Monday, March 21, 2011

Bronco Hockey at the Joe

Although I spent yet another weekend on terra firma, it was an awesome weekend to be a Bronco. The last time Western Michigan University's hockey team made it to the CCHA Championship game was in 1986 - I was one year old and nobody on our team was even born yet! Gina and I headed up to Detroit and took in two games at Joe Louis Arena cheering on our beloved Broncos.

Friday's game against the University of Michigan was probably the best game in any of our sports that I have ever attended in person - either as a student or now as a proud alumnus. We came out strong and annihilated the #4 ranked team in the country, winning 5-2. Not only was the game great but I have to mention what a great job our fans did. The students (a.k.a. Lawson Lunatics - I still have my shirt...) showed up in force and could be heard loud and clear throughout the arena. Along with all the other Bronco fans, we had plenty to cheer about in the huge win. That was our first CCHA game at the Joe since 1994!

Saturday was also a great evening in Detroit, even if we came up short in the end and lost 2-5 to Miami University. We battled back and tied the score 2-2 early in the 3rd period before allowing goals on the power play and with a delayed man advantage. While we all wanted to win, no sensible Bronco fan can be disappointed in the way our conference season came to a close. We were picked to finished 10th our of 11 teams in preseason polls and made it to the championship game. First-year head coach Jeff Blashill has done a remarkable job turning our team around in under 12 months... keep it up, coach!

Now we're waiting for our Regional game against Denver in the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Tournament in Green Bay this weekend - Western received an at-large bid to the 16-team tournament for the national championship. It's an amazing accomplishment and we're all proud of the team. However, the real reason I'm writing this post is to share an absolutely heartwarming story about our team and a little boy that I came across this afternoon. Read his family's words and then watch the video below.
This has been the most difficult year of our lives since our youngest was diagnosed with cancer, but the WMU hockey team gave us bursts of joy and happiness along the way. We are thankful to them all, and we are CRAZY impressed with the season our Broncos have had this year. It's not OVER! Best of luck to you all, WMU Broncos. We love you.

THAT'S what it means to be a Bronco. Way to go, boys!


  1. You just made a Bronco fan out of me. As a Miami Alum I started reading your post and was thinking I might have to give you a hard time about Miami's victory over the Broncos. Then I got to the end of the post and that video...Wow.

    Looks like a great group of guys on that Bronco hockey team. I wish them all the best in the NCAA tourney and hope they represent the CCHA as well on the ice as they have off the ice. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You pretty much summed up my feelings about the video. And when it comes to Miami, you guys have a heck of a team. Hope they also do well in the NCAAs - unless we meet again, of course! ;-)

  3. Steve - Great video, thanks for sharing. I was at the Joe the night they played Miami - flew into PTK from New York the night before. I was disappointed by the loss, but it was my first time at the Joe in years and that alone made it worth the trip.