ROCHESTER, Mich. - The Adrian College ACHA D1 Men’s Hockey team picked up more hardware this season on Sunday afternoon after the Bulldogs captured the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL) Tournament title with a 4-1 win over Davenport University. Adrian won the regular season and defended it in the conference tournament at The ONYX Ice Arena in convincing fashion.
The Bulldogs received a first-round bye for winning the regular season and did not play until Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Adrian made quick work of the Wolves as they defeated them by the final score of 7-2 in the first semifinal. Adrian led 2-1 after the first as Ryan Bachman (power play) and Jordan Spear tallied goals for the Bulldogs. James Marchese scored on the power play with 1:07 left in the opening period for UM-D.
The Bulldogs scored three more times in the second as Chris Derochie, Joe Anstett and Max Gavin all scored even-strength goals. Matt Zaremba assisted on the Derochie and Anstett goals and Ryan Kelly notched the UM-D goal at 11:51 left in the period. Adrian led 5-2 after 40 minutes and scored twice more in the third to put the game away. Erik Alden on the power play with 19:40 left and Robert Bodette with 10:24 left were the goal scorers in the third. Matthew Schnoes made 32 saves for the Bulldogs and Bodette and Bachman each led the team with three points.
Adrian met a familiar foe in the GLCHL Tournament Final squaring off with Davenport University. The Bulldogs and Panthers split their four games this season and the Panthers are the only team to defeat the Bulldogs twice this season (30-6). This one was left with little doubt however in the ultimate rubber match as the Bulldogs cruised to a 4-1 win. After a scoreless first, Adrian scored twice in the second and two more times in the third to build a 4-0 advantage. Bachman and Alex Dobrzeniecki scored in the second and Derochie and Bachman added goals in the third. Logan Blackwell had a pair of assists in the contest. The Panthers finally got on the board with 17 seconds left in the game as Robert Kleiman found the back of the net.
“I am very proud of the team’s effort and winning both the regular season and tournament are pretty sweet,” said head coach Dan Phelps. “We have 10 seniors on this veteran-laden team and they all stepped up and matured as the season has moved forward. The leadership of this team was solidified by the upper-classmen and that culture fed off onto the younger players. We have had good chemistry and been very consistent with high peaks and small valleys. We followed a tough loss usually with a big win and hope we hit a major peak entering the end of the season.”
Schnoes made 22 saves in the championship game and was named the tournament Most Valuable Player. The Bulldogs have now won three league regular season championships and two tournament titles over the past four years with the current senior class. The team will also be making their fourth straight ACHA Men’s Division I National Tournament appearance beginning on March 8. Adrian will play Central Oklahoma at 1 p.m. in their opening game hosted by the University of Delaware in Newark. The sixth-ranked Bulldogs have one more big test before nationals as they welcome second-ranked Robert Morris (Ill.) University to Arrington Ice Arena this weekend. The teams will skate Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.