Chuckin’ Knucks: GVSU men’s DII hockey tops Adrian College in slug fest

GVL / Dylan McIntyre. Friday, January 26, 2018. Grand Valley D2 vs MSU.

GVL / Dylan McIntyre. Friday, January 26, 2018. Grand Valley D2 vs MSU.

Kellen Voss

Grand Valley State’s entire men’s Division II club hockey roster should be feeling sore this week after their matchup with Adrian this past weekend. In what was arguably the most physical hockey game they’ve played all year long, GVSU held on to win 6-3.

In a game that featured multiple fist fights, 26 combined penalties, 100 total penalty minutes and three disqualifications, it was bit of surprise that no one left the contest with more than just a black eye. Despite all the physicality from both teams—highlighted by more than a few cheap shots from the Bulldogs—GVSU picked up the victory.

Captain Troy Marrett was proud of the way his team handled a rather dirty hockey game, as GVSU had fewer penalties and did not retaliate much against Adrian’s hits.

“I thought we really handled ourselves well, and I’m really proud of how my teammates kept their composure,” said Marrett, who had a goal and an assist. “We played physically and showed almost no retaliation, so it was nice to see our team hold back from their dirty play.”

While the first period didn’t have a lot of physicality, what it did have was a whole lot of scoring. Connor McEvoy got it started five minutes into the game, assisted by Grant Smith and Cameron Dyde. The Bulldogs responded quickly, as less than five minutes later, Adrian’s Dalton Anderson intercepted a pass on GVSU’s side of the ice and found Brandon McLean for a quick score.

With seven minutes left in the first period, GVSU found the back of the net again, as Austin Lenar slapped the puck in off an assist from McEvoy. After Adrian’s Jack Clary scored unassisted at the end of the period to tie the game at 2, the Lakers needed a big scoring push to fend off the hungry Bulldogs.

And a scoring push is exactly what the Lakers got in the second period. While the Bulldogs got much more physical, GVSU proceeded to score four unanswered goals in the period. GVSU went into the third period with a commanding 6-2 lead, along with a lot of bruises to show for it.

“We did a great job of putting pressure on them and getting the puck deep into their zones,” McEvoy said. “We also looked great in our defensive zones, and I’m proud of the way we did what we had to do to get that dub.”

Goals in the second period came from Zach Resnick, German Samvel, Marrett and Reede Burnett, with both of the last two goals coming off the power play. Assists came from all over the ice as well, as Ryan Hein, Tommy Carey, Daniel Smith and Marrett saw their passes lead directly to GVSU goals.

While the third period was obviously the most physical and featured two of the disqualifications (both being Adrian players), it was rather quiet in the goal-scoring department. Clary scored again for the Bulldogs, but with the majority of their penalties coming in this period, Adrian continued to look less like a hockey team.

Dylan Knox, GVSU’s new tough transfer, posted a solid night in the net. He had 26 saves, including a penalty shot block in the first. He also held the Bulldogs scoreless in the second period.

If GVSU keeps up the hard work, a long run in the playoffs seems inevitable.

“We’ll for sure be in contention for (a championship),” McEvoy said. “It’s going to be a long road, but I feel like we can make that trip fast and fun.”

The hockey team sits at 22-3-2 and looks ready to make another deep run in the postseason. Given the progress they’ve made, the Lakers believe they can catch lightning in a bottle and get the job done.

“Each day we’ve been getting better, and all of our guys are finally healthy,” Marrett said. “The pieces are coming together, so we really got a good shot at this.”

GVSU looks to improve on the regular-season campaign with two key matchups this weekend against the University of Michigan. The Lakers travel to Yost Arena on Friday, Feb. 9, for a 10 p.m. puck drop before a rematch back at the Georgetown Ice Center on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 4:30 p.m.