The Wolves headed into this weekend riding high after sweeping the Michigan Wolverines (Division 2) squad last week. They played a home-and-home against a team that beat them by a demanding 10 goals last season, the Adrian Bulldogs. Unfortunately for Michigan-Dearborn (4-3-0, 0-3-0), after dropping both contests, they remain winless in conference play this season.
The team traveled to Adrian on Friday night in a contest that was as nearly as lopsided as last seasons 13-3 loss. The Wolves dropped Friday's contest 11-2. But they certainly let the Bulldogs know that they wouldn't be pushed around on home ice the following night.
Early in the first period, the Bulldogs got on the boards, and never turned back from there. After 20 minutes of play, the Wolves were already down by 3.
In the second period, the Wolves took control early and had their best chance to net their first of the night when junior Chris Merrill flipped a backhand rebound just wide of the net. But at the 7:35 mark of the first period, sophomore defenseman Cody Longuski received a minor penalty, which ultimately flipped the momentum back to the Bulldogs who scored just four seconds into the ensuing power play.
Two more second period goals chased freshman Max Dutzy from the net being replaced by junior backup Josh Khan. The Wolves would enter the final frame down 6 goals.
Just 16 seconds into the final frame, the top line pair of juniors Anthony Olson and John Vella teamed up to get the Wolves on the boards. Five minutes later, Jeremy Klotz buried a shorthanded goal to give the Wolves some life. But just like early in the game, penalties continued to hurt the Wolves.
The Bulldogs finished off the game scoring 5 unanswered goals with all but one being scored on the man-advantage. Khan surrendered 5 goals after replacing Dutzy
After the final whistle was blown, a scrum ensued on the sideboards with the Wolves setting the tone for Saturday night's contest. Freshman Ryan Kelly and Bulldogs forward Erik Wentzel received 4 minute roughing minors at the end of the game for their tussle.
Saturday night's contest was a hard fought game in front of a Fieldhouse crowd eager to see their team return home. Even though the Bulldogs were able to skate away with another victory, the Wolves were still happy with their play. Head Coach Bobby Clouston let them know of it numerous times at the bench during the third period.
The Wolves carried the pace throughout the opening frame of Saturday's contest but the Bulldogs were the ones who were able to capitalize on their chances as they led 2-0 after 20 minutes of play despite being outshot 11-6.
The second period saw the penalties start to pick up. Just five minutes into the middle frame, a scrum ensued in the Bulldogs zone after the whistle. Cody King received the worst of the scrum. After multiple Bulldog skaters jumped him, he came to the bench with a sore shoulder that had been bothering him all night long.
The penalties were finally sorted out and the worst of the calls came to Ryan Kelly who received a 5-minute major for facemask on Wentzel, as well as a game misconduct, ending his night early.
The Wolves killed off the full five-minute major as well as two minutes of a 5 on 3.
They carried the momentum from that penalty kill to get on the board on the power play later in the period. Freshman Cody King took a shot from the blue line that found the back of the net.
The period ended with a goal by the Bulldogs with just 8 seconds left. After 40 minutes of play, they led 5-1.
In the final frame, the Wolves took control and tried for a
late comeback. They received goals from
sophomore Kyle Horn and Klotz just half way throughout the period, but were
unable to complete the comeback.
The Bulldogs put the game out of reach with an empty netter to win the second game by a score of 6-3. The Wolves, regardless of the loss, showed great tenacity throughout the night and didn't quit on the game. Something they'll surely carry into next week's matchup against the University of Toledo-a non-conference matchup on Friday Night at the Fieldhouse.
-Kyle Horn was injured midway through the third period of Saturday's contest after a blue line collision saw him take a skate to the rib. However he was able to leave the building on his own two feet, showing signs that his injury may not be serious.