DII hockey splits two game home series with Lindenwood

Robbie Triano

The Grand Valley State club hockey team (Division II) split its two-game weekend series against the Lindenwood Lions with a 5-3 victory Friday, Nov. 12 and a 3-1 loss Saturday, Nov. 13.

The Lakers are coming off impressive wins last weekend, sweeping the No. 2-ranked Lindenwood-Belleville in another two-game weekend series with two 4-3 wins.

Even though the Lakers notched a first game victory to split the series, GVSU coach Mike Forbes was less than pleased with his team’s overall play and effort throughout the whole weekend.

“We got outworked, outplayed and showed very little discipline this weekend,” Forbes said.

The players declined to comment.

The Lakers grabbed the Friday night victory by scoring all five goals in the second period by five different players. Scorers were Nicholas Beers, Mitch Claggett, Austin Koleski, Thomas Luzynski and Matt Sherman. Goalie Spencer Craig saved 23 of Lindenwood’s 26 shots. Ryker Barber tallied two assists.

Besides the second period scoring outburst, the Lakers only scored one more goal during the two-game weekend. According to coach Forbes, they were also outplayed every other period as well.

“During the first game, we played a horrible first period, a remarkable second and another horrible period during the third,” Forbes said. “Besides that second period, we didn’t show up at all. Overall, it was a disappointing effort from this group.”

The second-game of the weekend series was a tightly contested match, but featured sloppy play between the two teams as they combined for 43 penalties. The Lakers were responsible for 16 of those penalties, totaling 43 minutes in the penalty box.

Even though they were riddled with penalties, the Lakers entered the third period only down 1-0, but GVSU shot themselves in the foot after a brawl with :08.7 left in the second period, resulting in a five minute misconduct fighting penalty that carried into the third period and an ejection due to facemask game disqualification.

“There’s not much you can say to a team after a dumb act of discipline like what happened to end the second period,” Forbes said. “The only thing that was good about the fight was that nobody got hurt. Besides that, it was stupid hockey.”

Lindenwood took advantage of the power play and scored their last two goals within the first 10 minutes of the third period. The Lions finished with 34 shots on goal, while the Lakers only put up 23 shots against a stifling Lion defense.

The lone Laker point was an unassisted goal by Austin Koleski with 17 seconds remaining in regulation to end the Lindenwood shutout.

Besides the penalties, the Lakers couldn’t capitalize on multiple power play opportunities, including three five-on-three power-play situations.

“Famous former Detroit (Red Wings) coach Mike Babcock says that hockey is a ‘very fair game because you get what you earn’ and tonight we got what we earned,” Forbes said. “There were times when we looked like a team that didn’t care if they won or not. We were not ready to play today.”

GVSU plays Miami (Ohio) Friday, Dec. 2, giving them plenty of time to heal and rebound from a tough weekend.