GVSU D2 hockey sweeps Indiana 2-0 on the road

GVL/Emily Frye - Foward Austin Koleski takes the puck down center ice on Friday Jan. 29, 2016.

Emily Frye

GVL/Emily Frye – Foward Austin Koleski takes the puck down center ice on Friday Jan. 29, 2016.

Robbie Triano

The Grand Valley State men’s club hockey team (Division II) set high expectations for themselves to continue improving its offense moving forward into 2017.

Those points-of-emphasis happened sooner than expected, as the Lakers (13-4-1) swept a weekend series on the road at Indiana, capturing two 8-0 blowout victories in convincing fashion last Friday, Jan. 13 and Saturday, Jan. 14.

GVSU coach Mike Forbes’ philosophy of moving the puck unselfishly at a fast tempo has finally paid dividends compared to their offense the first half of the year.

“From day one, our goal was to be a team that is effective at sharing the puck to open more scoring possibilities,” Forbes said. “We realized that we can’t have one player carry the team, but use the team to create opportunities for our best offensive weapons.”

This weekend’s offensive standouts for the Lakers were Austin Koleski and newcomer Ryan Hein, who combined to account for eight of the team’s 16 total goals over the two games. Koleski capped game one with a hat trick and one goal in game two, while Hein scored two goals each game.

Forbes was quite complimentary about Koleski’s game, but has been surprised at the development of Hein, who just recently joined the Division II team.

“These two have really taken the load offensively for this team and have proven to be the next leaders of this squad,” Forbes said. “Hines came to this team late, but has really developed into one of our better players.”

The first game may have fallen on Friday the 13th, but the Lakers had nothing to be afraid of as the team had consistent success from each one of their lines, highlighted by Koleski’s hat trick. Other goal scorers were Hein, Alex Ostrowski, and Matt Sherman. GVSU finished the game with 44 shots on goal.

Saturday’s game was a similar story as the Lakers continued their offensive attack, opening the first period with four goals and cruising by to grab its second straight 8-0 victory. Scorers were: Hein (2 G), Koleski, Tommy Carey, Troy Marrett (2 G), Spencer Godin, and defenseman Buck Maynard, who scored his first career goal during his three-year stint with the Lakers.

Freshman leader Sherman said Maynard’s first goal was a great spectacle for his team to see.

“The whole team just started to go crazy,” Sherman said. “He’s been a big part of this team for some time, and we’ve always waited until the day he finally scored.”

Although it has occurred later than he envisioned it, coach Forbes has finally seen his team finally come together as one, which was highlighted by this weekend’s success.

“There’s two types of phases most teams go through, which is storming and norming,” Forbes said. “The storming phase is when a team goes through the process of finding their identity and what they want to be, and we were stuck in that phase longer than expected. But now, we’re finally in the norming phase where we can finally perform at a high level consistently.

“It was difficult to have so many personalities mix together, but people are finally buying into the system and it’s shown by the final scores lately.”

The Lakers hope to continue their streak of success during a three game road-trip against Florida Gulf Coast, Penn State and Miami of Ohio next weekend.