GVSU D2 hockey ties, wins in two-game series versus Michigan

GVL / Emily Frye      
Grand Valley State Univerity celebrates a goal during the game against the University of Michigan on Saturday Feb. 11, 2017.

Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye Grand Valley State Univerity celebrates a goal during the game against the University of Michigan on Saturday Feb. 11, 2017.

Robbie Triano

With four games left in their regular season, the Grand Valley State men’s club hockey team (Division II) is making major tweaks before their hopeful playoff run.

GVSU experienced a mixed bag of emotions after its two-game weekend series against the University of Michigan. The Lakers came out with a 3-3 OT tie Friday, Feb. 10 and a blowout 10-2 victory Saturday, Feb. 11.

The Lakers have continued its mission of pressuring the opposing goaltender, outshooting the Wolverines 43-26 in Friday’s road game and 58-27 in Saturday’s game at Georgetown Ice Center. Coach Mike Forbes couldn’t be disappointed with that effort even though they didn’t win both games.

“We outplayed them the first game and didn’t get the outcome we were looking for,” Forbes said. “After time, we just let the guys sort themselves out and that’s why game number two was a much different story.”

Game one of the weekend series took place at the famous Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. for the Wolverines last home game and senior night. Forbes believes the high emotion atmosphere played to the Wolverines advantage as they came out with high energy scoring the first goal of the game.

GVSU’s Troy Marrett tied the game to end the first period, and the Lakers opened the second period with two goals 11 seconds apart from each other. Tommy Carey scored the tiebreaking goal, while teammate Cameron Dyde followed right after to give the Lakers an added insurance.

Although GVSU had the 3-1 lead, a usual winning performance with this group, Wolverine goaltender James Howe played exceptional to close out the game and end the Lakers scoring surge, finishing the night with 43 saves. The Wolverines closed regulation with two unanswered goals to tie the game and neither team scored in the overtime period, resulting in a 3-3 tie.

“It easily could’ve been a 7-3 game but we just didn’t complete the game,” Forbes said. “It didn’t help that their goaltender stood on his head like he’s done to us before. He was phenomenal.”

Game two was a different story as the Lakers returned home with redemption on their mind. Against a different Wolverine goaltender, GVSU lit up the scoreboard and kept firing, finishing the night with 58 shots on goal.

Unselfish play and stifling defense allowed the Lakers to stay consistent offensively throughout the game, highlighted by six unanswered third period goals. Assistant captain Collin Finkhouse said the two games were similar in effort, but that GVSU found its execution in game two.

“I thought we played well in both games, the only difference was out ability to actually hit the net and get our shots past their goalie for once,” Finkhouse said.

Cameron Dyde led the scoring with a hat trick each, slicing up the Wolverine defense with speed and ability to capitalize on rebounds. Other scorers were Troy Marrett and Austin Koleski with two goals each and Mitch Claggett, Daniel Smith, and Austin Lenar who scored one goal each.

The defensive standout for the Lakers was goaltender Jared Maddock who finished with 27 saves. This season, Maddock has 12 of the Laker’s 20 wins, making him one of Forbes’ most reliable assets.

“Maddock doesn’t give up too many bad goals over the course of a season, and each one that gets by is earned,” Forbes said. “Compared to last year as a freshman year, he’s gained a lot of confidence and is fundamentally strong.”

The Lakers (20-4-3) will close out its final two games of the regular season against Davenport at home Friday, Feb. 17 and on the road Saturday, Feb. 18.