Editor’s note: Check out our photo gallery from the game by clicking here.
By RICKY LINDSAY, Editor-in-Chief
The University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team has swept its season series against Oakland University for the first time in program history.
The Wolverines topped the Golden Grizzlies 3-2 in a rescheduled game at Clark Park Tuesday to secure the season sweep.
Andrew Palushaj and Jeff McFarland scored goals in the second period, while Nic LaBurn’s third-period score pushed lifted the Wolverines to the win.
Sweeping the season series vs. Oakland for the first time in program history left captain Ryan Urso pleased.
“It’s a good feeling. Obviously we’re building off the momentum of a big weekend sweep over Adrian, so we’re just trying to keep the train rolling here and put together as many wins as we can to get the best position for (the) national tournament coming up here,” Urso said.
Goaltender Nate Ferris saved 33 of 35 shots, allowing two goals in the third period.
The annual outdoor game between UM-Dearborn and Oakland was originally scheduled for Jan. 9, but heavy rain had other ideas, causing it to be postponed. Tuesday’s rendition wasn’t without its share of problems, however.
The scoreboard at Clark Park did not properly operate during the game. The lone part that worked, albeit for a short time, were the penalty clocks.
“It wasn’t bad. You have to be a little bit more aware. You’ve got to have someone always checking in the box, seeing what penalties, time left… things like that,” Urso said. “You’re obviously always alert so it’s not too big of a change.”
“It’s pretty tough, not knowing when I’m going out or where I’m going to go, but we fought through it,” Andrew Spiegel added.
Another challenge was the uncertainty of whether the rescheduled game would be played.
“I think the uncertainty (was a challenge),” head coach Chris Haltinner said. “Is it going? Is it cancelled? (The) guys (were) trying to get the right mindset, but we felt really confident that it was going to happen today… Our guys came prepared, but it’s always tough. You don’t know how it’s going to be weather-wise.”
With the win, UM-Dearborn improved to 16-3-2 and jumped to No. 10 in Wednesday’s ACHA Top 25 poll.
The Wolverines plays Indiana Tech in a home-home series this weekend. The Warriors beat them in Great Lakes Showcase championship game on Nov. 29, but the Wolverines have not lost a game since.