The UM-Dearborn Ice Arena was rocking Saturday as the No.1 UM-Dearborn men’s hockey team took to the ice in the WHAC (Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference) Semifinal game against No. 4 Lawrence Tech Blue Devils.
The Wolverines came into the game on a 16 game win streak and it was not clear if that streak would continue as the game got started.
Both teams came to play and the physicality was something to see as the Blue Devils seemed to hit anything that moved early on and found ways to intercept passes all over the ice. The Wolverines however found a way to strike first at 4:38 of the first period as sophomore forward Billy Brock put a beautiful shot to the upper left corner of the goal putting the Wolverines up 1-0 early on. Sophomore defenseman Chase Best had the assist.
Minutes later, Alec Allen scored a power play goal for the Blue Devils on a shot from the blue line that went through a lot of traffic to get behind the Wolverine goalie. The goal was assisted by Max Kjome and Bryce Ebert at 8:34 of the first period.
It was now 1-1 and how it would stay through the end of the first period. The teams also remained even on shots on net in the first period with seven shots a piece.
The second period the hitting picked up from both sides and the chippiness was plain from both sides. Senior forward and WHAC Player of the Year Tyler Groat put the Wolverines in front with a short handed goal at 14:17 of the second period. Sophomore defenseman Sean McLaren picked up the assist.
Wolverines now 2-1.
Minutes later, senior forward John Barlow scored another Wolverine goal extending the lead to 3-1 at 16:04 of the second period. Sophomore forward Michael Hodgson added the assist. The final goal of the night came from Brock on a Wolverine power play as he weaved through the Blue Devil defenders and scored his second goal of the night. Senior forward Andrew Spiegel and Groat got the assists.
Wolverines 4-1 and would end up being the final. The Wolverines had 13 shots on goal in the second period and 10 in the third. The Blue Devils had six shots on goal in the second period and four in the third.
Blue Devil goalie Austin Petty made 26 saves in goal as he recorded the loss. Junior goalie Thomas Proudlock made 16 saves getting his 25th win of the season and helping the Wolverines extend their winning streak to 17 games.
The Wolverines will play in the WHAC Championship game tomorrow at 1pm at the UM-Dearborn Ice Arena against the Warriors of Indiana Tech who defeated Aquinas in their semifinal game 7-1. Indiana Tech was the only WHAC team able to defeat the Wolverines this season. It should be a good game.
The Wolverines won the WHAC Championship last season and look to repeat. They also won the first ever WHAC regular season championship which they received a trophy for after today’s game.