GVSU men’s DII club hockey players represent US in European tournament

Troy Marrett

GVL / Courtesy - GVSUCLUBSPORTS Troy Marrett

Kellen Voss

The vast majority of Grand Valley State students went home over break. Some worked at old jobs, some saw family and friends, and (hopefully) everyone re-established a normal sleep schedule following finals week. 

However, for GVSU men’s Division II club hockey player Troy Marrett, his break was spent much differently than the average student’s.

Marrett was selected to play forward for the 2017-18 American Collegiate Hockey Association Select Team, consisting of 22 players from 15 different ACHA universities, touring Europe to play against serious international competition. GVSU defenseman Lucas Little was also selected to play on the team, and GVSU head coach Mike Forbes was picked to coach the team.

Marrett has been having a productive season for the Lakers so far. During his senior year, he has already scored five goals and made 15 assists, leading GVSU to a respectable 15-3-2 record into the winter break.

Before embarking on their international travel, the GVSU-selected personnel traveled to meet the rest of the team, getting a chance to practice together on the ice.

“We had training camp in Albany, New York, then we flew to Norway for an exhibition,” Marrett said, recapping the trip. “We got to play in Poland for the first game of the tournament, had two more tournament games in Slovakia, then we finished in Budapest and Prague for a couple more exhibition games.”

Marrett and Little left for Poland on Dec. 27 and didn’t arrive back in the states until Tuesday, Jan. 9. They both had to miss the first two days of second-semester classes, but they realized it was worth it to represent the U.S. in the inaugural World Cup of College Hockey tournament.

“I’ve spent close to 24 hours on planes the last two (to) three weeks, including 10.5 hours on Monday (Jan. 8),” Marrett said. “But it was a lot of fun seeing different cultures and playing hockey.”

The men got to play three exhibition games in Halden (Norway), Budapest and Prague. They then were able to fly to Poland for the first game of the tournament, where they might have played their best game all holiday season.

The ACHA D2 Selects beat the EUHL All-Stars 5-1 that game, and Marrett looked right at home, scoring the second goal of the game to earn the Selects a 2-0 victory. His goal was assisted from Daniel Sabato of William Paterson University.

One of the biggest things Marrett noticed on the trip was how different the game of hockey was on the other side of the world.

“The way they play hockey is completely different over there because they play on bigger ice with a lot more space,” Marrett said. “The puck moves a lot quicker than it does over there, but they are definitely not as physical as we are (in the U.S.).”

Looking back on the trip, Marrett reflected on some of his favorite moments exploring new places, and he said the championship game of the tournament (which the Selects lost) was an experience he won’t forget for a long time.

“My favorite moments were just hanging out with the guys in the different cities we went to,” Marrett said. “Budapest was my favorite city to be in. Since we got to check (out) the city two days there on our own, we got a chance to see a lot of interesting stuff there.”

Ultimately, Marrett left the trip with a few major takeaways. 

“The biggest takeaway I have from the trip is that there is more than one way to play the game,” Marrett said. “It was cool to see everybody playing their role, being able to adapt to what the other team was doing, seeing different styles of play, and it was nice to get a different perspective on how to play the game.”

Marrett and Little return to the U.S. to join a GVSU hockey team looking to improve its 9-2-1 record at home this weekend, as the Lakers have two home matchups with Indiana University. The games start at the Georgetown Ice Center at 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13.