DETROIT — It was a night of firsts, as the Western Michigan Broncos won their first-ever outdoor hockey game against the third-ranked team in the nation, the Michigan Wolverines, 2-1 and Andy Murray won his first-ever Great Lakes Invitational game.
Josh Pitt scored a highlight goal with 18.3 seconds left to play in overtime to score the game-winning goal for the Broncos. With the Broncos on a power-play, Pitt made a Pavel Datsyuk-like move through four Michigan players and then slipped a shot past Holland native Zach Nagelvoort for his seventh goal of the season.
The goal gave the Broncos’ head coach Andy Murray his first GLI win as a head coach after going 0-1-1 last year.
The Wolverines opened up the scoring in the second period while killing off a penalty. JT Compher got behind the Broncos defense, corralling a high, floating pass from Kevin Claire and beat WMU goaltender Lukas Hafner on a breakaway.
Western would quickly tie game 3:36 later. Jordan Oesterle found Shane Berschbach all alone in front of the net and Berschbach slipped the puck past Nagelvoort for his eighth goal of the season and team-leading 22nd point. Justin Kovacs also recorded an assist on the play.
The Broncos took their first lead of the game with a little over four minutes to play in the second period when Will Kessel found the top shelf with a hard wrist shot from around the right face-off dot in the Michigan zone for his first goal of the season.
Michigan’s Travis Lynch tied the game early in the third period with a quick shot off an turnover past Hafner.
The Broncos will take on Michigan Tech in a rematch of last year’s GLI Championship Game, which the Huskies won 4-0. Michigan Tech advanced to the Championship Game by topping Michigan State in a shootout in the first game of the evening.
The GLI Championship game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Saturday at Comerica Park.