GVSU men's DIII club hockey hosts fundraising game to fight brain cancer

By Kellen Voss | 12/4/17 1:33am

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GVL / Courtesy - GVSU D3 Hockey Twitter account

Hockey recaps for normal games usually start with the score of the game along with who scored the goals. But this was no normal hockey game for the Grand Valley State men's Division III club  team, as this was a game to raise money for brain cancer awareness in support of forward Alex Siroky’s mom. She passed away of brain cancer last year.

All the proceeds from the game were donated to the American Brain Tumor Association. It was completely organized by the players on the GVSU hockey team, led by forward Mitchell Lawton and team captain Alexander Bjork.

“It’s nice that the players are taking it upon themselves to come up with this event to help in memory of Alex’s mom,” said head coach Charlie Link. “We really had a great turnout, and I’m proud of our team for organizing this.”

This isn’t the first time the DIII team has put on an event like this. A few weeks back, the team also held a "Salute to the Troops" game, and they plan to host another cancer awareness game sometime after the holiday break on a date that will be determined shortly. 

“We usually don’t get a lot of people coming to these DIII games,” Siroky said. “It was an incredible atmosphere to play in, and I’m never going to forget playing in this game.”

Attendance for the game was noteworthy, as the stands were full with loyal GVSU fans cheering on the team. Many members of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity came, providing the team with a miniature student section and giving the Lakers a serious "home-rink advantage."

As for the hockey game itself, the Davenport University Panthers didn’t really stand much of a chance. The team had fewer than 15 players and couldn’t put up much of a fight. GVSU took an easy win 8-2.

Forward Reidar Burgeson led the team in scoring on the night with 4 goals—2 in the second period and 2 in the final period. Many other Lakers scored as well, including Bjork, Ben Kowalske, Corey Smith, P.J. Schnepp.

This was a rather physical hockey game that involved multiple fights, and several Davenport players even got kicked out of the game.

Coach Link was proud of the way his team handled the physical matchup.

“It gets really hard to play dirty hockey teams like that,” Link said. “But I’m very happy with how we stuck up for our guys, as we didn’t back down from the physicality.”

Link said that although it was a bit of a sloppy game, a win is a win no matter what. 

“It was good to get the win playing hard against a team like that,” Siroky said. “But we found a way to win, and I’m proud of how our team played, especially in an event like this.”

The GVSU DIII hockey team looks to improve its impressive 20-2 record next weekend, as they travel to Ann Arbor for a tough matchup with the Michigan Wolverines. They play Friday, Dec. 8, at 8:30 p.m.

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