It will be No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 4 Western Michigan when the teams compete in a weekend CCHA series at Yost Arena beginning Friday night.
Michigan sophomore defenseman Jon Merrill was suspended for the first 12 games of the season. He started practicing with the team today, but will not play this weekend.
“Jon has been reinstated to participate in team activities beginning today,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “He will resume practice with the team, but remains suspended from game action indefinitely.”
Merrill could play as early as Nov. 11 when the Wolverines open up a series at Miami.
The Wolverines (6-1-1, 2-1-1-1 CCHA) are coming off an impressive 5-2, 4-0 sweep of then No. 6 Ferris State with senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick turning away 52 of 54 shots. Hunwick owns a 6-0-1 record with a 1.37 goals-against-average and a .949 save percentage.
Michigan’s lone loss came at Northern Michigan. The Broncos (5-0-3, 3-0-1) are coming off a weekend sweep of Northern Michigan.
WMU coach Andy Murray has used two goalies with Frank Slubowski (3-0-1, 1.46, ..918) and Nick Pisellini (2-0-2, 1.68, .931) both playing well.
The Broncos played outstanding defense in front of Slubowski during their 4-2, 3-2 (overtime) sweep of Northern Michigan, limiting the Wildcats to 29 shots during the series.
WMU defeated Michigan the last time the teams played in the CCHA tournament semifinals at Joe Louis Arena. Both teams advanced to the NCAA tournament with the Wolverines playing in the national championship game and the Broncos falling to Denver in a regional semifinal.
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