Fort Collins, Co. - The Grand Valley State Lakers returned from a bittersweet nationals, where they found themselves proving to be competitive with any team in the nation, yet missing the semifinal game by a solitary goal.
GVSU found themselves in Pool C with fellow GMHL opponent, #1 in the SE Miami University, #2 in the West Colorado State University, and #3 in the Northeast Siena College. The Lakers opened their pool play against Miami University of Ohio on Wednesday.
Game One: #1 Miami University of Ohio - GVSU started the game slow against Miami and found themselves down 1-0 after one period. The second period belonged to the Lakers, as they fought back and scored two goals, one from Nick Biondo and the other from Nate Morang. Up 2-1 entering the third, GV fell asleep for the first five minutes of the period and allowed three Miami goals, falling behind 4-2. True to recent form, GVSU fought back and tied the game up with two goals in the last five minutes of play off of shots from Nick Boyle and Andrew Dykstra. The OT period was back and forth, with both the Miami goaltender and GVSU goalie Chris Moore making big stops to keep the game tied. Moore faced 37 shots in the game, while the Miami goaltender saw 41 Laker opportunities. Final Score: GVSU 4, Miami 4 (OT)
Game Two: #2 Colorado State University - Grand Valley faced the host team in game two and fell behind quickly off a goal from CSU forward Dane Cella. The Lakers received a gift from CSU as Boyle gained credit for a CSU own goal as the goaltender shot it off his own defensemen and watched as it bounced into the open net. With the game tied 1-1, CSU took advantage of three quick Laker mistakes in the second and jumped ahead 4-1 on two breakaway goals. After a GV goaltender change, Jake Erway was able to keep the Lakers hopes alive with a goal off a bounce off the end boards. In the beginning of the third, GV found itself a victim of unlucky bounces as well, as a strange bounce off the zamboni door went right to a CSU forward's stick who slammed it in to the open net. 20 seconds later, CSU centered the puck and a Laker defensemen attempted to clear the puck but accidentally shot it into his own net. Down 6-2, GV started to play offensively and closed the gap to 6-5 off goals from Beller, Adam Zobl, and Tom Anderson. The Lakers ran out of time in the end, and found themselves victim of a 6-5 loss. Grant Lyon made 6 saves on the game, while Moore made 23 saves on 25 shots. The Lakers put 28 shots on the CSU netminder. Final Score: GVSU 5, CSU - 6
Game Three: #3 Siena College - GV entered game three eliminated from semifinal play, but still with the chance to play spoiler against Siena, who needed a win to make it to Saturday. Beller added his second of the weekend early in the game to make it 1-0, while Moore made a few strong saves in the first to keep Siena off the board. Siena got a quick 5-3 powerplay goal in the second, but Morang answered right back on a double deflection off a Greg Kehr shot that was also deflected by Biondo. In the third both goaltenders made big saves to keep the game as it was and GVSU emerged victorious by the score of 2-1. Moore made 46 saves on the night, while the Siena goaltender kept 40 GVSU chances out of the net. Final Score: GVSU 2, Siena 1
All Star Game and Skills Competition: 5 players total were selected for the events of Saturday; Nick Boyle and Andrew Dykstra for the Skills Competition and Nate Morang, Andrew Beller, and Chris Moore for the All-Star game. Boyle and Dykstra both put up impressive attempts in the competition, while Morang and Moore led the West All-Stars with 3 points and 1 GA, respectively.
News and Notes: Beller led the team with 5 points in the tournament, Dykstra was second with 4...Moore finished with a 2.74 GAA and 93.6 SV% in the tournament....Congrats to the Michigan State Spartans for winning the national championship with a 5-4 OT win over Davenport University. It is the second national championship for MSU in the past 3 years...The past four national championships have been won by Michigan teams.