Club hockey returns to winning ways with road sweep

GVL / Archive
Defenseman Dylan Dault (4) prepares for Oakland to move up the ice during a previous match.

GVL Archives

GVL / Archive Defenseman Dylan Dault (4) prepares for Oakland to move up the ice during a previous match.

Jon Van Zytveld

After last week’s streak-ending loss against Michigan State University, the Grand Valley State University Division II hockey club hit the road and proved that its success is no fluke with wins against Central Michigan and Ferris State universities.

“Last weekend, we lost two really close games to good teams,” said junior defender Craig Marrett. “You don’t want to have a negative mentality about it. We just went back to work.”

On Friday, the Lakers (26-4-1) traveled to Mount Pleasant, Mich., to take on the Chippewas, who the Lakers defeated 7-2 last month. Despite digging themselves something of a hole in the first period with a 2-0 loss, the Lakers returned in the second and third and kept chipping away at the Chippewas before wrapping up their 4-2 victory.

“It was a closer game than we thought it would be,” Marrett said. “It wasn’t our best game, but it definitely wasn’t our worst. We battled pretty hard, for the most part. We got a lot of chances that we didn’t capitalize on. It was nothing to be disappointed about — we got out of there with a win.”

On Saturday, the Lakers traveled to Big Rapids, Mich., and faced off against the Clubdawgs, the teams’ first matchup of the season. After falling behind in the first, the Lakers stayed in the game with their aggressiveness, eventually turning it around in the third to win, 5-2.

“While we were down early and didn’t really have the lead until late in the game, we controlled the play the whole time,” said senior forward Brad Keough. “Their goalie made some huge saves for them. We have a pretty hard working team and everyone comes prepared, so it doesn’t make much of a difference to us whether we play on the road or at home. We were really satisfied with how we played; we just caught a couple of bad bounces that put us down early.”

Junior forward Chad Wilhelm, who was taken off the roster after a shoulder injury put him temporarily out of commission, had planned to play Saturday, but agreed that playing might have re-injured his shoulder.

“It was very frustrating not playing but I think it’s good to give my shoulder some more rest,” he said. “The team performed as well as they could against a team like Ferris State, who plays very well at their home rink.”

This weekend solidifies GVSU’s first place regional ranking, and the team hopes to go 3-0 with the last three games of their season approaching.

The Lakers will host Division III teams Saginaw Valley State University and Hope College on Friday and Saturday, respectively. While the Lakers have not faced off against Hope this season, they tied Saginaw Valley, 1-1, in September and lost to them, 1-3, in October. The team is gearing up for two good games, and the Lakers feel prepared to settle the score.

“They’re both solid teams,” Keough said. “We’re just looking to keep it rolling going into post-season. Everyone is prepared and we all want to get back at Saginaw because they beat us earlier this year.”

[email protected]