By ERICK LEHMAN, Managing Editor
It’s not always about how you start, it’s usually about how you finish. Right now, the University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team is off to a hot start after sweeping Navy in the first two games of the season.
The Wolverines scored 14 goals in the first two games combined. Winning 7-1 on Friday night and 7-4 on Saturday night. Sophomore Nate Ferris earned the win on Friday night, while newcomer Patrick Carney earned the win Saturday night.
Last season, the Wolverines got off to a similar hot start, scoring 18 goals in the first two games against Indiana Tech. The Wolverines finished last season losing 10 of their final 11 games.
But this season has a completely different feel to it. While the Wolverines have lost some key contributors to graduation, the players that head coach Chris Haltinner brought in seem to mesh better with the current players on the roster.
Freshman Nic LaBurn came out firing in his first series as a college hockey player, scoring three goals and adding one assist in the series. Tyler Dalton, Troy Saunders, and Tyler Groat were freshman who each scored in the series as well.
Last season, the Wolverines struggled mightily against teams ranked in the Top 25 of ACHA D1. Navy, whom the Wolverines just swept, was ranked 24th in the ACHA preseason polls; the Wolverines came in at 21.
It’s a great sign to see the Wolverines able to handle talent that is considered to be at the same level as them, but the biggest test will be being able to sustain. A tough stretch of the schedule and a plague of injuries is what hurt the Wolverines last season, but with a deeper roster and the ability to score early and often, there are no excuses for the Wolverines this season whatsoever.