GVSU DIII hockey splits series with Hope

Laker comeback falls short in second game

By Mason Tronsor | 1/17/16 11:30pm

GVL / Sara Carte Grand Valley Men’s Ice Hockey D3 player, Danny Smith, runs the puck down the ice against Hope College at the Georgetown Ice Arena on Jan 16.
by Sara Carte and Sara Carte / The Lanthorn

The Grand Valley State Division III men’s hockey team split its weekend series against Hope College. The Lakers were able to come back from a slow start to win the first game on the road Friday, but the same slow start hindered GVSU, as it couldn't recover on Saturday night.

“It’s hard to say about the slow starts,” said GVSU assistant coach Ron Clark. “It’s hard coming back from a long break.”

The team entered Friday night’s contest with an 18-5-1 record coming back from Christmas break. The puck dropped on the Dutchmen’s home ice, and GVSU was out of sorts early. The Dutchmen grabbed an early 2-1 lead in the first period, as GVSU goalie Jack Lindsay just did not have good fortune on his side.

After trailing the entire first period, Laker head coach Charlie Link sent the message of urgency to his players. GVSU needed to answer Hope after the sloppy first period, and did just that.

The second and third period were dominated by GVSU. Lindsay did not allow a single shot past him after the first, as freshman Mitch Lawton and the senior Blaine Marney fueled the offense.

Lawton scored midway through the second period to tie the game at 2-2. With all the momentum heading into the third period, Marney was able to connect for the game-winning goal midway through the final frame.

“It always feels good to contribute in a big way for the team,” Marney said. “It was just a combined, hard-fought effort by everyone especially since it was our first game back from break. It wouldn’t have been possible without Jack (Lindsay) playing the way he did in net, either."

After the big-time comeback victory Friday night, the Lakers returned to GVSU for the second game of the weekend series on Saturday night. Once again, another slow start bit the Lakers. The Dutchmen jumped out to a 2-0 lead at Georgetown Ice Center, but the Lakers once again entertained notions of a comeback.

Junior Tyler Stoller started the comeback with a goal in the second period to cut the lead to one. It was the same position as the Lakers were in the previous night. This time, however the comeback fell short.

After hitting the pipes multiple times for a potential game-tying goal, the Lakers fell to a 3-1 defeat after the Dutchmen scored a late empty-net goal.

Overall, the Lakers were pleased with their weekend efforts.

“I thought the team played really well,” Lawton said. “Especially for having a break. Coming back from a couple of weeks without skating and playing a team who is that good is hard to do and I thought we kept up with them.”

The Lakers (19-6-1) next hit the ice with a home-and-away series against Aquinas College on Jan. 22 and 23.

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