Windy City sweep: GVSU men's DII club hockey beats DePaul on Chicago road trip
The Grand Valley State men's Division II hockey team traveled to Chicago this past weekend, striving for two victories against the DePaul Blue Devils. And that's exactly what they got. The hockey team won by a score of 6-4 on Friday, Jan. 19, and again on Saturday, Jan. 20, by a score of 6-3.
Offense came easily for the Lakers in both games, as they were almost always able to capitalize on the power play and succeeded in their offensive zones. Multiple Lakers poured in goals all weekend, as Ryan Hein scored three times over the weekend, while teammate Tommy Carey had four goals in both games combined.
Although GVSU clinched the win on Friday, coach Mike Forbes was not completely satisfied with his team’s performance. While the Lakers were able to convert on the power play, they ran into some penalty issues of their own, allowing DePaul to crawl back into the game after a 5-2 lead by GVSU in the second period.
“We allowed them to get uncontested shots all game long, and we were outmanned even when we had advantage in the power play,” Forbes said. “We didn’t do a great job containing them in our zones on defense, and that led to some really sloppy play on our part.”
Hein was far from the only GVSU player to find the back of the net on Friday, as a flurry of shots went in for GVSU, including goals from Austin Koleski and Danny DeBlouw. Despite all this scoring, Forbes was upset with how his team appeared to take breaks mentally.
“We got up early, but we mentally took some time off, and that’s frustrating to see as a coach,” Forbes said. “I understand it because our guys weren’t challenged, but we need to have better discipline as we hit the stretch run of our schedule here.”
Saturday’s game was more of the same for GVSU, as they hopped out to a 6-0 lead in the first period before eventually winning the game 6-3. GVSU saw goals from Hein and Carey, as well as from Troy Marrett, Cameron Dyde and Nick Beers.
While Forbes does admit that Saturday’s game was chippy, he still wasn’t proud of the way his team retaliated against DePaul’s physicality.
“There were a lot of cheap shots in that game, but we also shot ourselves in the foot down the stretch,” Forbes said. “They scored on us multiple times despite us having an advantage in the power play for most of the game, and we were really undisciplined.”
One thing that Forbes believes was consistent all weekend was the goaltending, as he thought that both Maddock and Knox each had solid games in goal.
“They were pretty good at moving the puck around on offense,” Forbes said. “But we made saves at key times, and I thought we had a solid performance for both goalies this weekend.”
One problem that continues to plague the Lakers is penalties, and they will need to become a more disciplined hockey team if they want to see any success in the playoffs.
“We’ll get up in a game, and the other team will get chippy, and we continue to retaliate against these weaker teams,” Forbes said. “As we play better teams and the scores become closer, we’ll have to be more disciplined if we want to be able to change the course of a hockey game.”
GVSU has a chance to improve its penalty problem this upcoming weekend, as the Division II team has a big matchup with Michigan State.
“We have to continue to do well offensively, clean up our defensive zones and stay out of the box,” Forbes said. “We need to put in a solid 60-minute effort to beat teams like MSU, and that also has to be our goal moving forward.”
GVSU is looking forward to next weekend, as the Lakers have a home matchup with MSU and then will travel to East Lansing for a rematch on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 5 p.m. The game on Friday, Jan. 26, is at 9 p.m. at the Georgetown Ice Center.