By AARIF MOHIE EL-DEEN, Staff Writer
The Wolves took a huge step in the right direction this weekend and it all started with a familiar face returning to the lineup.
Senior star forward Rob Zubke was back after missing multiple weeks of action with a separated shoulder. The Wolves beat Kent State twice before, their big matchup against Michigan State University this weekend.
Zubke showed no signs of rust with his explosiveness right off the opening faceoff. Just minutes into the first game on Friday, Zubke fed junior John Vella in front of the net who banked home the one-timer giving the Wolves an early lead.
He later put away a goal of his own in the third period to give the Wolves a multi-goal lead.
Unable to build off the Vella goal, the Wolves were caught sitting back on their lead. After a bad bounce went off junior Chris Merrill’s skate and past freshman goaltender Max Dutzy, the Wolves saw themselves down 2-1 midway through the second period despite outshooting the opposition by a wide margin.
Similar to last week against Toledo, the Wolves were desperate for someone to step up, and just like last week, it was the captain that put the team on his shoulders.
Anthony Olson provided the spark and after his shot was blocked the rebound squirted loose to junior Casey McLogan who was able to tap it in, notching his first of the season. The goal sent the teams to the dressing room locked at two.
The third period saw the intensity and pace start to pick up. The team caught a two-on-one break as sophomore Jase Paciocco and freshman Ryan Kelly used their speed to force the man-advantage. Paciocco shot the puck and buried it glove side past Justin Wisniewski at the 1:54 mark of the third period.
Sophomore Kyle Horn capped the game with an empty netter in the final minute to give the Wolves their first three-goal win of the season, 5-2.
The following night, fans were treated to a lot more goals and penalties. Zubke once again led the way for the Wolves scoring twice in the second period.
They wasted no time, lighting up backup goaltender Michael LeGarth. Horn, freshman Jeff Kuhary, and Paciocco all scored first period goals for the Wolves.
In the second period, Zubke started the scoring with the prettiest Wolves goal of the season. He skated down the middle of the ice in a very Malkin-like fashion, stickhandling his way through every player in the offensive zone before sliding it five-hole for his first goal of the night.
Minutes later, junior Nick Crowley made a nice effort keeping the puck in the zone at the blue line. His hustle led to a Brian Kassa goal in front of the net. Kassa would celebrate his first of three goals en route to a hat trick.
After the Wolves took a demanding 7-2 lead into the third period, the game got out of hand. The teams exchanged goals in the third period but not before the final buzzer sounded.
Along with Kassa’s four point night and Zubke’s multi-goal game, Kuhary also scored twice, and Crowley assisted on three goals.
The Wolves, for the first time this season, scored in the double digits after winning the second leg 10-5.
On Sunday the Wolves participated in a pregame skate against John Carroll University. However prior to the opening faceoff the game was delayed due to a brief power outage.
After a short wait, the teams decided to participate in a friendly 21-man full roster shootout before officially canceling the game due to the electric malfunction. As of now, the game has not been rescheduled.
This week, the Wolves will host Michigan State University on Friday and travel to MSU on Sunday.