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

No. 15 GV men’s DI hockey upsets No. 2 Adrian College on senior night after losing away

GVL / Macayla Cramer

The No. 15 ranked Grand Valley State University Lakers men’s Division I club ice hockey team split home and away matchups versus the No. 2 ranked Adrian College Bulldogs. GVSU lost 3-1 on the road at Adrian in the first game on Thursday, Feb. 8, while the Thursday, Feb. 9 matchup was at Griff’s Georgetown Ice Arena. At home, the Lakers came out victorious on senior night in another 3-1 final. 

Before the Feb. 8 game, the Bulldogs were announced as the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL) Regular Season Champions with a record of 23-3-0. The Lakers, who shot up in the national rankings in the latter portion of the season, were tasked with playing in enemy territory against one of the best teams in the country.

After a tripping penalty at center ice, Adrian was given a man advantage with 11:50 to go in the first. GVSU struggled to kill the penalty as the puck never left the zone, leading to the first points of the game. After four good scoring chances, the Bulldogs’ David Dell was able to bury a power play goal. 

There was only one goal in the opening period– making the score 1-0 at the first intermission. 

Just three minutes into the second period, the Bulldogs’ Nash Hatcher made a silky smooth move to beat the GVSU defense and then backhanded it into the net. Hatcher’s incredible goal put the Lakers down 2-0, a deficit they were unable to surmount.

“I think our start was poor,” said GVSU head coach Matthew Sekosan. “We seemed like we were deer in the headlights.”

After the sluggish start, GVSU stole the puck in Bulldogs territory. After their first shot went behind the net, Lakers’ defenseman Bryan Clahassey was in a perfect spot to beat the Bulldogs’ goalie on the rebound. 

GVSU put the game right back in reach at 2-1. 

However, just two minutes later Adrian was able to extend the lead right back to two goals. After some solid pressure, they were able to score their own goal off of a favorable bounce. 

The third period didn’t contain any penalties, nor any goals, and the Lakers fell to the Bulldogs 3-1.

With another shot at the number two team in the nation the very next night, GVSU opened the game honoring nine seniors: Bryan Clahassey, Devin Naidow, Nick Sommerfield, Sam Lechel, Gage Thrall, Eric Holford, Josh Suzio, Josh Kego and Aidan Mcaleer.

Sommerfield admired the development of his team throughout the course of the season and his time at GVSU.

GVL / Macayla Cramer

“It’s meant a lot seeing us grow,” Sommerfield said. “Beating teams we used to lose to and now actually being a household name in the national standings, it’s been really cool.”

The stagnant action in the first period of Friday’s game consisted of just one cross-checking penalty and no goals. It turned out to be the only penalty of the entire game, just a week after the Lakers’ matchup with Toledo University hovered near double-digits in total penalties.

Much of the second period was also rather uneventful until GVSU’s Jackson Collard was able to bury the first goal of the game just five minutes before the final intermission. 

Then just two minutes later, Adrian didn’t waste any time answering with a goal of their own. It was a tie game going into the third period of the final regular season game.

After both teams struggled to score early in the period yet again, a Lakers senior stepped up and made a game-changing play. 

With four minutes left in the game, Sommerfield buried the game-winning goal, giving his No. 15 ranked Lakers an enormous end-of-season win over the No. 2 ranked Bulldogs.

GVSU would officially put the game away with the help of an empty net goal scored by Chase Tallaire shortly thereafter. The final buzzer sounded to the tune of a 3-1 upset win on Senior Night.

The victory had Sommerfield reminiscing about what he will miss when the season ultimately comes to an end.

“Seeing the boys everyday,” said Sommerfield. “Knowing at the end of the night you’ll be hanging out with them and skating and having fun.”

GVSU and Sommerfield will now play in the GLCHL Playoffs Quarterfinal, which begins at home on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. The Lakers moved to 20-7-2 to finish the regular season.

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