BY RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Writer
The University of Michigan-Dearborn Wolves looked like a completely different team when they stepped on the ice this past weekend taking on the Wayne State Warriors opening the 2012-2013 season.
The Wolves and Warriors met at the end of last season for a friendly scrimmage, as Wayne State had just formed their hockey program. The Wolves easily won that game while tensions boiled over. You could imagine that both teams were ready to make a statement in both games.
In the first game, the Wolves used started a young lineup that included three freshman. Their inexperience to college hockey would help the Warriors, jumping out of the gate with quick 1-0 lead.
The Wolves answered back with a power play goal by defenseman Kyle Horn, with assists going to Rob Zubke and Cody King, tying things up at one.
Ten minutes into the second period, Rob Zubke and Anthony Olson assisted on King’s power play goal, giving the Wolves a 2-1 lead. Just under a minute later, Levi Adams scored the unassisted goal for the Warriors, sneaking the puck past freshman goaltender Max Dutzy’s glove to tie the game at two.
It was all Wolves the rest of the way. Olson and Jace Paciocco assisted on Zubke’s go ahead goal for the Wolves, and Jeff Kuhary sealed the deal with his third period goal. The Wolves outplayed the Warriors in the first game en route to a 4-2 victory.
Saturday’s game, at City Sports Arena in Detroit, started off quickly with the only goal of the first period, by forward Brian Kassa, to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead.
Forward Robert Toth tied things up for the Warriors with the only goal in the second period. This set the table for an exciting third period.
The Warriors started the third period when DesJardins and Cameron Scott assisted on Nicholas Oliveri’s goal to take the lead, 2-1. Bill Coole extended the Warriors’ lead, 3-1, with his third period goal.
The Wolves took over in the clutch, scoring four goals in three minutes. Defenseman Nicholas Crowley scored the Wolves’ first goal of the third period, along with an assist on Paciocco’s first goal of the year to tie the game at three.
James Marchese continued the scoring onslaught with a goal of his own, and finally, Olson put the nail in the coffin with a goal, to give the Wolves a 5-3 win.
The Wolves swept the series in a convincing fashion, outshooting the Warriors 105-31 in both games, showing total domination over their opponents. Forward Matthew Knezek was overall pleased the way his Wolves played this weekend.
“It felt great,” Knezek said. “It just shows that when we play our game, we can limit our opponents opportunities.”
All of the hard work in the offseason has paid off for the Wolves. Their penalties have gone down compared to last season, they’ve improved on the penalty kill, and also taken care of last season’s problem with a significantly improved defense.
The Wolves welcome the Central Michigan Chippewas to the Fieldhouse this Friday and Saturday for a two games that begin at 7:30 PM. Visit www.gowolves.net for the full season schedule.