GVSU DII club hockey splits home-away series

Natalie Longroy

The Grand Valley State men’s club hockey (Division II) split a weekend home and away series against Rochester College, winning the home game 5-2 Friday, Oct. 7 but lost on the road 4-3 Saturday, Oct. 8.

The home-opener at Georgetown Ice Arena started a little shakily.

“It was our first game, (but) it was their fifth so I was real happy with the way we played,” said GVSU coach Mike Forbes. “They’re a real chippy, physical team so I think it’s a good test for us to start.”

RC’s offense got off to a hot start against the Lakers. The Warriors had the Lakers on their heels and GVSU struggled to get the puck out of its zone.

Before the Lakers could score first, RC capitalized first without a response from the Lakers in the first period.

“Everybody got that first 20 minutes out of the way, the new guys got more comfortable, they settled down a little bit,” said goaltender Spencer Craig. “The adrenaline is pumping the first couple shifts so between the first and second you get to settle down a little bit, talk to each other, figure out what’s going on and it helps a lot.”

In the second period, however, the tables quickly turned in GVSU’s favor.

The goal to open up the scoring for GVSU was off of a power play from defenseman Lucas Little.

“Resnick passed me the puck and I had some time and threw a fake shot in there and I was kind of just looking for a lane and held on to it,” Little said. “The defender moved over and once I saw that lane, I let it go.”

The puck went right above the RC goaltender’s glove.

After the first goal, the rest seemed to fall into place as GVSU scored three more goals in eight minutes. RC could not come up with a response as Craig took control between the pipes.

“I thought Spencer Craig was the best player on the ice. There was a lot of good scoring opportunities out there that they had and he shut them down early and gave us a chance to win,” Forbes said. “That’s all you can ask for from a goaltender.”

The third period remained even as each team scored a goal to close out the game.

As both teams headed to the other side of the state to face each other Saturday afternoon, some changes needed to be made from the first game.

To put three solid periods together in a row,” said GVSU forward Troy Marrett. “We had a good second but we kind of got lackadaisical in the third, let up a goal and got some penalties.”

Even with some changes, GVSU could not get the upper hand. However, there were some positive takeaways from the game.

“The game started off quicker than Friday, we had a lot of opportunities and we were making plays in all three zones,” Craig said. “Rochester’s goalie came up with some key stops in the early minutes to keep them in the game.”

Noticeably better in the neutral zone from the first game, GVSU made it difficult for RC to get through. Still, GVSU lost 4-3 with goals from Collin Finkhouse, Colin McEvoy and Reede Burnett.

The Lakers said they need to work on playing a full three periods.

“Something to work on would be keeping the pressure on and never to feel comfortable with the standing of a game until it’s over,” Craig said.

The next home game is Saturday, Oct. 15 against Ferris State University 7 p.m. at Georgetown Ice Arena.