GVSU men’s Division II club hockey sweeps Miami of Ohio

GVL / Emily Frye
Evan Newel fights to keep the puck during the game against Indiana University of Pennsilvania on Friday September 22, 2017.

GVL / Emily Frye Evan Newel fights to keep the puck during the game against Indiana University of Pennsilvania on Friday September 22, 2017.

Kellen Voss

Christmas came a little bit early for the Grand Valley State men’s club Division II hockey as they returned from the Goggin Ice Center at Miami University in Ohio with two victories. The Lakers won Friday, Dec. 8, by a score of 3-1 and again Saturday, Dec. 9, by a score of 5-1.

Goalie Jared Maddock had a great weekend for the Lakers: He only allowed two goals all weekend, holding Miami scoreless for the first two periods on Friday.

“We had a great night in goal from Maddock in net on Friday,” said GVSU head coach Mike Forbes. “We were severely outplayed in the first two periods, but he basically saved our bacon in goal with his strong play.”

These two wins push GVSU’s overall record to 14-3-2. With that, the Lakers continue to solidify their spot in the top 10 of the Division II ACHA standings. The two wins also push GVSU’s winning streak up to five in a row, as they haven’t lost since Friday, Nov. 17.

“We got off to a rough start in the beginning of Friday’s game, but we survived,” Forbes said. “Thanks to our improved goaltending and consistent scoring, we got out of there with the win.”

After missing nearly a month with a knee injury, forward Tommy Carey returned to the lineup and made an instant impact for this hockey team.

“Having Carey back in the lineup was good for us,” Forbes said. “He had a goal and an assist for us. That really helped, and he certainly helps stabilize our offense a little bit.”

Saturday’s game was more of the same thing for the Lakers, whose 5-1 win included getting out to a 4-0 lead in the second period. Coach Forbes was impressed with his team’s improvement over the weekend.

“We played a much better game and a much more balanced game,” Forbes said. “It was a pretty convincing win today, as there wasn’t a lot of open ice for Miami for the majority of the game.”

Forbes said he was impressed with how the team has progressed since the beginning of the year, particularly in the discipline department. The Lakers only had five penalties on Saturday, which is a huge improvement from the double-digit penalty games earlier in the season.

“We’ve corrected a lot of the little things the past couple weeks,” he said. “Our discipline has been better since we’ve been getting less penalties, which allows (us) to use our whole lineup more.”

While this team has improved drastically over the past couple weeks, they still have areas they need to work on. That focus will be in full effect against Davenport University next weekend.

“We just need to keep up with our consistency and make sure we’re focused these next two games against Davenport,” Forbes said. “It’s important that we beat them to advance and move up, as it’s just a matter of keeping focus and staying on track, and I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

GVSU looks to keep this momentum going and increase their current streak, as they have two matchups next weekend against the Davenport Panthers. They play Friday, Dec. 15, at the Georgetown Ice Arena, then travel Saturday, Dec. 16, to the Patterson Ice Center at Davenport. Both games are at 9 p.m.