Last month Andy Murray, who had coached Western Michigan for the past 10 seasons, stepped down, and assistant Pat Ferschweiler was promoted to fill the vacated spot.
The Broncos were 14 games over .500 in Murray’s last five seasons, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament once in 2017.
Ferschweiler was an assistant for the Detroit Red Wings under former Miami coach Jeff Blashill in 2015-19 and spent six total years at WMU as an assistant.
The Broncos have a the majority of their talent from last season back as Ferschweiler looks to return WMU to the top half of the league standings.
View From the Glass takes a look at Western Michigan in Part VII of its seven-part, NCHC Snapshot series:
NCAA TITLES: None.
COACH: Pat Ferschweiler (first season).
2020-21 RECORD: 10-12-3 (10-11-3 NCHC, fifth place.
RINK (capacity): Lawson Arena (3,667), Kalamazoo, Mich.
MIAMI VS. WESTERN MICHIGAN LAST SEASON: 2-3-1.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Miami leads, 72-71-13.
SCHEDULE VS. MIAMI: At Miami – Dec. 3-4; At Western Michigan – March 4-5.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: D Ronnie Attard, G Brandon Bussi, F Drew Worrad, F Ethen Frank, F Paul Washe, F Josh Passolt, F Cole Gallant.
KEY NEW FACES: F Max Sasson, F Dylan Wendt, D Xan Gurney, D Nick Strom.
KEY LOSSES: F Brett Van Os, D Kale Bennett, G Austin Cain.
NOTES: Western Michigan currently has 33 players on its online roster, including 20 forwards.
Leaders up front for the Broncos include Josh Passolt, Ethen Frank and Paul Washe, who will all be playing in their fifth season at WMU. The trio has combined for 220 career points.
Drew Worrad also returns after leading the team in assists (18) and points (23), and Cole Gallant added 18 points.
Ronnie Attard keys a WMU defense corps that has five of six starters back in 2021-22, including Michael Joyaux – brother of former MU D-men Chris and Matt Joyaux.
Goalie Brendon Bussi was hurt almost immediately after entering the Omaha Bubble and logged just 211 minutes last season. But he has 20 career wins and a .908 save percentage in 2,133 minutes over two campaigns.
Alex Aslanidis is back after going 5-3-1 with a 3.03 GAA, and Ross Hawryluk joins the Broncos after posting a .919 save percentage with Nipawin of the SJHL the past two seasons.