COLUMBUS, Ohio - The University of Michigan-Dearborn men's ice hockey team opened the ACHA Division I Men's Ice Hockey National Championships with a dramatic overtime win over Robert Morris University-Illinois Saturday at the Ice Haus Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
The No. 9 Wolverines took the lead from the No, 8 Eagles early in the third on a goal from Jeff McFarland (JR/Grosse Ile, Mich.), but RMU tied the score with 10:33 left in regulation. The game remained locked through the final horn setting up overtime. After both teams saw scoring chances thwarted, Nic LaBurn (SO/Northville, Mich.) brought a large UM-Dearborn crowd to its feet with the game winner in the extra frame to send the Wolverines to the national quarterfinal. The win was the third in three games for the Wolverines over the Eagles this season.
LaBurn notched the winner on assists from Kevin Bechard (SO/Trenton, Mich.) and Justin Dunn (FR/Trenton, Mich.), setting up a rematch with No. 1 Minot State University. The Wolverines and Beavers split a pair of thrilling games earlier this season at the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse.
The Wolverines got the scoring started against RMU with a goal from LaBurn on an assist from Ryan Urso (JR/Livonia, Mich.) with 3:06 to play in the first. The Eagles quickly rebounded with a pair of goals before the first intermission.
The second period saw the Wolverines control the pace of play and UM-Dearborn found the equalizer on a goal from Urso, with assists from Tyler Groat (SO/Wyandotte, Mich.) and McFarland to make it 2-2 after two. The teams traded goals in the third, setting up LaBurn's heroics in the overtime session.
The Wolverines were outshot 31-25 as Thomas Proudlock (SO/Southgate, Mich.) made 28 saves in the win for UM-Dearborn.
UM-Dearborn continues play in the ACHA tournament against Minot State at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Ice Haus in Columbus.