Grand Valley State played a home-and-home series with defending D-II national champion Oakland University this past weekend. Oakland, winners of the past two of three national championships, moved to D1 this season and have been quite successful, already earning the No. 12 ranking in D-I polls.
The weekend started on Friday in Allendale. Jake Erway scored shorthanded to give GVSU a 1-0 lead going into the second period. Oakland came out hard in the second, scoring three goals to take a 3-1 lead. The Lakers would not give up in the third, as Erway would add another goal and Nate Beverwyk would deflect the puck off the goaltender to tie the game up 3-3. The teams would exchange scoring changes for the rest of the game, but big saves from GVSU goaltender Grant Lyon would keep the game tied. After a 4-on-4 overtime period, the game ended in a 3-3 tie. Lyon made 30 saves and final shots were 50-33 in favor of GVSU.
Saturday, GVSU made the trip to Rochester. It was banner raising night for OU, but they were unable to gather any momentum from the ceremony as the first period ended 0-0 with strong goaltending from both the Oakland and GVSU goaltenders. The teams exchanged goals in the second period, with GVSU's Ryan Altom picking up his third of the season on a breakaway on a pass from Beverwyk. Grand Valley was unable to pick up anything in the third, while Oakland hit the twine once on the power play. Goaltender Chris Moore played well in the loss, facing 31 shots and making multiple breakaway saves. Final shots were 35-31 in favor of GVSU, a 2-1 OU victory.
GVSU stays in town next weekend to participate in the Grand Rapids Showcase Tournament hosted by Davenport University. The tournament will showcase the area's ACHA teams that include GVSU, Davenport, Calvin and Hope. The first game for GVSU will be on Friday at 7:00 p.m. All games will be played at Patterson Ice Arena in Kentwood.