BY: Aarif Deen, Assistant Sports Information Director
DEARBORN, Mich. – Coming off the inaugural Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament title and a third consecutive trip to the ACHA National Tournament, the University of Michigan-Dearborn men's ice hockey team is set for another strong season.
"We expect to stay in the top 10 (of the ACHA National Poll) all season long," Head Coach Chris Haltinner said as he enters his sixth season behind the bench. "Our goal is to win the conference and make it to nationals in Texas."
The Wolverines enter the 2018-19 season ranked No. 10 in the ACHA Division I Poll.
What You Need to Know
- The Wolverines will play 14 home games at the UM-Dearborn Ice Arena this season.
- Kevin Bechard will captain the Wolverines for the second straight season. Troy Saunders, Tyler Groat, and Tyler Dalton will serve as alternate captains.
- The Wolverines were ranked No. 10 in the first ACHA National Ranking of the 2018-19 season. They finished last season ranked No. 8.
- UM-Dearborn's roster includes 20 returners and five newcomers.
- Tyler Groat: "He's one of the best in the nation," Haltinner said about his returning senior forward. Groat recorded 29 goals, 23 assists and 52 points for the Wolverines last season, leading the team in all three categories.
- Kevin Bechard: Coming off a 15-goal season, Bechard will look to provide an impact for the Wolverines in his final season.
- Billy Brock: After joining the Wolverines midway through last season, Brock scored 10 goals and added 13 assists in 12 games.
- Troy Saunders and Kyle Schnettler: The two returning veterans will look to lead the young UM-Dearborn blue line in 2018-19.
- Thomas Proudlock: After posting a 14-5-2 record with a .933 save percentage and a 2.21 goals against average, Proudlock will look to lead the Wolverines between the pipes once again in his third season.
- Joseph Crump: The freshman forward played in the CCHL a season ago and Haltinner expects him to have an instant impact for the Wolverines offensively.
- Mathieu LaForest: Joins the Wolverines after winning the national championship with the Metro Jets of the NA3HL.
- Dawson Richard: The transfer from Mercyhurst provides forward depth for the Wolverines.
- Henry Laukkanen: The first year defenseman played in the Northern Ontario Junior league a year ago.
- Rafael Goncalves: Haltinner praised the freshman, saying, "he's going to provide goaltending depth for us." The goaltender played for the Phoenix Knights of the WSHL a season ago.
Schedule at a Glance
The Wolverines open the 2018-19 season with the homecoming game against Indiana Tech in a WHAC matchup at 7 PM Friday at the UM-Dearborn Ice Arena. The Wolverines get a chance to take on the defending national champion, as they play Adrian College three times, with the first matchup on Nov. 20 in Adrian, Mich.
Senior night will take place against the University of Toledo on Feb. 22. The Wolverines are the host for the 2019 WHAC Postseason Tournament this season, an honor they received for winning the event last season. The tournament will take place Mar. 8-10 at the UM-Dearborn Ice Arena.