to Brown,” Grosenick said. “I saw the whole play develop. Brown shot it. I don’t know if he did it on purpose, but, obviously, our backboards are pretty lively. They found that out last night [on Sam Coatta’s first-period goal]. So, it was a good chance it was a play they talked about.
“I got a little tied up. It was probably a bit my fault. I was too far out. I feel like I got tangled up with one of their players, and couldn’t recover to the backside in time.”
Western Michigan 2010 — 3
Union 1200 — 3
First Period — 1, Western Michigan, DeKeyser 2 (Squires, Killip), 6:39 (pp). 2, Union, Welsh 1 (Zajac), 9:15 (pp). 3, Western Michigan, Berschbach 4 (Balisy, Pisellini), 18:09. Penalties — K. Bodie, Uni (holding), 5:59; Berschbach, WM (cross-checking), 7:09; Western Michigan bench, served by Killip (too many men), 8:01; Union bench, served by Mingoia (too many men), 11:11; Squires, WM (roughing), 12:09; Warda, WM (interference), 18:29.
Second Period — 4, Union, Welsh 2 (Carr), :52. 5, Union, Welsh 3 (Novak), 8:52 (pp). Penalties — Francis, WM (tripping), 7:27; DeKeyser, WM (hitting after whistle), 10:10; Jooris, Uni (hitting after whistle), 10:10; Ikkala, Uni (boarding), 13:29; Simpson, Uni (tripping), 20:00.
Third Period — 6, Western Michigan, Balisy 2 (Brown, Berschbach), 8:04 (pp). Penalties — Carr, Uni (hitting from behind), 6:27; Brown, WM (roughing), 10:07; Hatch, Uni (roughing), 10:07; Berschbach, WM (elbowing), 14:32.
Overtime — None. Penalties — None.
Shots on Goal — Western Michigan 6-7-11-2 — 26. Union 14-8-6-2 — 30.
Power-play opportunities — Western Michigan 2 of 5; Union 2 of 6.
Goalies — Western Michigan, Pisellini 1-0-2 (30 shots-27 saves). Union, Grosenick 1-0-2 (26-23).
A — 1,623. T — 2:22.
Referees — Bryan Hicks, Bob Ritchie. Linesmen — Ryan Knapp, Dan Taggart.
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Categories: College Sports