By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor
As the University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team completed their season sweep against Oakland on Tuesday night they did it without some key figures.
The most notable absence was a guy who has had the Golden Grizzlies number on speed dial the entire season.
Tyler Groat wasn’t suited up in the Wolverines 3-2 win over Oakland at Clark Park. He and senior forward Ryan Kelly both missed the unusual weeknight game due to different reasons.
While Kelly missed the game due to a conflicting class schedule, Groat was dealing with an injury he suffered on Jan. 16 against Adrian. The injury might keep him sidelined for a little while longer. Head coach Chris Haltinner declined to comment on the matter.
“I do not know the time frame, but I know it’s going to be a little bit,” Ryan Urso said.
The captain also included that it is “some sort of injury” that has “happened to him before.” Urso said he isn’t exactly sure what happened, but did shed some light on how Groat got hurt.
“I think he caught a rough patch on the ice and was a little off balanced and got hit,” Urso said.
With just three weekends left to go in the regular season, the Wolverines are going to want their star player to get healthy in a hurry. Groat is currently tied for fourth in the country in goals (25) and is second in goals per game (1.25)
In the three games the freshman played against Oakland this season, Groat scored eight goals and two assists. He was on the score sheet for two-thirds of his team’s goals against the Golden Grizzlies and scored 53.3 percent of them himself.
With missing a couple key pieces to his team Haltinner was happy to see his team step up and come out with the victory.
“It gave opportunity for other guys and everyone else stepped up tonight so it was good,” Haltinner said. “It’s tough, anytime you have to play during the week and guys have class, we don’t normally play during the week. But our guys did well.”
Urso added to Haltinner’s confidence in the depth of the team by saying tonight was an example of that. He knows they could use their top goal scorer on the ice, but the important thing is for him to get healthy first.
“Obviously that’s a big loss to us, he’s had a phenomenal year he’s been putting the puck in the net consistently all year. But obviously he’s here supporting us, we’re checking on him he’s starting to do better and we hope to get him back as soon as possible, we want him to recover, “ Urso said. “But we do have depth we showed it tonight with multiple scoring, we were moving around lines and it worked well so obviously we showed we have depth and we’re a team that can compete.”