Davenport Edges GVSU to Reach MCLA D2 Final 4

DENVER Colo. The third time was a charm today as the #5 ranked Panthers used two late goals to down the #4 ranked Lakers of GVSU 6-5 in the 2010 MCLA D2 National Tournament. Davenport's win is their first against their arch-rival this season after dropping two earlier meetings by a total of four goals.

On a cold and cloudy day in Denver, CO where some parts got hit by two feet of snow, the two Grand Rapids rivals played yet another instant classic. Davenport took control with the first goal about five minutes into play when Shawn Beer (Aurora, Ontario) intercepted a pass deep in the GVSU zone and put it by the keeper to go up 1-0.

The Lakers rebounded with their own goal less than 20 seconds later but Beer struck again on almost an identical forced turnover and walked the ball into the goal as the GVSU netminder was out of position. The Lakers however then flexed their muscle and scored the final two goals of the quarter with the second coming with just eight seconds to play as they led 3-2 after 15 minutes of play.

The scoring then became few and far between for both teams as neither could get one by for the first 12:42 of the second quarter. Shawn Beer came up big again for Davenport as the senior ended the scoring drought with his third of the game to knot the score at 3-3 and that is how it would end up at halftime.

Zach Higgins (Courtice, Ontario) was just starting to show off his stellar game during the second quarter as the sophomore came up with numerous big saves throughout.

Davenport and Grand Valley each traded just a single goal in the third quarter with DU getting one from Lyle Parks (Grand Rapids, Mich.) on a great pick up in front of the net off the save from a previous shot. The next goal would be huge for either team as time clicked away in the 4th quarter and it was the Lakers who seized control with their fifth goal of the game with 10:13 to play.

Davenport did not panic however and Shawn Beer continued his outstanding play as he tied the game up once again just over a minute later. The tension was already at a raised level, but the two teams kept battling until Davenport came up with some huge defensive plays and one turned into a fast break led by freshman Cody Cross (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

Cross got deep into the offensive zone and buried the eventual game winning goal with 3:14 to play in the final quarter. The Panthers then held tough for the final few minutes and ran out the clock while they were man up to advance to their second straight National Semifinal.

Davenport will meet either #1 ranked St. Thomas or #9 Grove City in Friday's game that is scheduled for a 2:00 PM MT start inside the Dick's Sporting Goods Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on College Lax and a play by play will be available on the DAN.

2010-05-12



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