Brian Kassa (Tom Alexander / MJ / File)
Forward Brian Kassa moves into the offensive zone for a scoring opportunity. (Tom Alexander/MJ)

BY ALEX MICH, Staff Writer

The Wolves hockey team hosted the Panthers of Davenport University over the past weekend. The Wolves knew they had a tough battle ahead of them as the Panthers were the thirteenth ranked team coming into the weekend. Despite that, the Wolves were ready to shock the GLCHL over the weekend.

The first game on Friday was simply an even match between these two titans. The score was tied at two after the first period with goals from Kyle Papke on the power play, and Anthony Olsen later on in the period. The second period would see the same result as the Wolves continued to match the Panthers goal for goal. This time, Jeremy Klotz would score early in the period and Brandon Contratto’s power play goal would come late in the period to keep the score at four apiece.

It was a very physical game throughout, as a total of thirty-two penalties would be called on both teams throughout the match. The Wolves continued their physical play, taking seventeen penalties throughout the contest. This would come to harm the Wolves as they were penalised seven times in the third period, including being short-handed in the last two minutes of play.

Josh Khan had a very difficult battle that evening facing, sixty shots. However, Davenport would jump out to a six to four lead in the first half of the final period. Then the Wolves’ Olsen scored two goals just over two minutes apart to tie the game at six goals. One of those goals came while UM-Dearborn was short-handed. However, Khan was unable to stop Davenport scoring twenty seconds later as the Panthers took a one goal lead. Then with over two minutes remaining, Rob Zubke scored on the power play to tie the game at seven. Finally, while short-handed, Olsen lifted the puck over the Davenport goalie with just over ninety-eight seconds remaining in the game to give the jubilant Wolves an eight to seven victory.

On Saturday, the men from Dearborn sought to continue their miraculous ride by facing the angry Panthers. However, the Panthers showed the Wolves’ faithful why they were the thirteenth ranked team in the ACHA. Throughout the game, the Wolves were unable to put together a consistent rhythm while Davenport constantly pushed the play down towards the Wolves’ defence. Despite their best effort, the Wolves lost nine to three to Davenport.

Despite this taste of defeat, the Wolves can still be proud of their performance Friday evening and will carry that energy into Adrian College for their meeting with the seventeenth ranked Bulldogs. Both games will be in Adrian on Thursday and Saturday.