Cards' offense stifled in big loss to Lakers
February 19, 2007 —
The SVSU club hockey team's first season back from its three-year hiatus has featured its share of highs and lows. Saturday night's 9-2 loss to Grand Valley State was one of the lows.
"You've got to battle through adversity on the ice, and you've got to battle adversity through life," coach Steve Hart said. "We didn't do a good job of that tonight."
Despite gaining a quick 1-0 lead off a Brian Jensen one-timer from Jon Tibaudo, the Lakers found themselves on the power play and were able to bounce back and tie the game quickly.
"We got a quick jump on them," Hart continued, "but they got a couple of unanswered goals right back, and that hurts. But you can't just roll over when things aren't going your way."
The Cardinals showed signs of life early in the second period, as a Tibaudo goal pulled the game back to 3-2, but that was as close as they would get.
SVSU had several scoring opportunities throughout the second, but in the end were unable to put the puck in the net.
"There are games where you have your chances where they all go in and the flood gates open, and then there are games where stuff doesn't click." Tibaudo said. "This was one of those games."
Team captain Jake Trombley agreed with Tibaudo and his coach, saying his team should have remained focused despite being down early.
"From about the second period on, we just lost our heads," said the sophomore forward.
Late in the second, Jensen was tagged with a five-minute charging penalty that resulted in two power-play goals for the Lakers which came within 10 seconds of each other. The quick goals seemed to deflate the Cardinals' sails.
"You make your own breaks," Hart said. "The puck did not seem to bounce our way, but you have got to make as many breaks as you can."
The third period saw things go from bad to worse as the Lakers scored four more times, making it 9-2. Despite the scoring opportunities they had, the Cardinals could not seem to break Lakers goalie Mario Passerelli, and Trombley lauded his effort.
"This guy just stood on his head," Trombley said. "When we were [at GVSU], we had some of our crowd there and we were on. He played well tonight."
A frustrated Cardinals team let their tempers get the best of them, and things got rough late in the third period.
Two fights broke out, one with nine seconds to go as an SVSU player and Passerelli got into a scrap. The referee was knocked down, and the game was subsequently ended prematurely.
"It's hockey," Tibaudo said. "You bust your butt all game, and when things don't go your way you get frustrated, and sometimes you start swinging."
Despite the crowd-pleasing fight, Trombley thought the team should have focused more on playing the game and less on making a big hit to get back in it.
"We wanted to make the big hits and get the crowd into it, which is not what we needed to do," he said. "We needed to put the puck in the net, but we were too busy with the tough guy mentality, and it didn't work out."
Hart was not pleased with his team's actions in the waning moments of the third period, either. He said he would have liked to see the team keep a level head despite being down big in a rivalry game, especially one such as Grand Valley.
"You win with class and you lose with class," he said. "I don't like being a part of busch-league hockey."
The Cardinals will get another shot at Grand Valley when they head up north for the season-ending Alpena Lumberjack Classic next weekend.
Leading scorers Tibaudo and Ryan Michaels will not make the trip due to prior obligations, so the Cardinals will again have to overcome some adversity. The Classic starts on Friday and ends on Sunday.