GVSU Division II hockey wins one in series with Toledo
Bishop, Claggett lead Lakers to tie, win against Toledo
The Division II Grand Valley State men’s hockey team came out of the weekend series with a win and a tie against Toledo University. After Friday night’s game ended in a stalemate, 3-3, the Lakers (13-1-1) bounced back with a 4-3 victory.
The Lakers got off to a hot start Friday night. GVSU scored three goals in the opening period, with two coming on the power play.
Senior Michael Bishop started the scoring for the Lakers. Bishop netted a power-play goal in the 12th minute of play, and followed it up with another goal with 35 seconds left in the first period.
Bishop has been scoring at a high rate for the Lakers in the past few contests. Bishop's multi-goal game against Toledo was his third of the season, after scoring a hat trick in last weekend’s contest against Ferris State.
“Our team has been coming together really well,” Bishop said. “We know where each other are at on the ice. Collin Finkhouse has been a big help with setting me up with great opportunities.”
Finkhouse has been putting up points as well, but in the assist fashion. Finkhouse, coming off of a four-assist night against Ferris State, notched an assist Friday night, giving him 12 for the season.
The Lakers finished the first period with a 3-0 lead. In hockey, a three-goal lead is considered dangerous rather than comfortable, as the leading team might become complacent and try to not give up goals instead of trying to score.
GVSU never took its foot of the gas, totalling 64 shots in the contest, but the Lakers allowed Toledo to chip away at the lead. Toledo scored a goal in the second period and two in the third to tie the game. The third Toledo goal came shorthanded on a GVSU pass that was intercepted for a breakaway.
In the overtime period, the Lakers had a few scoring opportunities early, but were unable to capitalize. After a GVSU penalty with 1:30 left on the clock, the Lakers played not to lose the game. The penalty kill came up big for the Lakers, securing the draw.
Game two of the weekend series started opposite of game one. Toledo came out firing and jumped out to an early two-goal lead.
“We got off to a slow start,” said GVSU captain Zac Strain.
The Lakers were looking for answers, having been outscored 5-0 by Toledo in the last three periods of play, dating back to Friday night’s game.
The Lakers found some offense and responded with four consecutive goals. The first goal came from Tony Russo, followed by a goal from Strain. Troy Marrett added to the mix with a goal of his own. Junior Mitch Claggett netted the fourth goal, sealing the deal for the Lakers.
Claggett has been part of a dominant line for the Lakers. Claggett and his linemates Alex Ostrowski and Nick Schultz have a combined 58 points on the season.
The Lakers' four goals were enough for goaltender Jiri Aberle, who was near perfect after giving up two early goals. Aberle let one goal slip in late in the third period, but it was too little too late for Toledo.
The Lakers will travel to Lindenwood University in Missouri for a two-game series against the Lions. Lindenwood dropped to No. 10 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Central Division after two losses against Lindenwood – Belleville last weekend. GVSU is currently ranked No. 3 in the division.