DEARBORN, Mich.— The University of Michigan-Dearborn men's hockey team returned to action with a weekend series against the Cleary University Cougars on Friday at the 140 Ice Den in Howell, Mich. and the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse for Senior Night on Saturday.
The two squads traded off goals in the opening game of the series Friday night with the Cougars taking the one-goal lead early in the third. The Wolverines would respond with three goals in the final frame, including a shorthanded empty-net goal to seal the 6-4 over Cleary University.
Josh Makarchuk would get the scoring started six minutes in with the assists going to Billy Brock and Adam Groat. The Cougars would net the next two, however, Jared Lee would connect on the power play from Brock and Brendan West to tie the game. Cleary University would retake the lead, but West would tie the game before the end of the second with Mathieu LaForest and Brock getting assists on the goal.
The Cougars would re-take the lead 32 seconds in the third, but once again the Wolverines would respond as LaForest would get his second of the night, this one coming on the power-play, from Brock and Lee just three minutes later. Mikhail Khudenko would give UM-Dearborn the lead late with Joey Cullinan and Dakota Potter assisting. UM-Dearborn would take a late penalty and Cleary University would pull its goaltender, however, Chance Mathews would ice the game with a short-handed empty-net goal with two minutes remaining with Henry Laukkanen and Groat getting the assists.
Eric Polzin would get the win in goal, making 25 saves on the night.
The series would shift to the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse Saturday where the UM-Dearborn Athletic Department celebrated the hard work and dedication of the 2022 Senior class by honoring seniors Billy Brock, Adam Groat, Henry Laukkanen, Mathieu LaForest, Rhett Limback, and Silas Johnson in between the first and second intermission.
After both sides traded goals in the first, the Wolverines would strike four times and didn't look back on its way to a 5-3 win and a season-sweep of Cleary University.
Seth Lause would open the scoring with assists going to Potter and Lee eight minutes into the first. The Cougars would respond quickly, tying the game just 13 seconds later. The Wolverine offense would catch fire in the second with two goals from Brock and once each from LaForest and Kieran O'Connell. West would add three assists, while Brock would add two and Groat added one of his own.
Kayden Pickles would get the win in goal, making 17 saves on the night.
The series-sweep of Cleary University moves the Wolverines to 19-9-2 overall and 14-6-0 in the WHAC.
UM-Dearborn returns to action in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference playoff tournament. The Wolverines will be the second seed and will face the winner of Aquinas College/Cleary University at 7 PM Saturday at SportOne Parkview Icehouse in Fort Wayne, Ind.
For more information on the WHAC Tournament, please refer to WHAC.net