FORT WAYNE, Ind. - For the third straight season, the University of Michigan-Dearborn men's ice hockey team brought home a conference tournament championship trophy.
The Wolverines won the inaugural Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament, rallying from a goal down in the second period to top Aquinas College 3-1 in the championship game Saturday in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The win moves UM-Dearborn to 25-5-2 heading into the ACHA Division I National Tournament next week in Columbus, Ohio.
After a scoreless first period, the No. 3 seed Saints got on the board first with a goal at 10:15 of the second. UM-Dearborn answered quickly, as Tyler Groat (JR/Wyandotte, MI) found a puck that was misplayed by the Aquinas goaltender and put away a shorthanded goal to tie the score at the end of the second.
John Ames (FR/Woodhaven, MI) put the Wolverines ahead for the first time, just over a minute into the third on a feed from Troy Saunders (JR/Canton, Mich.) and Andrew Palushaj (SR/Livonia, MI). UM-Dearborn got an insurance goal from Silas Johnson (FR/Calgary, Alberta, Canada) with six minutes to go. Christian Ramage (SO/Taylor, MI) and Billy Brock (FR/Woodhaven, MI) earned the assists.
Thomas Proudlock (JR/Southgate, MI) got the win in net, moving to 17-3 on the season, making 27 saves.
Proudlock was joined by Groat and Jared Dedenbach (JR/Warren, MI) on the WHAC All-Tournament Team for the Wolverines. Other members of the team included Kyle Truax and Steven Gustafson from Aquinas, along with Ryan Jaros from Rochester College.
The Wolverines now shift their focus to the ACHA Division I National Tournament where they will be the No. 8 seed. UM-Dearborn opens the event against No. 9 University of Colorado-Boulder at 8:30 pm Saturday in Columbus.