Club hockey splits weekend games with Miami (Ohio)
GVL / Archive
Matt Smartt (20) shooting the puck away from a defender during a previous game against Hope College
A strong team effort against an undefeated opponent led to an exciting, nail biting weekend for the Grand Valley State University Division II men’s club hockey team as the group split with Miami (Ohio) University, winning 5-4 on Friday and losing 3-1 on Saturday.
Junior forward Chad Wilhelm scored an early goal off a face-off three minutes into the game Friday to give the Lakers (7-1-1) an early 1-0 lead against Miami (Ohio).
Bad bounces plagued the Lakers the rest of the period.
The Redhawks (10-0-1) charged back with a flurry of offensive pressure, scoring three unanswered goals. Miami tied the game when a deflected puck found an open forward all alone with senior goaltender Scott Tiefenthal.
“We were a little rusty coming out,” Tiefenthal said. “We’ve been off for a couple weeks; it really showed in the first.”
Two minutes later the Redhawks found the back of the net once again to take the lead with a short side goal squeezing in. Later in the first while on the power play a shot towards the net deflected off of a stick to give the Redhawks a 3-1 lead going into the dressing room.
“We got a couple bad breaks in the first period,” said GVSU head coach Mike Forbes. “That should have been a 1-1 period.”
The Laker’s added two more goals in the second period while taking away much of the Redhawks offensive pressure. During a breakaway with two minutes left to go in the period Tiefenthal made a great pad save on a breakaway to keep the game tied at three going into the third period.
Tyler Stroller scored his second goal of the game to give the Laker’s back the lead off of a rebound in front of the net with the Miami goaltender down scrambling in his crease midway through the third period.
But the Redhawks didn’t waste much time tying the game. During a two-on-one Redhawks forward Zach Keefe beat Tiefenthal with a high short side wrist shot stalling the Laker’s momentum, sending the game to overtime.
During overtime Tiefenthal kept the game alive with a save off his mask after a giveaway by defenseman Craig Marrett on a clearing attempt.
After a scramble in front of the net, senior forward Tim Marney scored the game winning goal and became mobbed at center ice by teammates in an exciting finish to Friday night’s 5-4 victory.
“(Cox) got a shot and the first rebound with a guy in my way,” Marney said. “I spun off, saw (the net) open and hammered it home.”
The Laker’s came out looking like all business in the first period Saturday, dominating the faceoff circle. The Laker forwards back checked furiously to keep the Redhawks off the board. Fast paced to start the game not many secondary opportunities were given up by either goaltender.
The first goal, off a deflected shot from the point, made its way past Tiefenthal, who was screened by a Miami forward. With less than a minute to go in the period the Laker’s gave up a power play goal when a wrist shot from the faceoff circle wasn’t handled cleanly by Tiefenthal, leaving the crowd silent and deflated.
The Laker’s came out quick in the third period. Marney scored his second goal of the weekend when he skated out of the corner from right to left in the slot beating the goaltender high on the stick side with a wrist shot.
“Blaine (Marney) kicked out the puck to me,” said Tim Marney. “I was able to fight off a guy, rip it top shelf and it went in.”
Freshman forward Tyler Stroller left the game in the third period when a collision away from the play hurt his leg.
“He’s got a deep thigh bruise,” Forbes said. “We’re not sure how serious it is. With everything (the refs) called tonight, you get a guy seriously injured and they don’t see it, it’s frustrating.”
Late in the third the Lakers were given a golden opportunity to force overtime for the second straight night with a 5 on 3 power play of their own.
Many quality chances didn’t yield positive results however when with less than a minute to go and the goaltender pulled to give the Laker’s the extra attacker the Redhawks were able to score an empty net goal sealing the 3-1 victory.
“Miami is a good hockey team and I knew we were gonna have a tough challenge,” Forbes said. “Given we haven’t played in three weeks, I thought we battled hard and represented ourselves well against a tough team.”