BY RICKY LINDSAY, Editor-in-Chief
The University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team learned that going back-to-back isn’t as easy as a Drake song.
The Wolverines, gunning for their second-consecutive Great Lakes Showcase title Sunday, fell to Indiana Tech 3-2 in overtime.
Indiana Tech sophomore forward Jarrett Pfeiffer sniped the game-winning goal, his second of the night, in front of the visitors bench three minutes into overtime.
The loss drops the 14th-ranked Wolverines to 10-5 on the year. It was the third time they reached the championship game of the tournament the Fieldhouse hosts.
“I think it’s a lesson learned. You try for this and you work hard for it,” UM-Dearborn head coach Chris Haltinner said. “You have to understand that stuff happens and it only makes you stronger. You’re not going to be the top dog every time. We came into the tournament I think…a little too loose but that’s what happens.
“You go to overtime and then a kid got a great shot. It happens.”
Indiana Tech freshman forward Jace Childs took home Great Lakes Showcase MVP after posting nine points in three games.
UM-Dearborn challenged Indiana Tech’s Zach Larson with 48 shots on goal in the championship game, but the sophomore goaltender held firm for most of the night. He allowed only goals to Kevin Bechard and Andrew Palushaj, both coming one minute apart in the second period.
The Wolverines’ defense held Indiana Tech to four shots on goal in the first period but the Warriors began pouring it on late. They totaled 28 the rest of the way and applied consistent pressure to sophomore goalie Nate Ferris and company in overtime.
Although UM-Dearborn would have liked to win the tournament, Haltinner knows there’s much more hockey left to be played.
“They capitalized on their opportunity, we missed ours. It’s unfortunate, but that’s hockey, that’s how it works,” Haltinner said. “By no means does this ruin anything, ruin our season, anything like that, and if it does, that shows a lot about us. I think this is only going to make our guys hungrier because they’re gonna want to win now.”
UM-Dearborn made its way to the championship game after strong offensive performances. It beat Division-III programs Saginaw Valley State 9-2 and Michigan State 6-2 to open the tournament.
Ryan Urso, last year’s Great Lakes Showcase MVP, combined for 9 points in the two wins. Ferris logged 183 minutes in net during the tournament, saving 83 of 90 shots.
“It’s always a goal to get back here but you want to win it, you know?,” Haltinner said. “But it’s a hard tournament to win, it’s not easy. It’s three games in three nights, so it’s very difficult.”
UM-Dearborn faces Rochester College Dec. 4-5 for its last series of the semester.