DI hockey drops home game against PNW, recovers on the road


GVL / Macayla Cramer

Madeleine Smith, Staff Writer

The Grand Valley State University’s Division I men’s hockey club battled it out against Purdue Northwest as they lost 2-5 at home but bounced back the next day with a 2-1 victory in Hammond.

With the return of their previous head coach Carl Trosien for the first time since his departure in August, the anticipation leading up to the Feb. 9 matchup at home was one the team looked forward to.

“Of course it was going to feel like a rivalry game,” said freshman forward Jackson Terpstra. “We didn’t feel the need to change any of our game plan as we were confident in it.”

The Feb. 9 match started off strong as junior forward Eric Hulford scored the first goal of the game (10:54) in the first period, assisted by sophomore forward Sam Lechel and freshman forward Tristan Avolette.

However, PNW responded late in the first period with a goal of their own to bring the scoreline 1-1 (16:07). Over 23 minutes of scoreless action in the remainder of the first and the entirety of the second period led into the final period of the match, but the efforts on both ends of the rink didn’t go unnoticed by Sekosan.

“We made some nice saves and limited their chances (during the second period), so we were sort of happy going into the third,” Sekosan said. 

Just as it seemed the game could potentially go down to the wire, PNW scored within the first 20 seconds of the third period (0:17) to take a 1-2 lead that they wouldn’t look back on. A deflating second goal by Purdue 14 seconds later (0:31) to take a two-goal lead.

GVSU would find success minutes later (4:26) as junior forward Gage Thrall closed the deficit 2-3 off an assist by senior forward Evan Chomchai with plenty of time left on the game clock.

Another stretch of scoreless action saw the tension grow with each passing minute. With the Lakers unable to find another answer and knot up the scoreboard, PNW took advantage of the opportunity and added another goal to their tally to take a commanding 2-4 lead (11:46).

PNW would eventually seal the game with another goal (12:36) and hold out the Lakers from scoring again as the match finished 2-5.

Even in the tough loss, Sekosan said he appreciated the fact the team executed some of their points of emphasis fairly well in the match.

“It’s the nitty-gritty time of the year and turnovers cause problems,” Sekosan said. “We knew coming in that there was no way we’d go all of 23 (games) undefeated, so it’s a humbling experience to say the least and we’re gonna go and get ready for tomorrow.”

The Feb. 10 matchup had a different outcome and the Lakers seemed to be much stronger on the ice while on the road.

Thrall would be one of two Lakers to finish with a score as his goal came in the first period (5:50) off an assist from sophomore forward Josh Suzio and senior forward Zach Borchardt.

Another scoreless second period would ensue as the start of the third period still showed 1-0 on the scoreboard in favor of GVSU. However, PNW was able to score just under a minute into the period (0:54).

Tied at one goal apiece, sophomore forward Carson Korte pushed his team out in front with his goal (2:43, assisted by Hulford) and the final score of the game with GVSU taking the 2-1 victory and closing the regular-season series 2-1 overall.

Coming up next, the Lakers will celebrate Senior Night at home against Western Michigan on Feb. 17 in their second-to-last game of the regular season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Griff’s Ice Arena.