Team Gold moves the puck down the ice during UM-Dearborn's annual alumni hockey game. (Tyesha Vinson/MJ)
Team Gold moves the puck down the ice during UM-Dearborn’s annual alumni hockey game. (Tyesha Vinson/MJ)

By JORDAN KONIOR, Staff Reporter

The excitement in the air was heavy on Thursday, October 3 at the University of Michigan-Dearborn Fieldhouse.

The Family Fun Night and alumni hockey game closed out the week-long homecoming festivities.

Both teams participating in the alumni hockey game put on an entertaining show for their audience.

For someone that liked the defensive side of hockey, this was not the ideal game that one would want to watch. For the fan that loves high scoring, flashy stick work, successful sharing of the puck, and good teamwork, this was the game for you.

The game consisted of two teams, Team Gold and Team White. Team Gold led by a former player on last year’s team, defensemen Mark Bekkala. Team White was led by supreme talent and hometown hero Michael Macari, who was also a member of last year’s team.

Team White wasted no time in the beginning of the game. They jumped to an early 1-0 lead at the 5:52 mark of the first period following a Mike Ross goal assisted by Macari.

Team Gold responded at the 6:56 mark in the first period following a rebound backhand goal off of his own shot by forward Brett Logan to tie the game at one.

Team Gold would then strike again at the 9:20 mark of the first period on an Adam Stoner goal, assisted by Rick Osburn.

Team White wasted no time tying the game at two following a Macari goal, assisted by forward Mike Ross at the 9:54 mark of the first period.

Team White would eventually take a 4-3 lead over Team Gold into the end of the first period.
The second period was one of the more intense periods. Tempers were starting to flare a little bit and the competitive nature of the athletes began to be released on the ice.

The first sign of tempers flaring occurred at the 2:55 mark of the second period when Kenny Chaput for Team Gold assisted Mike Musser for a backhand flip shot goal past Brik Pardo of Team White. Following the goal, defenseman Tony Rini of Team White ripped into defensemen Marino Santi and let him know of his missed assignment.

Towards the end of the second period, Stoner of Team Gold laid the wood on Macari of Team White went for a loose puck, sending a message that he didn’t care how talented he was on the ice or about their relationship off the rink. Team Gold would lead 7-6 at the end of the second period.

Macari would later respond with a message of his own, scoring his third goal of the game and receiving a hat trick at the 9:27 mark of the third period to bring Team White within two goals of Team Gold 9-7.

The third period was dominated by solid defense primarily from the goaltenders. Chuck Irwin of Team Gold saved 15 shots in the third period alone and solidified the victory for Team Gold.

The Macari and Ross connection one was a very dangerous and lethal combination for Team White, but Irwin and Team Gold would manage to bring out the fire extinguisher and cool off the dynamic duo on the way to a 11-8 victory over Team White and Macari’s phenomenal play.

Before the alumni hockey game, the athletic department at the UM-Dearborn set up a family fun night for families to come out, bring their kids, check out the facilities, and have an overall good time.

Several games were available at the fieldhouse, including air hockey, ping pong, dodgeball, volleyball, and even rock climbing.

Various athletes volunteered their time to make sure that everyone was having a good time, including Women’s basketball senior guard and forward Danielle Cowart, men’s basketball sharp shooting redshirt freshman Pat Hebda, and student council member and former basketball forward Michael Parker.