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

GV men’s DI club hockey drops quarterfinal vs Davenport 2-1

GVL / Macayla Cramer

The No. 15 ranked Grand Valley State University Lakers men’s Division I club ice hockey team entered as the four seed in the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL) playoffs quarterfinal after going 7-1 to end the season against conference foes.

GVSU entered the GLCHL playoffs with a matchup versus the Davenport University Panthers at Griff’s Georgetown Ice Arena, having just beaten No. 2 ranked Adrian College on Feb. 9. With a lot of confidence coming into the game, the Lakers struggled early and attempted to come back from a 2-0 deficit, losing 2-1.

“We’ve won the GLCHL before and being the best in our conference would be a sweet title, especially going into nationals,” said senior Nick Sommerfield. “Having that confidence and swagger going in there (we felt) that we can beat these top teams and compete at the highest level.” 

In the first period, both sides had solid opportunities in the opposing zones but weren’t able to generate points.

GVSU had a 2-on-1 break that seemed destined for a score until Panthers goaltender Kyler Lowden made a great save to turn away the Lakers.

Lowden was busy working through traffic in the first period as there were several massive collisions in front of Davenport’s net. One hit led to

GVL / Macayla Cramer

Lowden getting knocked over and another hit caused minor penalties that were assessed to a player on each team.

During the shorthanded play, the puck hardly left Davenport’s zone, making it a near-power play for GVSU. The Lakers got multiple chances to bury the first goal of the game but still were left empty-handed at the end of the period. With a 0-0 score entering the first intermission, both teams hit the locker room to adjust.

Coming out of the second period, GVSU was able to generate some shots on goal after forcing turnovers in Davenport’s end but still were unable to put the puck in the back of the net. 

The first goal of the game was finally scored after four minutes had gone by in the second period. Panthers forward Brendan Bauler was able to knock it in after a fight for the puck on the boards led to a shot.

GVSU has struggled for much of this season with allowing the first goal and found themselves in the same scenario yet again, this time down 1-0 going into the third period.

For much of the third, the Lakers also struggled to score, getting more offensive pressure than in the first and second periods, but failing to convert on any shots.

“We came out in the third and I thought we were better than the first two periods but still just couldn’t formulate as a group in terms of offensive opportunities,” said GVSU head coach Matthew Sekosan. “I’d say our effort trying to do the right things was correct, we just couldn’t put it together as a five-man unit.” 

The first goal of the third period came late in the session from Davenport with a little over six minutes remaining in the game. The score was now 2-0 and time was working against the Lakers.

GVSU did seem to get a bit of momentum after killing a slashing penalty just minutes after Davenport extended the lead to two. With the clock winding down, GVSU decided to pull their goalie to try and get a spark from an extra skater.

GVSU captain and forward, Zach Borchardt, scored with roughly 20 seconds to go. An opportunity opened up for the Lakers. With just seconds remaining, GVSU was able to generate another

GVL / Macayla Cramer

scoring opportunity to tie the game, but the shot just missed and hit the side of the net. 

GVSU fell in the quarterfinals to Davenport with a 2-1 final. 

“An emotional game for our seniors,” said Sekosan. “Their last home game is a bitter taste in terms of going out with a 2-1 loss.”

However, Sekosan recognizes the Lakers’ season is likely not over. 

“We live to fight another day,” said Sekosan. “Our efforts throughout the regular season have put us in a position to compete for a national championship.” 

The American Collegiate Hockey Association National Championship Tournament begins on Thursday, March 7 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Lakers await the results of conference tournament action to find out who they will be playing.

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