Anonymous donor drops the buck, giving Lawson Lunatics a second night of free hockey

Bronco hockey head coach Andy Murray said Monday that he will buy all of the student tickets for game two of the series, allowing the Lunatics to enter Lawson Arena for free. Two days later, an anonymous donor did the same for Friday night tickets. (WWMT/FILE)

Two days after Broncos hockey coach Andy Murray picked up the check for student tickets to Saturday's game against Colorado College, a second donor has bought 1,000 student seats for Friday's game.

The anonymous donation allows the first 1,000 Western Michigan University students arriving for Friday's game to be admitted free. Students must present their university ID for entrance. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m., and the student entrance doors open at 6 p.m.

Murray said he made the purchase, also for 1,000 student tickets, because the students - particularly a group known as the Lawson Lunatics - are vital to the game. Students who have already purchased tickets acquire refunds at the university ticket office, next to Waldo Stadium, the university said in a written statement announcing the donation.

"The Lunatics mean so much to our program," Murray said Monday. "(My wife) was kind of wanting a new kitchen. ... I'd rather invest it in the Lunatics. There's some incentive for them to come Friday night and then I'll pay for them to be at the game on Saturday, and we need 'em."

Someone out there decided to help with the Friday incentive. The university's athletics office announced Wednesday that the cost of the 1,000 student seats for Friday's game had been covered.

"Thanks to a generous donor, the first 1,000 WMU students attending Friday night's Bronco Hockey NCHC Quarterfinal game against Colorado College will get in FREE," athletics department officials said in the statement.

Set to host Colorado College in a best-of-three series starting Friday, the Broncos were concerned that the student seats might be emptier than normal for the weekend. The reason: The series is a National Collegiate Hockey Conference-sanctioned event, requiring that students pay for tickets to the games.

Both the Friday and Saturday games start at 7:05 p.m. The two teams play Sunday only if they split the first two games.