Senior Tiefenthal readies for senior season

GVL / Archive
Sophomore Matt Smartt (20) moving the puck up the ice during a previous matchup with Oakland University.

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GVL / Archive Sophomore Matt Smartt (20) moving the puck up the ice during a previous matchup with Oakland University.

Alex Harroun

The starting goalie for the Grand Valley State University Division III club hockey team for much of his career, Scott Tiefenthal is now a senior and ready to make the most out of his opportunity starting in goal for the Division II club hockey team.

With a 2-0-1 record in three starts, Tiefenthal has started a solid foundation for his senior season as the starter.

Not being the outright starter going into the season, Tiefenthal, who moonlighted with the Division II team at the end of last season, remained confident he would be playing on the Division II team this season. After a new offseason workout regiment and tough tryouts, he was named a starter by head coach Mike Forbes.

“It means a lot (to me) being the starter (as a senior),” Tiefenthal said. “It’s everything you work for all through high school and college.”

The jump to Division II has made Tiefenthal statistically much more difficult for opposing teams. With overall competition faster and better at the higher level, Tiefenthal boasts a 2.57 goals against average and a 0.90 save percentage and attributes this not only to his own preparation, but the team in front of him.

“The team plays a great all-around defensive game, they really work hard in our zone,” Tiefenthal said. “(The team) really makes things happen in the offensive zone. It always helps to get goal support.”

Being a fundamentally sound performer with a tremendous “compete level,” especially in the big game, is what head coach Mike Forbes attributes his success at the Division II level. “He wants to be in those big games and thrives in them,” Forbes said.

Expectations are high for Tiefenthal and company this season with consecutive trips to the ACHA National Championship game, which the Lakers won in 2011 and finished second in 2012.

“Making it to the national tournament is our number one goal right now,” Tiefenthal said. “It’s a long way away. Our goal is get back there and be at our best…we will see how things shake out, we just have to be prepared for every game.”

Along with such lofty goals comes stiff competition from opponents trying to knock off arguably the best DII hockey team in the ACHA over the last two years.

“We’re one of the best teams in the nation and have one of the best programs,” Tiefenthal said. “Whoever we play, they’re giving us their best game possible. Everyone is trying to knock us off the top. We have to come with it every night and be prepared. Any night someone could beat us.”
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