By RYAN PETRAS, Staff Reporter
The clock read 3 p.m. when the University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team was relayed disappointing news.
18 hours after being swept by Eastern Michigan, the Wolverines were set to take to Clark Park’s outdoor ice for a showdown against Oakland University.
But two hours before game time, the clock ran out on the Wolverines.
Due to poor ice conditions, the outdoor game was cancelled. Subsequently, it will not be rescheduled, ending both team’s regular seasons.
UM-Dearborn’s head coach Chris Haltinner was more than disappointed to hear the news.
“It’s tough, disheartening,” Haltinner said in a somber tone. “It would’ve been an unbelievable experience for all involved.”
Sunday’s weather in Southeastern Michigan was thought to be ideal for an outdoor hockey game. Snow was on the ground and cold temperatures remained.
Players had looked forward to the game since being announced. The Wolverines even ordered special jerseys to wear for the outdoor game.
“The guys are bummed, but that’s the risk you take when you try to put together an outdoor game,” Haltinner said.
Not only did the team miss out on a chance to play an outdoor game against one of their rivals, they also missed out on an opportunity to knock the Golden Grizzlies out of national contention.
“It’s (Oakland) a good competitor, good measuring stick,” Haltinner said. “We had a chance to knock them out of nationals if we won tonight.”
Haltinner knows his team has to forget about the disappointment and focus on their next contest.
“We got to pick ourselves up,” he said.
The Wolverines don’t have time to be thinking about their missed opportunity.
Their next battle will be Friday at 2:30 p.m. against fellow rival Eastern Michigan in a Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL) playoff matchup.
The two teams will face off at Onyx Ice Arena, home of the Golden Grizzlies, in Rochester, Michigan. The team plans on having a fan bus to shuttle students to the Onyx.
UM-Dearborn split the four game series this season against the Eagles. The Wolverines swept Eastern Michigan earlier this month before being swept last weekend.
The rematch and fifth game between the two teams is set. It’s now win or go home for the Wolverines.