Players await the puck drop during the Wolverines first home game of the season. (Brianna Frisch/MJ)
Players await the puck drop during the Wolverines first home game of the season. Photo courtesy of Brianna Frisch.

By RYAN PETRAS, Staff Reporter

The University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team took the ice for the first time as Wolverines

after traveling out to Annapolis, Maryland to face off against No. 15 Navy.

The Midshipmen were coming off a fantastic season, in which they reached their first ACHA

Division I National tournament. It is a task that this Wolverines team will be looking to accomplish

this season.

Although the Wolverines lost both games, they took home an experience that they will never

forget.

Haltinner was very grateful for the treatment that he and his team received during the trip and

was very honored and humbled during the visit.

“Navy is an experience all teams should have,” first-year head coach Chris Haltinner said.

The players shared the same feelings as their coach.

“It was a good experience to see the academy and everything,” sophomore forward Ryan Kelly

said. “They got a good program. I got a lot of respect for those guys.

The experience went beyond the rink, as the players were given a full tour of a campus that has

been around since 1845.

“It was a great experience for the whole team to see the different way of life that people on the

naval base live by,” junior forward Jeremy Klotz said. “Also, it was good to start off playing a

high profiled team in their rink on the road. Overall an experience that I wouldn’t have gotten by

myself.”

Freshman goaltender David Bryant was impressed on how a military team finds the time to

become a good hockey program.

“Being in the military and everything, it’s amazing that they find the time to practice and become

the team that they are with all their other priorities as far as school and training and everything,”

said Bryant.

Although the trip was a great experience, it didn’t mean the team wasn’t disappointed that they

didn’t win.

“A little disappointed in the outcome of the games, but I know it was our first weekend so we’re

still figuring things out,” said Kelly

Competing with one of the best teams in the nation should give this Wolverines team a lot of

confidence. The team has very high expectations and will look to become a top 25 team in the

nation.

For the Wolverines, the Navy trip was more than just a hockey game; it was a special

experience.