Western Michigan wins in OT, one win away from Frozen Four

Nolan Bianchi
Special to The Detroit News
Western Michigan celebrates during its win over Michigan in October.

Western Michigan's Luke Grainger tried the wraparound, got stuffed.

With Northeastern goalie Devon Levi facing the wrong way, Grainger fired a juicy rebound — right into the back of the goalie's pants.

The play was blown dead but after video review, the wraparound attempt was ruled to have crossed the line and Grainger was the overtime hero in the Broncos' first-round NCAA Tournament victory on Friday.

The 2-1 overtime victory keeps Western Michigan dancing for at least one more game.

On Sunday, Western Michigan will face Minnesota (6 p.m.) with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line. The Gophers beat UMass 4-3 in overtime.

Cole Gallant scored in the opening period for Western, and for much of the game, it looked like that opening tally had the chance to be the winner. Both Levi (34 saves) and Western goaltender Brandon Bussi (30 saves) were excellent.

Northeastern forced overtime thanks to Aidan McDonough's goal with 3:20 left in regulation to force the extra period.

Drew Worrad and Ethen Frank added assists on Gallant's goal; Grainger's was unassisted.

Nolan Bianchi is a freelance writer.