By JACK VANASSCHE, Sports Editor
The University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team will host No. 5 Robert Morris for a weekend home-and-home series at the UM-Dearborn Ice Arena starting on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Having cracked the top-10 in the ACHA rankings after their eight game winning streak, the Wolverines enter the series against a talented Eagles squad with a full head of steam.
At No. 5 in the nation, the Eagles have relied on their exceptional goaltending to propel them to a 19-4-2 record.
It may be worth noting that the Eagles could be dealing with some rust on Friday night.
Robert Morris has not played in a game since Jan. 7 after their series against No. 15 Lindenwood was cancelled due to an ice storm in St. Louis.
Big test for UM-Dearborn
UM-Dearborn has a 4-5-1 record against ranked teams this season.
Each of the Wolverines four wins came against opponents ranked lower than the Wolverines, while all losses came against teams of a higher ranking. UM-Dearborn took No. 2 Ohio University to a shootout but ultimately lost it.
Robert Morris will serve as a test as to where the Wolverines stand.
After blowing by weaker opponents in the last eight games, the Wolverines have not lost a game since Nov. 5.
In that stretch, the Wolverines outscored opponents by an average of 5.5 goals per game.
It will be important for the Wolverines to be prepared for a much stronger opponent and to keep focus if they fall behind.
Robert Morris will be the last big test for UM-Dearborn before their meetings later in the season with the top team in the nation, No. 1 Minot State.
Players to watch
For the Wolverines, sophomore forward Tyler Groat has been on fire of late, scoring 10 goals in his team’s last eight games.
His 24 goals on the season lead the Wolverines and are near the top in all of the ACHA.
For the Eagles, goaltender Cole Semchak (12-3-2) has had quite the season, holding opponents to an average of 2.37 goals per game. He also boasts a healthy .919 save percentage.
Christopher Mallon (7-1), the second goalie for the Eagles, nears the top of the ACHA in goals against allowed with only 1.75 per game.
Ryan Martin is the leading scorer for Robert Morris with 20 goals in 27 games this season.
How to watch
Both Friday and Saturday night, puck drop will be at 7:30 p.m. at the UM-Dearborn Ice Arena. General admission is $5, while students, faculty and staff get in for free.
Fans may also follow along with the live stream at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/umdearborn/