Dearborn, MI - After qualifying for the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) National Tournament for the first time since 2007, the hockey team continued its great season on Sunday by defeating the Davenport University Panthers 3-2 in overtime to win the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL) Tournament. The Wolverines came out strong with 18 shots on goal in the first period. Davenport goalie Matt Kaludis kept turning the shots away until junior Gino Darin got one past him with just under five minutes remaining in the period. Freshman Kevin Bechard got the assist on Darin's goal, which was the only goal of the first period.
In the second period, both teams turned up the offensive pressure. Sophomore Andrew Palushaj put Michigan-Dearborn up 2-0 with his goal seven minutes into the period. The 2-0 lead, however, was short lived. Davenport would score just eight seconds after Palushaj's goal. The game would remain 2-1 until with three minutes and thirteen seconds remaining in the period Davenport's Alex Hulford evened the score getting one past goalie Nate Ferris. The score would remain tied heading into the third period.
Defense ruled the third period as each team had their fewest shots on goal for the game in the third period. Michigan-Dearborn held the Panthers to just nine shots on goal in the period, and the game went to overtime. Davenport put the pressure on Ferris early but could not get the puck past him. Ferris' strong play allowed senior Ryan Kelly to win the game and the tournament just six and a half minutes into overtime. Kelly's third goal of the season gave Michigan-Dearborn their first GLCHL Championship in program history. Ferris made 37 saves in earning his 19th win of the season. Ferris was named the Tournament MVP. For the weekend, he made 105 saves on 111 shots for a .945 save percentage.
The hockey team opens up ACHA Nationals on March 3rd against Navy at 8:00pm CST in Bensonville, IL.