KENT, Ohio - The No. 3 seed University of Michigan-Dearborn men's ice hockey team began the defense of its Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League Playoff championship with a win over No. 6 seed Western Michigan University Friday in Kent, Ohio.
The Wolverines got a hat trick from Tyler Groat (SO/Wyandotte, Mich.) to cruise to a 6-1 win, securing a spot in the GLCHL semifinals against Indiana Tech at 11:15 a.m. Saturday in Kent, Ohio. The win pushes UM-Dearborn to 21-7-1 overall this season.
Groat got the Wolverines started late in the first period with his first goal on assists from Jeff McFarland (JR/Grosse Ile, Mich.) and Andrew Palushaj (JR/Livonia, Mich.), while adding another early in the second period from McFarland and Ryan Urso (JR/Livonia, Mich.). McFarland scored unassisted in the second to send the Wolverines to the final frame up 3-0.
The Stallions got on the board with an early tally in the third, but three straight goals from the Wolverines secured the win. Christian Ramage (FR/Taylor, Mich.) got his second goal of the season on an assist from Mike Payne (SR/Canton, Mich.), while Groat added his team-high 24th of the year to pick up a hat trick for the fourth time in 2016-17.
The final Wolverine goal came from Palushaj on an assist from goaltender Thomas Proudlock (SO/Southgate, Mich.), who started and got the win in net for UM-Dearborn.