Not THE Denver Broncos – the Western Michigan Broncos.
When Western Michigan rolls into Denver for this weekend’s 2-game series against DU, many fans are going to be discounting these Broncos. They sit at #28 in the RPI rankings, they are in the bottom half of D1 scoring and D1 defense, and their goalie(s) is not in the top 50 goaltenders in save percentage. This is a perfect trap series for DU, especially with important NCHC foes Minnesota Duluth and underachieving Miami.
They have posted wins against Ferris State, Bowling Green, swept Colorado College, who split with St. Cloud, and swept UNO earlier this year. Over the past 5 games they are 3-1-1, coming off a tie and loss against Notre Dame last weekend. They scored 3 goals on 36 shots against Notre Dame’s Cal Peterson, who frustrated DU through 2 games.
Sweeps in the NCHC are difficult to earn, even at home. In DU’s past four games at Magness against St. Cloud and Notre Dame, both of whom are arguably better than Western Michigan, DU is 0-2-2.
DU needs a sweep this weekend. In fact, this series poses a greater risk to DU’s positioning the PairWise than last weekend’s contest against UNO – a much higher ranked opponent. DU must win both games or their positioning in the PWR will be hurt long-term with a tie or loss in this series. DU must carry their momentum forward from the UNO series for a second half push to make the NCAA tournament. This series in many respects is just as important as upcoming NCHC games due to DU’s December slump.