By: Phillip Lutz, Sports Editor
The UM-Dearborn men’s hockey team won the first ever Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Championship on Sunday as the defeated the Aquinas College Saints in the championship game 3-1.
The No. 8 Wolverines found themselves down halfway through the second period as Calvin Wojtaszak of the Saints scored first, putting them up 1-0. Junior Tyler Groat would respond shortly afterwards with an unassisted goal, tying it up at 1-1 after two periods.
The Wolverines would turn on the gas as they would get a goal early in the third period from freshman John Ames assisted by junior Troy Saunders and senior Andrew Palushaj. This made it 2-1 Wolverines.
The Wolverines would get another goal, this time from freshman Silas Johnson assisted by sophomore Christian Ramage and freshman Billy Brock–making the score 3-1.. Junior Thomas Proudlock stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced.
The Saints faced an uphill battle as they had 38 minutes in the penalty box on eleven infractions. The Wolverines had 16 minutes on eight infractions.
The Wolverines also played in the WHAC semifinals on Saturday against the Rochester College Warriors. The Warriors defeated Lawrence Tech in the opening round of the WHAC playoffs to play the top ranked Wolverines who had the first round bye. Rochester had to play the first game of the tournament to make their way into the tournament semifinals.
The Wolverines scored two goals in the second period and four goals in the third period. Senior Mike Scarpello started the scoring early in the second with an assist from freshman John Ames. Tyler Groat added a goal late in the second assisted by Andrew Palushaj making the score 2-0.
The third period was full of goals from both sides. Junior captain Kevin Bechard scored early in the third assisted by freshman Conor Cunningham and sophomore Kyle Schnettler. Senior Marcus McSweeney added a goal minutes afterwards assisted by Tyler Groat and Billy Brock.
Junior Jared Dedenbach scored next for the Wolverines assisted by sophomore Justin Dunn and Kevin Bechard.
The Warriors got two goals from Trevor Pode, making the score 5-2 with seconds left in the game.
Freshman Silas Johnson sealed the game for the Wolverines with a goal two seconds left in the game. He was assisted by junior Tyler Dalton and junior John Barlow.
The No. 8 Wolverines will travel to Columbus, Ohio to face the No. 9 University of Colorado-Boulder in the first round of the ACHA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey National Championships on March 10 at 8:30 p.m.