The men’s hockey team traveled to Milwaukee to take on the MSOE Raiders in the quarterfinals of the MCHA tournament. The winner of the series then continues to Milwaukee this weekend to play in the MCHA final four. Although the Vikes put their hearts on the line, they ultimately came up short, losing the series and the chance to play a couple more games.Friday night, the game began with both teams looking to solidify themselves defensively. For 20 minutes the teams went back and forth with neither team able to score the pivotal first goal.
Freshman Evan Johnson made sure that the Vikings would not fall behind, stopping all 12 shots he faced. MSOE’s Chris Keller matched Johnson turning away all 10 shots the Vikings put on net.
The second period started with a promising power play for the Vikings beginning at 1:03 into the second. Unfortunately, MSOE capitalized on their misfortune.
Michael Soik scored at 2:44 into the period to give the Raiders the lone goal of the second period. Johnson turned away the other eight shots that he faced, while Keller turned away all 12 shots by the Vikings.
The third period continued to be defensively minded until Soik scored an even strength goal at 6:23 into the period. The game reverted back to defense until Jason Woll took a tripping penalty at 10:25 of the period.
Freshman Matt Jacobs put the Vikings on the board at 11:02 into the period; sophomore Mike Ackley and freshman Josh DeSmit assisted.
The Vikings made a strong push over the next few minutes, but a Viking giveaway on the power play led to a MSOE shorthanded goal by Steve Smiddy. The shorthanded goal would be the nail in the coffin as the Vikings fell 3-1.
Johnson turned away 25 of 28 shots on goal, while Keller turned way 33 of 34 shots on goal.
Saturday night, the Vikings needed a win.
Unfortunately, the Vikings put themselves in a hole early. MSOE goals at 2:19 and 5:53 put the Vikings down 2-0 early in the game. Lawrence rebounded 13 seconds later with a goal by sophomore Marc Howe; freshman Pat Brenner and DeSmit assisted. The rest of the period went back and forth with neither team able to take the advantage, ending with the score 2-1 MSOE.
The second period began with an MSOE goal 1:08 into the period. Lawrence pushed and ended up on the power play at 8:56 into the period, but MSOE capitalized while down a man.
Ben Kenyon scored a shorthanded goal at 10:38. The Vikings pushed hard but were unable capitalize on their opportunities.
The Vikings went into the third period down 4-1 and pushed hard for the first ten minutes, culminating in a power-play goal at 10:24 into the period.
Junior Nick Jennette got the puck past Keller on a pass from Howe; junior Aaron LaFave assisted.
Though the Vikings did their best to bring the game to within one point, they were unable to pull it off in the end and fell 4-2.
Johnson made 20 saves on 24 shots, while Keller made 28 of 30. Junior Jimmy Ryan entered the game for the Vikes but did not face a shot.
Jennette’s goal in the second game tied him the Lawrence single-season goal record of 18.
Lawrence will graduate five key players; their presence on the ice will be greatly missed by all.