Seniors celebrate their last home game.
Seniors celebrate their last home game.

BY ALEX MICH, Staff Reporter

UM-Dearborn’s Ice Hockey Team ended their regular season by playing the Eagles of Eastern Michigan University. After being swept by Adrian last weekend, the Wolves looked to end on a high note before preparing for the GLCHL playoffs. Furthermore, this was to be the last home game for many seniors for the Wolves.

Friday saw a lot of excitement building in the air as the two teams began the game. The last time both teams met was back in December in two brawling-type matches filled with much animosity between both teams. Surprisingly, the first period saw no penalties called. Meanwhile, the Wolves jumped to a quick three goal lead with goals coming from Michael Macari, Jeremy Klotz, and Anthony Olsen. The Eagles would get one goal before the end of the period. During the intermission, UM-Dearborn honored its departing seniors and their families for their contributions throughout the season and each of their careers.

Jase Paciocco takes a shot on Eastern during Friday's game.

The second period saw the Wolves battling with Eastern Michigan. Both teams took four penalties each including an unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing call against Kyle Papke with just over five minutes remaining in the second period. However, the penalties did not stop Eastern from scoring a goal within the first minute of the period making the score three to two. Then the Wolves’ offense immediately struck back with three straight goals. Two of them were both Macari’s and Olsen’s second goals of the evening while Nicholas Crowley scored on a power play. Though the Eagles would get one more goal, Anthony Olsen would net his third goal of the evening making the score seven to three at the end of two periods.

After a riveting performance by the dance team at center ice during the second intermission, the Wolves were inspired to play outstanding defense throughout the final frame. Micah Collier would not let in another goal throughout the third period as he stopped twenty-eight of the thirty-one shots that he faced this evening. Sixteen penalties were handed out in the final frame as both teams sought to set the tone for Saturday. Finally, Brandon Contratto finished the night with a goal giving the Wolves an eight to three victory.

The Wolves attempted to try and build off the momentum by travelling to the “home” for Eastern Michigan at the Taylor Sportsplex on Saturday. That evening, the Wolves fought hard but could not defeat a very determined Eagle team attempting to play as hard for their own seniors as the Wolves did for their seniors. As such, the Wolves would lose the game seven to two.

With the season ending, the Wolves finished fourth in conference play but currently remain unranked in the ACHA standings and may not currently compete for the national championship. However, the Wolves still have a chance to win the conference tournament this weekend. The GLCHL tournament, hosted by Adrian College, will have the Wolves facing the fifth place Eagles once again. That game will be on Friday at noon. If the Wolves defeat the Eagles, they will take on either the conference champion Golden Grizzlies of Oakland University or the second place team in the Panthers of Davenport University.