KENT, Ohio - The University of Michigan-Dearborn hockey team successfully defended its Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League Playoffs title, topping No. 1 seed Adrian College on Sunday in Kent, Ohio.
Tyler Groat (SO/Wyandotte, Mich.) led the way with four goals as the Wolverines defeated the Bulldogs 6-2. Groat's efforts earned him the GLCHL Playoff Tournament MVP as he finished with a staggering nine goals in three games.
"His play was definitely clicking at the right time," head coach Chris Haltinner said about the sophomore forward's performance. "He scored some big goals for us and I really couldn't ask for more."
After Groat got the scoring started in the first period, Andrew Palushaj (JR/Livonia, Mich.) added a goal of his own before the first intermission. After killing off several penalties early in the second period, a shorthanded goal from John Barlow (SO/Shelby Twp, Mich.) gave the Wolverines a 3-0 lead. The Bulldogs answered back with their first of two scored on the powerplay.
The remaining three goals all came from Groat, including a breakaway tally to regain a three-goal lead in the third period off a pass from Marcus McSweeney (JR/Chandler, Ariz.). Thomas Proudlock (SO/Southgate, Mich.) started in net for the Wolverines and earned the victory.
UM-Dearborn outscored its three opponents 19-4 in the GLCHL playoffs and will head into the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Division I Tournament on a six-game winning streak.
"I think our guys are riding a wave of momentum right now and hopefully that carries into the National Tournament and helps us go deep," Haltinner added.
The Wolverines will open play at nationals against No. 8 Robert Morris (Ill.) at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 11 in Columbus, Ohio. UM-Dearborn swept Robert Morris earlier this year in Dearborn.