Wilhelm brothers lead hockey offense

GVL / Archive
Junior Forward Chad Wilhelm skating during a match last season.

GVL Archives

GVL / Archive Junior Forward Chad Wilhelm skating during a match last season.

Jon Van Zytveld

As the Grand Valley State University Division II hockey club nears the end of its season, forward siblings Brad and Chad Wilhelm continue to push themselves to lead the Lakers to victory.

“They’re both great offensive players,” said GVSU head coach Mike Forbes. “Chad is the puck controller and Brad is a pure shooter. They’re both skilled, they got good hands and great skating ability. They bring a lot to our offensive lineup.”

Originally from Carmel, Ind., the Wilhelm brothers have both contributed to the success of the Lakers (24-4-1) with a combination of scoring, teamwork and leadership.

Brad, a freshman, got his start with the Lakers this year and has scored 17 goals and 12 assists so far this season.

“The camaraderie of the team has been great since the beginning, everyone gets along great,” he said. “I try to pass, score and do as much as I can to help the team out.”

Chad, a junior, was a guest student when he joined the Lakers last year after playing Division III hockey for Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. A part of the team’s ACHA national championship team, he helped to lead the Lakers to a 24-10-1 record, and recently rejoined the Lakers after missing part of the season due to grades.

Chad dropped off the roster in early January due to a shoulder injury, but he will rejoin the team for most of the remainder of their season. Despite his limited playing time this year, his leadership on the team has already been felt.

“I definitely think he’s a leader on the team,” Brad said. “When he plays, he’s fast out there. He’s got a great shot and he uses it well. I think that when we get him back in the lineup, he’ll contribute to these next few games. We’ll be happy to have him back.”

Although Brad, who stands four inches taller than Chad, has seen success without his older brother, the two have been able to add speed and a dependable scoring combination to the Lakers.

“It’s been a really good experience to play for the Lakers,” Chad said. “We have a good bunch of guys, there’s never a lot of controversy on the team. I think me and my brother bring speed to the team, which is a big thing. He’s got an amazing toe-drag and he’s a great play-maker for us, he sees the ice very well.”

After their 23-game winning streak ended last weekend in a loss to Michigan State University, the Wilhelms and the Lakers are ready to prove that their success is not a fluke.

“I’m glad we lost these two games now, instead of later,” Chad said. “The games we lost were not shutdowns. We had a lot of posts, a lot of opportunities, and I’m glad it happened now instead of at Nationals. I think we need to just stick with the program we’re doing now and stay confident, but don’t get big heads going into the tournament. We’ll just go and play our best and shoot for No. 1.”

The Lakers have five more regular games this season before they head to Great Midwest Hockey League Championships and Nationals. Their next games will take place on the road at Central Michigan University on Friday and at Ferris State University on Saturday.

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