By MICHAEL HOLZMAN, Staff Reporter
The University of Michigan-Dearborn Wolverines, now without Jase Paciocco, who has a shattered finger and is out six-to-eight weeks, were looking to continue to improve on their 6-9 record.
After splitting a weekend series with Kent State, a home and away series with the Davenport University Panthers was on tab.
Unfortunately on Friday night, the Wolverines just could not catch a break without their star, falling to the Panthers 9-3.
“He’s (Paciocco) definitely a big loss,” captain Anthony Olson said. “Having two strong lines offensively helps us out a lot but we gotta man up, it happens.”
The first period went pretty smoothly, it was a scoreless game for the first 13 minutes and then with 6:54 to go Davenport drew first blood with a goal shot from in front of the Wolverine bench by Cody Walsh.
It would not be long though for Dearborn to respond though. 49 seconds to be exact, Olson made a beautiful pass to Cody Longuski at the point and he would tie it at 1-1. Davenport would get the lead back however with 55 seconds to go, a bad goal allowed by goalie Max Dutzy as the shot came from center ice from Josh Munford but after one it the score was only 2-1.
After that, things would get ugly. 1:16 into the second period, Panthers captain Phil Wendecker would score on the power play to make it a 3-1 game. Less than two minutes later Travis White would score on the rebound to put Davenport up 4 to 1.
Then Wolverines head coach Chris Haltinner made the call to put Micah Collier in, but unfortunately that could not stop the bleeding.
Just over a minute after the change, White would score again deflecting a shot from Wendecker making the score 5-1. The onslaught continued with 11:26 to go in the second with a goal by Andrew Frank, once again on a rebound giving Davenport a 6-1 lead.
Clearly trying to get his team to regroup, coach Haltinner called a timeout and it seemed like he had something up his sleeve. And boy did he.
An absolutely crazy play in which UM-Dearborn nearly scored twice finally ended with a goal by Anthony Olson with assists from Jeff Kuhary and Ryan Kelly with seven minutes ten seconds to go in the second period.
But unfortunately the Wolverines could not keep the momentum going.
Minutes later with three minutes twenty-nine seconds to go, Andrew Frank would get his second goal of the game, this time on the powerplay after taking a boarding penalty from Jeremy Klotz and the period would end with the score of 7-2. The third period did not go much better than the second for the Wolverines, a too many men on the ice penalty would set up a power play goal by Luke McCarthy to put the Panthers up 8-2.
It would seem like that was going to be it but with 89 seconds left in the game Travis White would get the hat-trick off of a Wolverine player’s skate to make it 9-2. Just when everybody was about to leave however, Ryan Ardnt would give his team and fans a much needed shot of morphine with a goal set up perfectly by Klotz with six seconds to go.
After the loss, the Wolverines were visibly frustrated with their efforts.
Even scoring a goal with six seconds to go could not lift Arndt’s spirits.
“Too little too late,” he said after asked how he felt about it, “Klotz hit me with a perfect pass.”
The frustration wasn’t limited to the players. Haltinner was upset with his team not playing the entire game.
“You gotta play your zone first, its defense first, and they need to man up,” Haltinner said, among the most frustrated in the locker room. “You can’t play 20 minutes. You need to play the whole 60.”
Dutzy allowed four goals, while Collier allowed five, but Haltinner wouldn’t put the blame on the Wolverines’ goaltending
“You can’t fault Dutzy on any of those,” Haltinner said. “He really wasn’t getting any help, Micah came in cold. Still no excuse they should have had a couple of them, we just failed as a team tonight, and the only way we can do is rebound and come back tomorrow.”
“We just got to pick up the intensity and play 3 full periods,” Olson said regarding how to overcome this loss. “We got to stop having the breakdowns in the second period and come out stronger.”
The Wolverines would fare better on Saturday but unfortunately they just could not get the win.
They were down 3-2 late in the game when coach Haltinner decided to pull the goalie for an extra attacker. Davenport would get the empty netter to win the game and complete the sweep 4-2.