GVSU D3 club men's hockey splits two games with Hope
The Lakers have only four games left in the regular season
GVL/Mackenzie Bush - Ben Chafin (20) watches the play closely. GVSU Men’s D3 Hockey plays Michigan State University Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.
The Grand Valley State men’s club hockey team (Division III) split a home and away weekend series against Hope College Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21.
The Lakers travelled to Hope College Friday night for the first game between the two teams, but fell 3-2. The Lakers returned home to the Georgetown Ice Center Saturday, rebounding with a 6-1 victory.
In the first game, Hope got on the scoreboard first with a goal that occurred 10 minutes into the first period. Despite an ample amount of scoring opportunities for the Lakers, the score remained 1-0 throughout the first period.
Hope added two more goals in the second period, including one with just two minutes remaining in the period, sending the Lakers into the locker room down 3-0 but still in the game.
“We knew we were still in the game,” said senior Tyler Stoller. “We just had to keep putting the pressure on. 20 minutes is a lot of time.”
The Lakers played hard in the third period. A goal from forward Scott Schueneman assisted by junior Alex Bjork cut the deficit to two.
With under five minutes to go in the game, sophomore Ben Chafin scored with a nice assist from Stoller and made it just a one goal game. Though GVSU had cut the deficit to one point in a matter of 15 minutes, Hope was able to shut the Laker offense out the rest of the way, ending the game 3-2.
The following night the Lakers welcomed Hope to their home ice with revenge on their minds. The Lakers are 11-3-2 while playing at home this season.
“We didn’t make adjustments overnight,” said GVSU coach Charlie Link. “We just played hard and kept it going from the third period last night.”
The Lakers got out to an early lead with goals from freshman Randy Stoever and Schueneman. The Lakers appeared to be the faster and more physical team early and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
Hope responded just a few minutes into the second period with their first goal of the night, making it just a one-goal deficit. The Lakers answered by scoring three unanswered goals within a seven-minute span, including goals from Stoller and Schueneman.
The pair combined for three goals and three assists.
“It’s all on my line mates,” Schueneman said. “I just find myself in the right place at the right time. Big props to those guys.”
The Lakers controlled the lead 5-1 after two periods.
Sophomore Michael Mann scored his second of the night with eight minutes left in the third to extend the GVSU lead that goalie Andrew Rozenbaum would protect easily.
“We stressed all weekend that we wanted to be consistent and never quit working hard,” Link said.
The Lakers did just that and went on to win 6-1 and get the series split.
“We know what the team is capable of,” Rozenbaum said. “I know for a fact we can beat any team we want, we just have to have the motivation and confidence.”
The Lakers have just four games remaining until the postseason, with each win meaning more and more with playoff seeding on the horizon.
The Lakers will take on Indiana Institute of Technology in a home and home series Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday, Jan. 28.