The 3rd Man In

Horizon League play begins

Back to Michigan we go! The Milwaukee Panthers got a win in Kalamazoo on Sunday, and now they will be headed to Detroit to take on the Titans in their first Horizon League matchup on Saturday. Coming into this game the Panthers (6-0-1) will look to stay unbeaten through their first eight games for the first time since 1985.

In the history of this Horizon League matchup the Panthers lead the series against Detroit with a 12-8-4 record. Although the Panthers have the better overall record, Detroit has a 3-1-1 record over the last four years, and beat the Panthers 1-0 a season ago.

The Titans are the defending 2012 Horizon League regular season champions, but this season they have not had as much success. After being predicted to finish in fourth in the preseason conference poll, Detroit has gone 0-3-4. One bright spot for the Titans has been reigning Horizon League Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, Adam Bedell. Bedell leads the Titans with five points on two goals and an assist.

While Detroit’s record is not very impressive, they have only allowed zero or one goal in five of their seven games this season. This means the Panthers need to continue to play excellent defense, while taking advantage of every opportunity they get on offense if they want to start conference play off on a positive note. This game will not be easy for either team, and should be a tightly contested match the entire night.

After this game, the Panthers will have a short two-day break until they travel to Nebraska to face the Omaha Mavericks in a non-conference matchup on Tuesday. The Mavericks where picked fourth in the Summit League preseason poll, and have struggled with a 1-5-1 record so far. They will face Western Illinois on Saturday at home before their matchup against the Panthers.

Remember when the Panthers played IUPUI and Western Illinois, both members of the Summit League, earlier this season? Milwaukee dominated both sides of the ball in each of those games winning a combined 4-0. Expect this matchup against the Mavericks to be the same way. While getting a win would be nice, the Panthers need to remain healthy for conference play.

These two games will be fun and competitive, and lets hope Milwaukee can get through both of them injury free and untouched.

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