By AARIF MOHIE EL-DEEN, Guest Writer
Coming off of a disappointing performance last week against the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies, the Wolves capped off a home-and-home sweep of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Wolverines (Division 2).
The teams took to the ice Friday in Dearborn and thanks to a dominating second period, the Wolves skated away with a 3-2 victory in which all three of their goals were scored during the second period.
Ann Arbor struck first though, when Jacob Smyth fed Austin Murtland in the crease from behind the net for the goal. The Wolves once again found themselves down a goal early in the first period for the third time this season.
The Wolves came out flying, throwing three huge hits to open the second period. The bench came alive and playing with intensity, they were able to use their speed to draw a penalty.
With sophomore defenseman, Justin Kaput in the box for roughing, the Wolves power play took to the ice, and didn’t disappoint. Junior defenseman Chris Merrill fired a shot from the blue line, and John Vella buried the rebound. But, it didn’t stop there.
Right off the ensuing faceoff, the puck was played back into the Ann Arbor zone and Wolves senior forward Brian Kassa tapped in a shot to give the Wolves their second goal in just 17 seconds, and their first lead of the game.
With the score tied at two late in the second period, freshman goaltender Max Dutzy made a spectacular save that started one last rush for the Wolves. Sophomore Shaun Graff tapped in the rebound giving the Wolves a huge boost of momentum heading into the third period with a 3-2 lead.
The Wolves were able to fend off two lengthy five on three power plays, and one in particular that ultimately ended the game for the Wolverines. UofM-Dearborn skated to victory with a lopsided 54-24 shot count and plenty of momentum carried into Saturday night’s rematch at the Arctic Coliseum in Canton.
Saturday evening featured a high scoring, intensity filled, scrappy game, that the Wolves were able to skate away with a 5-3 victory. The game saw one player ejected, and one player with a target on his back the rest of the night.
Late in the second period, with the Wolves up 4-2, Kaput hit Kassa with a questionable elbow after the whistle. Kassa fell back and hit the back of his head on the ice, but showed no signs of pain as he got right back up to join the scrum in front of the net.
For the rest of the night, Ann Arbor defenseman Kaput had a target on his back. Every chance they got, the Wolves took a shot at him. During his next shift, Kassa received a two-minute minor as well as a ten-minute game misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct when he went after Kaput after the whistle.
With the referee in between, Kassa took a shot at Kaput’s head and was sent to the box. Kassa was sporting a cut along his lip, bruises across his eyebrow, and a dented helmet cage from the elbow earlier in the period.
The Wolves scored once more late in the second period to take a one goal lead, heading into the third period. During the third period Kassa was sent to the locker room after serving his 10-minute penalty for what the referee called “safety measures” attempting to keep the game in check.
However that didn’t stop the now rival clubs from going at it. After every whistle there was a lot of pushing and shoving, and the third period saw the Wolves rack up seven minor penalties and a game misconduct to freshman defenseman Cody King.
The Wolves were clearly unhappy with Kaput and didn’t hold back their anger. Captain Anthony Olson was separated from Kaput by the refs numerous times during the third period. But beyond all the rough stuff, it was still just a one-goal game. Late in the third period, with sophomore Cody Longuski in the box, the Wolverines power play came out to tie it up.
However, with the penalty kill applying great pressure in the offensive zone, Olson was credited with a takeaway and the Wolverines miscue resulted in a shorthanded goal for sophomore Jeremy Klotz giving the Wolves a two goal lead late in the third, and nailing the coffin shut on the Wolverines.
With Saturday night’s victory, the Wolves improved to 4-1 on the season with a 0-1 record in conference play. This week they play two conference matchups against Adrian College in a home-and-home. For information and game updates on the Wolves, you can go to www.gowolves.net or check out the UM-D Athletics page on Facebook.