GVSU women come up short over the weekend

Alex Harroun

Sometimes the breaks simply don’t go your way, even if you play a well-rounded game.

That was the case this past weekend for the Grand Valley State University women’s club hockey team dropped a 2-1 and a 4-0 decision to No. 2 Robert Morris University.

Early during Sunday’s game the Lakers had trouble getting sustained pressure on Robert Morris, leading to many offensive rushes going both ways. Robert Morris got the closest to breaking the early tie by ringing one of the crossbar midway through the period. Close to the end of the first, the Lakers began to cycle the puck in the offensive zone more effectively leading to a power play opportunity, which gave them a noticeable jump.

The back-and-forth play continued for much of the second period until Lakers freshman Hilary Daniels tallied her third goal of the season off a backhand shot for a 1-0 lead going into the third.

“The puck flew up from the defenseman (after the penalty kill) and I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t offside at the blue line,” Daniels said. “I carried it behind the net, stopped, went for the wrap around, and somehow it trickled in. A bounce finally went our way.”

Senior goaltender Michelle Wyniemko was beat early in the third period five hole form a one timer in the slot area after Robert Morris was able to pass the puck out of the corner unimpeded. Robert Morris took the lead with seven minutes to play after shooting a rolling puck past Wyniemko on the short stick side for a power play tally. Despite having the lead going into the third, the Lakers fell 2-1.

“Were going see them again in the playoffs,” senior Captain Meghan Jahn said. “(It was) a learning experience. Have to keep it up in the third after we get the first goal and keep going.
Play 60 minutes, not 40. They are a physical team, but we held our own.”

A penalty filled second period Friday night didn’t help the Lakers any as they were unable to capitalize on multiple power plays, including a five on three. Meanwhile, at the other end of the rink Robert Morris found the back of the net twice at even strength, once on a breakaway after the defense pinched forward at the blue line to try and take away the pass, which left the Robert Morris forward alone with junior goaltender Karen Sloboda. The second goal given up by the Lakers was a heartbreaker. While on the power play, unable to clear the defensive zone, Robert Morris took advantage getting a shot through Sloboda off a deflection in front of the net with one second left in the period for a short handed marker.

“We played almost flawless, but (Robert Morris) got a couple breaks and they were able to pop it in the net,” head coach Sean McKernan said. “We dominated 85 percent of the game and they took advantage when they could like a good team does.”

Robert Morris came out ready to take control in the third, scoring early by firing a snapshot past Sloboda high on the short side. Later in the period, the Lakers were having trouble clearing the defensive zone again as Robert Morris got the puck out of the corner, found an open forward and with a quick shot, essentially putting the game was out of reach at 4-0. The Lakers showed good desperation in the later stages of the game getting some solid opportunities at the net but were unable to connect.

“Definitely frustrating weekend,” McKeman said. “I thought these were the best games we played all year and (we) came up on the short end of the stick. Today we took it to them for two periods, let our foot off the gas for the third, and they responded and we didn’t. “Hopefully its something we can learn from and take into the playoffs. With a total team effort, we can beat anybody that we want to. It’s just finding the consistence to play for the full 60 minutes. It’s a learning experience.”

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