By Kellen Voss | 10/1/17 10:08pm
So far in this young season, the championship dreams of Grand Valley State men's club hockey are looking like they could become a reality.
After a blowout Friday, Sept. 22, in the opening game of the season, the hockey team continued its solid start to the 2017-18 season this weekend in two matchups against Bradley University. GVSU tied Bradley 2-2 on Friday and then proceeded to defeat them in Saturday's afternoon game 5-2.
While the weekend did not include a loss, the GVSU players still felt like they left a lot on the table.
"We can't say we were satisfied with both games this weekend," said senior forward Troy Marrett. "It's early in the season, it's a work in progress, and the ups and downs are all a part of the process."
GVSU played solidly in Friday's overtime contest. They got the scoring going early with a goal from freshman Danny DeBlouw at the 12:09 mark, the second of his young and promising collegiate hockey career. However, Bradley responded quickly with a goal of their own six minutes later from junior Cody Esposito.
The Lakers took almost no time to respond, with DeBlouw scoring again at the 4:24 mark. After keeping Bradley scoreless in the 2nd period and for most of the 3rd, GVSU was looking to cruise into another win until a late goal from senior Matt Daury with one minute left in regulation sent the game into overtime.
A scoreless overtime period ended Friday's game in a tie.
"We definitely learned that we need to come quick out the gate," Marrett said. "We can't give teams like that any hope. We should have been able to dominate them."
After the win being ripped away from GVSU last minute, they were hungry for a big win in Saturday's afternoon rematch, which is exactly what they got. GVSU got off to an impressive start, scoring the first four goals of the game and ultimately winning 5-2.
"We felt a lot better about that one," Marrett said. "Guys had more energy off the bench and it showed."
Scoring came from the young guys in the game on Saturday, with goals coming from sophomore Zach Resnick and freshman Evan Newell. Freshmen teammates Nate Madigan and German Samvel also scored their first collegiate goals for GVSU in the game, with Madigan scoring once and Samvel scoring twice respectively. Freshmen Grant Smith also chipped in with two assists.
When asked to focus on a few players who played well this weekend, Marrett centered in on the goalies, with sophomore Hunter Myers playing on Friday and sophomore Jared Maddock playing on Saturday.
"Both of our goaltenders played well," Marrett said. "They were there for us a lot, and we left them out to dry. They made a lot of good saves."
Despite not winning both games this past weekend, the Lakers still feel like they are improving and still on the championship path.
"We've improved, even though the scores don't show it," Marrett said. "We're in a better place than we were at seven days ago."
These subtle improvements are key for this hockey team, and if they continue to improve every weekend, they should have no problem getting to the tournament and playing well in it yet again.
GVSU (2-0-1) looks to improve upon its solid start this upcoming weekend. They face off against Aquinas College Friday, Oct. 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the Georgetown Ice Center and again Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Southside Ice.