From Grand Valley Lanthorn
By James Herrick
After a slow start to the 2021-22 season that was largely due to a tough schedule and an inexperienced roster, the Grand Valley State University Men’s DI Club Hockey team earned a dominant win against Eastern Michigan University in their first conference game on Friday, Oct. 8 that ended in a final score 9-1 in favor of the Lakers.
The Lakers saw a productive day on the offensive side of the ice as they were able to put up three goals in each period. In the first period, freshman wing, Owen Petersmark, scored the first goal of the night followed by goals from sophomore wing, Sam Lechel, and junior wing, Zach Borchardt. EMU also scored their only goal in the first period.
In the second period, junior center, Evan Chomchai, found the back of the net to extend the Lakers lead to 4-1. GVSU ended the second period up 6-1 after Petersmark scored his second goal of the night and sophomore center, Dallas Hood, added a goal of his own.
After the intermission, junior wing, Shane Haggary, put the puck in the back of the net to move the score to 7-1. The final two goals came when Lechel and Chomchai each scored their second goal of the night, pushing the final score to 9-1.
As their second win of the season so far, this impressive performance helped the Lakers get back on track and gain some confidence.
“After the start, the ranked teams we had right out of the gate, the five teams we played, we needed a game like that just to get the boys back on track; just to get the confidence back up,” said coach Carl Trosien. “That’s our first conference game of the year, so it is a big conference win to get things heading in the right direction.”
Since half of the team is made up of freshmen this season, the win was a huge boost for the team’s chemistry on the ice.
“For the younger kids it’s their first big win,” Chomchai said. “It is their second win of the season so they are getting used to it. I know they are having fun with it and they are going to want to keep winning throughout the rest of the year.”
The GVSU offensive outburst can be attributed to the focus that has been placed on passing the puck. This focus led to results as all of the Lakers’ goals came off at least one assist.
“We have worked on it (passing) a lot lately,” Trosien said. “I don’t think we got as many chances as we wanted in the first five games from the house, which is around the net, so it is something that we did spend a lot of time on the last couple of weeks. We’re just trying to generate offense from around the net, so it is nice to see us be able to have a team where we can work on it in-game and get comfortable. But the passing was really good tonight.”
This emphasis on passing has come from a team-first mindset.
“We are focusing on winning as a team this year,” Chomchai said. “It’s not one individual that’s going to win the game. If we play well as a team we are going to be successful throughout the season.”
Moving forward, GVSU is entering conference play where they aim to continue with the success they saw against EMU.
“The schedule is not going to get easier but we are getting into the conference schedule, we are going to get into some games where we are not playing ranked team after ranked team all stacked up,” Trosien said. “We are going to have a nice little month and a half after Adrian (Oct. 21 and 22) where things kind of slow down for us.”
The young team has played some really tough competition in their new status as a DI team so far this season, however, the Lakers still have many more teams to play and even more opportunities for big wins.
(Originally published at https://lanthorn.com/84766/sports/mens-club-hockey-opens-conference-play-with-a-win-over-eastern-michigan/)