(Sabrina Gregory/MJ)

By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor

In their second weekend series of the season the University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team faced one of the tougher tests they’ll get this season when they had a home-and-home series with the No. 4 ranked Davenport Panthers.

The Panthers took both games of the series winning both games 5-2.

On Friday night at the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse Davenport (5-0, 2-0 Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League) got out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. The Wolverines (2-2, 0-2) would cut the deficit to one early in the second period when Marcus McSweeney fired a shot from the top of the circle and the puck found its way through the back of the net through traffic.

But Davenport would quickly evaporate the Wolverines’ hopes of a comeback by scoring three straight goals after McSweeney’s. Just before the second period ended Andrew Palushaj scored to get the score to its final resting place of 5-2.

Head Coach Chris Haltinner said that the Panthers are an excellent team and they “had it tonight.”

Sophomore forward Tyler Dalton explained why the game was a tough battle.

“It was tough, Davenport is a really good team they have a great program. They play with speed, they play with confidence today we were just a little bit back on our heels and they definitely took advantage of that in the first period,” Dalton said. “It’s early, it’s game three in a very long season we have a great team in (the locker room) so no one is worried.”

Davenport used their speed and size advantages against the Wolverines by having an aggressive forecheck to keep UM-Dearborn scrambling in their own zone to clear the puck.

Dalton also touched on the compete level in the two teams and that the Panthers was a little bit better in that area.

“I think they definitely have a bigger size in general throughout the board but I don’t think that really controls the amount that we compete throughout the game and it just seems like they just out-competed us for a little bit. There were some moments I’d say where we definitely out-competed them and we had the puck low and we were grinding and battling and getting a lot of good shots but we have a ton of speed and speed kills size,” Dalton said.

In Saturday’s contest the Wolverines fell to the Panthers 5-2 in Grand Rapids.

UM-Dearborn will look to turn things around next weekend when they battle conference foe and No. 10 ranked Adrian in a home-and-home series. On Thursday the Wolverines will travel to Adrian to face the Bulldogs and on Friday night the two teams will square off from the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse.