GVSU drops Davenport, preps for challenges ahead

GVL Archive
Senior Forward Brad Keough

GVL Archives

GVL Archive Senior Forward Brad Keough

Jon Van Zytveld

“It was good to get the win, especially because they are our across-town rival,” said senior forward Brad Keough. “But this game helped us to realize that we can, in fact, lose. We played a strong defensive game, instead of offensive, like many teams in our league. Everyone helped out so we didn’t get outnumbered by Davenport’s offense.”

The game, which was played Saturday night at Davenport’s Patterson Ice Center, pitted the Lakers (20-2-1), still on their winning streak, which now stands at 19, against the Panthers (13-10), who in recent years have gained a high reputation after winning several DI National Championships.

After a slow start, which cost the Lakers the first period, the team rallied, scoring four goals that were countered by a single goal from the Panthers. This ended the second period, 4-3. Both teams seemed locked in the third, but the Lakers overcame penalty troubles and an additional Davenport goal to score once more, ending the game, 5-4.

“We have been playing some weak opponents lately, and we had two weeks off, so to come back to play against Davenport was a bit of a challenge,” said freshman forward Brad Wilhelm. “We’re not used to trying so hard. We played pretty well offensively and defensively, even though we had a slow start.”

The team described the game as the most challenging event of their season so far, due to the high level of competition from Davenport, as well as the break, which created a gap in practice which could have cost the team the game.

“I thought that we had a lot going against us, the fact that we’ve had so much time off, that we’re missing a few guys, but we managed to combat that and get the win,” said junior defender Craig Marrett. “We just got back to practicing on Wednesday, so we only really had a few days of practice. We even had a few guys flying in from the select team in Europe, and they had jet lag, but we managed to pull off the win.”

As difficult as the weekend’s game was for the team, the upcoming month promises to be even more challenging, with competitors ranging from Ohio State to Central Michigan universities.

Next up for the Lakers will be a home game on Sunday against Division I Oakland University (13-9-1), and the team is gearing up for an even more difficult game than the last.

“If anything, Oakland will be better than Davenport,” Marrett said. “They’re pretty much going to be the best team we’ve played all year. They beat Davenport 5-0 earlier in the season, so they will be a huge challenge for us.

With the regular season inching closer to the finish, the team knows what it has ahead of them — and knows what it needs to do to overcome it.

“This month we have a lot of tough games on our schedule, and we’re all looking forward to that so we can gear up for the National tournament,” Marrett said. “We will have to go back to work and practice hard so we can keep our winning streak going.”

[email protected]