According to rumors, Western Michigan Hockey is off to a rough start, but a new goalie might be thrown into the mix.
As Western Michigan Hockey keeps stumbling through their 2020-21 season in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), some new rumors surround their goaltending situation. Western Michigan Broncos head coach Andy Murray may turn to a new goaltender in the second half of the season.
At the midseason mark, the Broncos would add three players, all freshmen. Two forwards were added to the roster, including Paul Washe’s (current captain) younger brother Tim Washe. However, the more exciting of additions was Ross Hawryluk, who was added and eligible for the series against the Miami University RedHawks.
Coming into the second half of the season, the Broncos have two separate two-game sets in a home-and-home with the RedHawks. They would drop both of the games at Lawson Arena and will head to Oxford, Ohio, to battle the RedHawks this upcoming weekend.
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The biggest issue that Murray and the Broncos have faced has been goaltending, not all in fault of the goaltenders because the defense in front has not been great.
However, the goals for and against ratio has been scary bad and the netminders have not exactly risen to the occasion as one would hope.
With the loss of Brandon Bussi to a devastating injury, it has been a downhill spiral for Western Michigan Hockey.
Coming into the season, the Broncos were nationally ranked as they headed into the NCHC Pod in Omaha, Nebraska. Still, going into the second half, they are unranked and trudging through an uphill battle.
The organization was 2-6-2 coming out of the NCHC Pod and is now sitting at 2-8-2 after the RedHawks swept them at home.
But, Murray may go rogue and give the freshmen netminder a look hoping to get some sort of a boost to help this team turn things around. Throwing a freshman into the crease in an NCHC hockey game might be risky for Hawryluk being a midseason addition.
Rumors: Ross Hawryluk could be in the crease sooner than later for the Western Michigan Broncos.
With Ross Hawryluk being the third goaltender in the mix, senior Austin Cain and freshman Alex Aslanidis have been the other two who are currently manning the crease. Cain has gotten the majority of the starts and has not been the ideal netminder.
But, with Hawryluk being thrown into the mix, there’s a chance he finds himself being thrown into the fire sooner than later. He may get a start to try his hand, or maybe he relieves Aslanidis of his seemingly “relief” duties that he has been deployed as when Cain is struggling.
A little more of a look at Hawryluk, a 19-year old from Lloydminster, Alberta, who played the 2019-20 season with the Nipawin Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) before coming to the Western Michigan Hockey program after five starts there this year.
In those five starts, he was 4-1-0 with a 2.61 goals-against average (GAA) and a .916 save percentage (SV%) for the Hawks. Before that, he posted a 15-7-4 record, a 2.52 GAA, and a .920 SV% during the 2019-20 season.
As the Broncos ready for this weekend’s matchup with the RedHawks, it should not shock anyone to see Murray opt to see what Hawryluk can do in an NCHC game. Even if he comes in to replace Cain or Aslanidis, it seems that it might be best for the Broncos, who are in a tough spot.
The Western Michigan Hockey program has an uphill battle ahead of them, but new goalie Ross Hawryluk might provide them a little boost if Andy Murray decides to go that route and give him a chance.