The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Shattering glass and hearts: GV men’s DI club hockey wins two thrillers over Toledo

GVL / Macayla Cramer

The Grand Valley State University men’s Division I club hockey team won two heavy-hitting and nail-biting games versus the University of Toledo Rockets. The first matchup was a 4-3 win at home for GVSU, then a second win in an OT thriller at Toledo 4-3.

In a home game at Griff’s Georgetown Ice Arena on Friday, Feb. 2, GVSU came out very aggressive and it paid off. Early on, the Lakers got a ton of great scoring opportunities and kept the puck on the Rockets’ end of the ice for much of the game.

GVSU scored two quick goals in the first 10 minutes of the first period, one from forward Carson Wood and another shortly after by forward Nick Sommerfield.

With about three minutes to go in the first, Toledo had a chance to get back in the game with a power play. GVSU was whistled for a high stick, the first penalty of the game on both sides, and the Lakers killed it with ease.

Shortly thereafter, GVSU captain Zach Borchardt was set up by Carson Korte for a missile of a one timer, making it three unanswered goals in the first period.

Lakers junior forward Braeden Fouchea emphasized the importance of scoring early in games, which has not been easy for the Lakers.

“We’ve had a tough time this year getting off to good starts,” Fouchea said. “A lot of games we didn’t get the first goal and we have to come back. (It) felt really good to get a good start.”

After a relatively clean third period with just one penalty against GVSU, things got really chippy in the second period. Several violent collisions led to eight combined penalties between the two teams. Between a couple GVSU slashing penalties and a Laker throwing an opponent’s stick, Toledo had plenty of opportunities to get back in the game, but failed to score on any of their four power play advantages.

As the second period progressed, Toledo was able to find multiple high quality scoring chances on the Lakers’ goaltender, Devin Naidow. To no avail, Naidow stopped every opportunity for the Rockets, including an open-ice breakaway. Then with just under 12 minutes left in the second period, GVSU forward and captain Shane Haggerty buried another goal, making it 4-0. The Lakers were dominating before heading into the second intermission.

After a slow start, Toledo came out and looked like an entirely different team in the third period, finishing on multiple scoring opportunities and owning the time of possession.

Toledo was finally able to get on the board with just under 15 minutes left to make it a 4-1 game, when just seven minutes later, they punched in another one. The score was now 4-2 with eight minutes to play in the game. The momentum had swung in the opposite direction and then four minutes later, the Rockets buried another goal to make it a one-score game.

GVSU then was helped by a power play with two minutes left, which helped to stave off the comeback and seal the dicey 4-3 win. 

“We got the ‘W’ and we’re happy with that,” said Fouchea.

The second game of the matchups with the Rockets was a night game in Toledo, Ohio. There the Lakers found themselves playing from behind early, something Fouchea had mentioned was an issue for the team in other games.

Toledo carried over their strong finish to the previous night’s matchup, now on their home ice. Just two minutes into the game, GVSU was whistled for a penalty. Toledo, who struggled to score on the power play the night before, capitalized on their first opportunity, making the score 1-0. However, GVSU remained aggressive and after some solid pressure they were able to get a goal of their own on a deflection to tie it up at 1-1.

GVSU defensive pressure remained a common factor the rest of the period leading to another goal off of a turnover, this time by forward Gage Thrall.

After taking a 2-1 lead to close out the first period, GVSU extended it to 3-1 after a goal by Haggerty just three minutes into the second.

GVL / Macayla Cramer

Still, Toledo was able to answer GVSU’s three straight goals to make it a 3-2 game.

As displayed by the several penalties in both matchups, tempers flared on both sides. In fact, one collision was so hard that it even shattered the glass, causing the game to be delayed to make repairs.

After the delay, the scoring stalled out until about nine minutes to go in the third period. Toledo tied the game at 3-3, ultimately sending it to overtime. After just two minutes of overtime, Sommerfield stole the puck in the Lakers’ own end and got a breakaway opportunity. He beat the Rockets’ goaltender between the legs for the win. 

The Lakers’ head coach Matthew Sekosan was excited about the crucial win for better potential postseason seeding.

“We earned two league points with the OT win,” Sekosan said. “That helps us in pursuit of moving up the league standings.”

GVSU moves to 19-6-2 on the season and will play one of two games against Adrian College, first at home on Friday at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 8, they will travel to Adrian, Michigam for their final game of the regular season at 7:30 p.m. the following day– the team’s Senior Night.

More to Discover