Wilhelm bros net 4 as GV protects home ice

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

Adam Knorr

No ivy grows along the boards at Georgetown Ice Arena. Celebrities don’t sing the national anthem, either.

Nevertheless, the Grand Valley State University men’s club ice hockey team has been finding consistent success within the friendly confines of its home rink.

GVSU took the ice in front of another home crowd on Friday night as in-state foe Central Michigan University came for a visit, and the home team came out with gusto.

The Lakers dominated the flow of play in the early stages of the first period, and the intensity paid off quickly as GVSU’s potent first line struck yet again — this time courtesy of the mystifying mitts of junior forward Brad Wilhelm.

Wilhelm took the puck down the left side of the ice, left a Chippewa defender in his wake with an inside-out deke, and finished the play by sneaking the puck through the pads of CMU goalie Tyler Everlove.

“My line mates have been great,” Wilhelm said. “The camaraderie on our line is great and has been all year. Hopefully we can keep it going into nationals.”

CMU struck back quickly, as a shot from the point deflected off attacking sticks in front and bounced over the shoulder of Laker netminder Scott Teifenthal.

The game’s intensity continued to mount in the second period, as odd-man rushes from both offenses proved fruitless when Everlove and Tiefenthal came up with big saves time after time.

Senior forward Chad Wilhelm netted GVSU’s second goal of the game five minutes into the period, but CMU again tied the score up after capitalizing on its second breakaway of the period to knot the game at 2-2.

The Chippewas tried to use bully tactics to hang with the talented Lakers.

GVSU freshman defenseman Reede Burnett left the game with a concussion early in the first period following a high hit to the head, a common theme from the visiting team.

“It was completely classless, but we did a good job of keeping our heads,” GVSU head coach Mike Forbes said. “There were more checks to the head in that game than I’ve been involved with in the seven years I’ve been at Grand Valley. It’s really disappointing to watch a team like that and be a part of a game like that.”

GVSU had to weather a constant storm of shots after the whistle and blows above the shoulders, but the violence took down its own perpetrator in the end because the Lakers were on the receiving end of power play after power play.

GVSU capitalized in the third period, as junior forward Matt Smartt joined in on the scoring by whipping a puck past Everlove to take a 3-2 lead.

Chad Wilhelm followed suit four minutes later by tucking one through the five hole for his second goal of the night.

Midway through the period, CMU had a chance to strike back while once again playing shorthanded. GVSU worked the puck to the point in its offensive zone, but defenseman senior Bobby Penrod whiffed on a shot leaving CMU with a breakaway opportunity.

Tiefenthal stood tall yet again and preserved the two-goal cushion in the process.

The first line eventually put the game out of reach shortly thereafter, as Smartt and freshman JD Duckworth created havoc in the offensive zone and eventually set up Brad Wilhelm in the slot where he put home his second of the game.

The 5-2 score held, and GVSU went on to claim its eighth straight victory on its home ice.

“We’re looking to take the number one seed in the Central — and eventually we want nationals,” Chad Wilhelm said. “One of the bigger things for us is that we take a lot of penalties and lose games that way, so we’re trying to change that.”

GVSU (19-7-1) will look to push its home winning streak to 10 games in its final regular season series against Ohio State University on Friday and Saturday.