GVSU D3 hockey sweeps Indiana Institute of Technology

GVL / Emily Frye       
Junior Tyler Stoller presses forward against Saginaw Valley State University on Nov. 7th.

GVL / Emily Frye Junior Tyler Stoller presses forward against Saginaw Valley State University on Nov. 7th.

Brendan McMahon

The Grand Valley State men’s club hockey team (Division III) swept a home and away weekend series against Indiana Institute of Technology Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28.

The Lakers made the three-hour commute to Fort Wayne, Indiana for the first matchup between these two teams and came away with a 3-2 victory. The Lakers won convincingly the following night at Georgetown Ice Center, 6-3.

Just two points separated these teams in the Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference (MCHC) West Division prior to the weekend.

In the first game, the Lakers would take the lead early with a goal from forward Brody Vanderlinde just five minutes into the first period.

“One of the biggest things you can do on the road is set the tone early and build off it,” said GVSU forward Scott Schueneman.

The Lakers’ lead did not last long though, as Indiana Tech would respond just four minutes later to even the score.

After a physical first period, the score remained 1-1 as the teams went to the locker room for intermission.

Rather than goals, it was penalties that lit up the scoreboard in the second period. The Lakers found their special team units stepping up and making the difference.

“We were able to kill off a bunch of penalties that we shouldn’t have taken but we we’re able to gain momentum after them,” said GVSU forward Tyler Stoller.

Nearly the whole second period went by without a goal, until with just 41 seconds left Derek Simon sent a pass to Stoller in the middle of the ice where he would put it past the Indiana Tech goalie for the score.

The Lakers began the third period with a 2-1 lead. Indiana Tech planned to be the aggressor in the third but they were unable to match the speed and endurance of the Lakers.

“Puck movement helped us all night,” Stoller said. “We have a fast team and moving the puck quickly allows us not to be taken advantage of physically.”

With 13 minutes remaining in the game, Schueneman scored to extend the lead to 3-1.

Indiana Tech cut the deficit to one with just five minutes remaining. However, that is all that goalie Jack Lindsay and the Lakers’ defense would allow as they went on to win the game 3-2.

Twenty-four hours later these two teams were back at it again, this time in the Georgetown Ice Center.

“We wanted to come out fast and strong, and we did scoring right away,” said GVSU coach Charlie Link.

Stoller and Alex Siroky found the back of the net in the first period making it a 2-1 lead after one period.

Indiana Tech managed to keep it a one goal game for half of the second period before the Lakers quickly pulled away. Bronson Foote scored his seventh goal of the season making it a 3-1 GVSU advantage.

Schueneman added another goal as the period was coming to a close. With just 18 seconds left in the period, Randy Stoever made it a 5-1 game.

The Lakers never trailed Indiana Tech at any point this weekend and did not intend on losing it in the final period.

“The biggest problem this weekend was playing down to the competition and they just wouldn’t give up,” Link said.

Indiana Tech fought hard in the third period, but to no avail. The Lakers would go on to win 6-3 and solidify themselves a fifth seed in the playoffs with potential to jump all the way up to the three seed with two games to go.

The Lakers will finish up the regular season against Adrian College, Saturday, Feb. 4 and Sunday, Feb. 5.