COLUMN: Wolves hockey provides excitement during NHL Lockout

By CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Sports Editor

The Winter Classic is cancelled. Cross those tickets off your Christmas wish list from Santa Claus. It’s not coming, at least not for another year. Will this hockey season be saved? Will there even be any NHL games this year? Only time will tell.

Many fans are losing hope. It’s the third lockout under current Commissioner Gary Bettman. Big market cities are being hurt by the lockout, small cities in small markets. Businesses and those who usually work for the teams themselves, that count on these games for their lives. It’s not happening, and it may not be fixed for a while.

There are a few outlets. You can follow the minor leagues. Here in Michigan we have a few around Metro Detroit and across the state. It’s not the same though. It will never be the same, but there is one outlet here on campus. You may not know of them, but you will now.

The Wolves unveiled their new jersey against the Spartans. (Photo Credit: Aarif Mohie El-Deen/MJ)

The University of Michigan-Dearborn Wolves are YOUR hockey team. They represent the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Some of your money goes toward athletics and recreation, yet not many students know of the team, or the athletics we have here on campus.

It’s unfortunate, and it’s hard to market to students who go to an exclusive commuter campus, at least for another year.

Hockey is big around here. We’re known as Hockeytown, the Detroit Red Wings have been the main team around here and the area has grown to love this team and embrace them, each and every year they compete.

It helps that we are also close to Canada, in which is the same country the sport originated. Hockey is life for Canadians, but it is not here on campus, which shocks me.

The Wolves haven’t been to the National Tournament since I started going here in 2009. They have changed head coaches once since I’ve been here, but they are improving, and improving fast. They are without some of their best players this university has even seen, in a long time. Yet, somehow, they look like a good team that actually can make it to the National Championship this year.

They’ve only lost once at home, and twice on the road. They’re winners of four straight games currently and are looking to improve upon that this weekend with two games against Western Michigan at home.

Their schedule doesn’t get easy though, playing tough teams down the line like Davenport and Oakland next month, and finishing off the season against Davenport and Eastern Michigan, their rivals. You can check out their full schedule at www.gowolves.net

This team is good. It’s entertaining. It’s just plain fun hockey to watch. If you’re not getting your fill of NHL hockey, go check out a Wolves game. You won’t be disappointed.

To read the original post that appeared in the ninth edition of The Michigan Journal, on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, go to www.michiganjournal.org

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