The McMullen Hockey Arena, home of the Navy Midshipmen. Photo courtesy of usna.edu
The McMullen Hockey Arena, home of the Navy Midshipmen. Photo courtesy of usna.edu

By MICHAEL HOLZMAN, Guest Reporter

Despite high hopes and expectations, the University of Michigan-Dearborn Wolverines hockey team started the 2013-14 season winless following back-to-back losses to the Naval Academy.

After finishing last season ranked 17, Navy proved to be too strong during the Wolverines’ season opening 5-2 loss. Freshman Jack O’Hear led the way for Navy with two goals and one assist. Jase Paciocco and Jeff Kuhary both netted goals for the Wolverines in the loss.

Both teams met for the final game of the series on Saturday. The Wolverines were shutout 3-0 behind a strong effort by Navy goaltender and Williamsburg, Michigan native Andrew Mills. O’Hear added another goal, already his third on the young season, for the Midshipmen.

“This was a learning experience for me and the team,” said head coach Chris Haltinner. “I saw some strong, positive points, but unfortunately, we came away with two losses.”

“It’s not the start we were looking for, but we learned from it and are coming together as a team,” added center Ryan Arndt. “We battled and the bounces just didn’t go our way this weekend.”

After being swept in the season opening series, the Wolverines will now have to look to bounce back this Friday during their home opener against Adrian. The Bulldogs finished No. 5 last season.

Certainly the team did not get the start they were hoping for, but the season is still young and their next two games are part of a home-and-home series, so a win against Adrian would certainly turn their fortune around quickly.