By ERICK LEHMAN, Staff Writer
The University of Michigan-Dearborn ice hockey team ended a four game losing streak this past weekend completing a sweep of the University of Illinois.
The sweep has pushed the Wolverines record back up to 4-4 on the season.
The Wolverines were led on Friday night by sophomore forward Tyler Groat. Groat had a hat trick in the victory and added another goal on Saturday night. Groat leads the team in goals scored with eight in as many games this season.
Head coach Chris Haltinner was pleased with Groats performance and happy to see his hard work both on and off the ice pay off.
“He did good, he worked hard,” Haltinner said. “He works hard, he gets rewarded.”
“He’s shooting for second and third opportunities, and that’s good.”
The Wolverines got the game winner on Friday night from Andrew Palushaj with just over 5 minutes to play after Groat scored his third goal of the night to tie the game.
The Wolverines put together a four goal third period to mount the comeback, trailing 3-2 heading into the period.
Ben McPartlin tied the game initially early in the third period, however the Illini took the lead back before Groat and Palushaj found the back of the net to earn the win.
Gino Darin opened up scoring in the game early in the first period, before the Wolverines conceded three consecutive from the Illini.
Saturday night went a bit differently, as the Wolverines jumped out to a three goal lead after Jeff McFarland scored two goals and Groat scored his eighth of the year. Andrew Spiegel also added a goal on Saturday for the Wolverines.
The sweep ended the Wolverines four game losing streak after being swept previously by Davenport and Adrian. Getting the sweep this week has boosted morale, and has given the Wolverines more confidence.
“It feels good to get a win, feels good to be back on the right side of things,” Groat said after Friday night’s win. “I thought we played good during the losing stretch, just didn’t get the right bounces.”
“We’re playing top teams, it’s learning curves,” Haltinner said. “It’s harder to stay on top then it is to get there.”
The Wolverines will be off next weekend, but will travel to Ohio the weekend after. Ohio is currently ranked fourth in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.