A weekend on the road for the Lawrence University hockey team (5-16-2, 4-11-1 NCHA) saw tough competition, but the Vikings rose to the challenge and put up a fight against No. 2 Adrian College (18-1-4, 12-1-3 NCHA). Lawrence took early leads in both games but couldn’t quite close the deal. Friday’s game concluded in a 2-2 tie and on Saturday the Bulldogs bested LU 5-3.
The Vikings arrived at Arrington Ice Arena in Adrian, Mich. ready to prove themselves. The first period on Friday, Feb. 7 saw little action, but things got rolling in the second period. Senior William Thoren capitalized on a power play opportunity within the first five minutes off assists from freshman Blake Roubos and junior Logan Lemirande.
A few whistles later, Thoren repeated his power play goal to pull ahead 2-0, this time assisted by senior Huck Saunders and sophomore Steve Hughes. Patient defense and goaltending kept the Bulldogs off the board for the rest of the period.
The Vikings came into the third period attacking, firing a few shots within the opening minutes. A few penalties kept Lawrence down a man for much of the first half of the period, but the Vikings worked hard to defend their goal.
The score remained at 2-0 and things were looking good until the Bulldogs finally broke through and scored with three minutes remaining. A quick turnaround and another goal at 18:22 sent the game into overtime. A scoreless OT resulted in the third straight tie between the two teams.
The next day, Lawrence hit the ice hungry for victory. Sophomore Ryan Rumble introduced the puck to the net about halfway through the first period, capitalizing twice on a power play. Both goals were assisted by senior Paul Zuke and junior Gustav Lindgren. Zuke added a goal of his own at 14:44 to widen the Viking advantage to 3-0.
The second period was a battle. Adrian scored just 30 seconds in, reminding Lawrence who is at the top of the league and who was a long way from home. The players got aggressive during the second period, logging several penalties on both sides including a ten-minute misconduct for a man on each team. Another Adrian goal at 15:43 put the score at 3-2 in the Vikings’ favor at the end of the period.
Lawrence continued to lose momentum as the competition wore on, allowing a game-tying goal a minute into the third period. The Vikings fought to keep the score at 3-3, and the contest looked to be heading toward another tie until the Bulldogs scored on a power play with less than four minutes remaining.
Down by one with time running low, Lawrence pulled freshman Mattias Soderqvist from the goal in an attempt at leveling the score with an extra offender on the ice. Unfortunately the move backfired and Adrian scored an empty net goal in the final 15 seconds to secure the 5-3 victory.
Over reading period, the Vikings will host Finlandia University in the last competition of the regular season. The Lions are coming off a six-game losing streak and have a 2-19-1, 1-15 NCHA record. The series will open at the Appleton Family Ice Center on Friday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. and will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m.