GVSU D2 hockey dominates Michigan State 10-4

GVL / Emily Frye      
Grand Valley celebrates after a goal during the game against Michigan State on Friday Jan. 27, 2017.

Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye Grand Valley celebrates after a goal during the game against Michigan State on Friday Jan. 27, 2017.

Robbie Triano

After a very successful outing on the road last weekend (two wins, one tie), the Grand Valley State club hockey team (Division II) was welcomed back at home to a packed Georgetown Ice Arena against Michigan State Friday, Jan. 27.

Although Spartans are historically used to filled coliseums, the Lakers took the fight out of MSU as they dominated from the opening faceoff, using precise passing and teamwork to tear up the opposing defense in an easy, but dominating 10-4 victory.

The night’s event included a 50/50 raffle, silent auction and multiple prize giveaways to raise money and awareness for famous West Michigan hockey official Dave Rue, who is currently battling lung cancer.

The first period started off slow as both teams came out sloppy, but Laker Mitch Clagget put the first goal on the board after deking past two defenders and the Spartan goalie with seven minutes left. Two minutes later, senior Collin Finkhouse joined the scoring party, creating an early 2-0 lead.

The Spartans finally got on the board within the first two minutes of the second period, but the Lakers regained their momentum after a shot by Tom Lusynski deflected off Tom Carey into the Spartan net, bringing the score to 3-1.

By the end of the second period, GVSU had built its lead to 6-1 by using great team passing in the Spartan zone to create clear and open shots. Goal scorers were Carey and Ryan Hein with two second period goals.

The Spartan offense managed to score three goals, but GVSU fired back by scoring four more goals in a chippy final period, bringing the score to its final of 10-4. Third period scorers were Matt Sherman (two goals), Claggett and Hein, who finished the night with a hat trick.

“It was a very impressive offensive game from our guys,” said GVSU coach Mike Forbes. “We’ve really continued to get better and that’s what it’s all about.”

Hein was a late addition to the Division II squad, but with 19 points in 14 games (10 goals, 9 assists), Forbes has enjoyed every second of his presence on the ice.

“He just gets better and better each game, and his line (consisting of Sherman and Finkhouse) has been playing a lot better because of it,” Forbes said. “It has been fun watching those three play together because they have great chemistry and vision of where each person is.”

From having three different players score multiple goals (Hein, Sherman and Claggett), a great defensive effort to hinder the Spartan offense, or Laker goaltender Jared Maddock defending his ground with 32 saves, there was not much to complain about the Lakers’ overall performance.

“Everybody gave their best effort tonight,” Hein said. “We were moving the puck really well to find the open man, but more importantly, we were shooting the puck a lot and going hard to their net to get rebounds.”

As the Lakers continue on their hot streak, Forbes has been able to watch them during the early rough stages of the season and see his team develop into the team they have transformed into today.

“I feel really good about this team,” Forbes said. “It’s all about developing those habits of what to improve on, which we didn’t seem to care about early on in the season.

“We’re really seeing what our potential is now.”

GVSU (16-3-2) will take its talents to the road this upcoming weekend against Southern Illinois Feb. 3 and 4.