(Amber Ainsworth/MJ)

BY HANNAH GENIG, Sports Editor

(Amber Ainsworth/MJ)
(Amber Ainsworth/MJ)

After struggling to put points on the board against their recent matchup against Davenport University, the University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team brought back their powerful ways in their performance this weekend against Eastern Michigan University.

The weekend series began as the Wolverines took on the Eagles at the Taylor Sportsplex on Friday night. With two goals straight from the start, the Wolverines obtained an early lead that would persist well into the second and third periods. Tyler Groat and Nic LaBurn were the scorers with great assists by Marcus McSweeney and Jeff McFarland.

Shots on the Eagles’ goal were fired consistently and with pretty impressive accuracy. In the second period, Groat was on fire with two goals within twelve minutes of the faceoff. Kevin Bechard followed suit quickly after with a goal to enter the final period. At this point, it appeared to be a shutout opportunity for the Wolverines.

However, in the first minute of the third period, the Eagles managed one goal on the incredibly strong defense. This seemed to pique the Wolverines’ determination as they went on to score three more goals to finish off the game with as much on the board as possible. With a great 8-1 win, the outlook for the next day’s game looked very promising.

Skip ahead to Saturday night in the fieldhouse and not only are the boys of the hockey team fully dressed, but their fans are as well. This game was a Halloween-themed event, which featured a Greek God, a minion and an array of other creative characters.

In the spirit of the day, the team played scary well, even in spite of the aggressive Eagle lineup. “They’re a very physical team,” said head coach Chris Haltinner. “When that happens, we have to make sure we keep our composure and don’t make bad penalties.”

The first period alone featured five goals and some great player milestones, as well. Both Groat and Darin scored hat tricks that contributed to the ten goals scored that night.

For freshman Groat, this happens to be a common occurrence. Saturday marked his fourth hat trick of the season, putting him at a total of 18 goals this season. Not only is he dominating the ACHA leader boards, he is a making a name for himself as the player to fear every time a team travels to Dearborn.

With all this scoring, it is important to recognize the strong defensive contributions that allow for players like Groat and Darin to work their magic. Most notably, Nate Ferris impressively protected the goal on Saturday with 19 saves.

With a good win under their belts this weekend, the hockey team prepares for their next endeavor, the Great Lakes Showcase.

According to Haltinner, the team will have time to focus on school before buckling down for the games at the end of the month.

“After midterms we have to win the Showcase. To do that, we need to win one game at a time,” Haltinner said. “It’s not easy to play three games in three nights, but we have to remain humble and keep a good head on our shoulders.”