Michigan State proves to be too much for GVSU hockey
GVSU's Hilary Daniels
The woes continued for the Grand Valley State University women’s club hockey team this weekend in a rivalry showdown with Michigan State University.
GVSU was not able to secure a win, but did manage to rebound to record a 3-3 tie with Michigan State, after dropping a 2-0 decision on Saturday.
In the final home game of the season, the Lakers got off to a fast start Sunday, wearing down Michigan State in their own zone with an aggressive fore-check. Junior Lauren Barlog scored the opening goal off a rebound while screening the goaltender in front of the net.
The physicality and penalties picked up in the second period. While playing four-on-four, Michigan State tied the game, beating senior goaltender Michelle Wyniemko low after a third rebound attempt found the back of the net. Midway through the period with the Lakers on a five-on-three penalty kill, MSU took the lead after cycling down low to find an open winger on the fair side of the play banging home an easy goal for a 2-1 lead.
“Its frustrating, we came out fighting in the corners, winning the battles,” captain Meghan Jahn said. “We were working the whole game getting pucks in the net. We had our chances.”
In the last five minutes of the second, the Lakers roared back to life after freshman Stacey Mathieu tied the game with a beautiful wrist shot finding the top shelf on the short side. Junior Alisha Day gave the Lakers the lead, beating the Michigan State goaltender five hole on a two-on-one rush minutes later.
Late in the third period Michigan State tied the game on a breakaway beating Wyniemko on the glove side.
In the overtime, the Lakers were unable to conjure up a late tall, giving them one point out of the possible four for the weekend after the 3-3 tie.
The Lakers showed great pressure and cycled the puck well in the offensive zone early in the game Saturday, spending the majority of the period in MSU side of the ice. Multiple power plays, including a five-on-three produced multiple great scoring chances, but nothing on the board.
Michigan State got on the board first when a forward trailing behind the play was left unguarded getting a low shot passed Wyniemko.
“I’m not happy about the first goal I gave up,” Wyniemko said. “I felt the puck hit my stick so that was frustrating. On the second one, I made the first save and there were two girls open in front. There was nothing I could do.”
Michigan State added to their lead early in the second period when a defensive breakdown left a Spartan forward in front of the net without a defender within five feet, which allowed Michigan State to make a quick move around a sprawled out Wyniemko for the 2-0 lead.
The back-and-forth play continued into the third period as GVSU continued to pressure the offensive zone. A two-on-one by senior Shelby Kucharski and junior Lauren Barlog provided the best scoring chance of the period for the Lakers. Unfortunately, unable to solve the Michigan State goaltender,the Lakers were blanked 2-0.
“It was a solid team effort,” said co-head coach Sean McKernan. “A few breakdowns and two ended up in the back of our net. It was a hard fought game for 60 minutes. I’m proud of the way we played, we just didn’t generate enough offense to put it in their net.”