Last weekend Jan. 30-31 the Lawrence University Hockey team (6-14-1, 5-9-0 NCHA) took on Lake Forest College (13-3-5, 11-2-1 NCHA) in a conference home-and-home series with the intention to improve upon the previous weekend’s road losses. Despite dominating offensively, the Vikings were unable to gain the traction necessary to claim a win.
On Friday, Jan. 30, the series opened at the Appleton Family Ice Center, where the Vikings got out the gate hard. The Foresters got on the board first, shaking the Viking defense and finding the back of the net at 9:34 into the first period. Before the first intermission the Vikings retaliated on a power play. Junior Brandon Boelter fired the puck toward the net, and junior Matt Moore directed it in on the rebound to tie it up.
Unfortunately, that success did not continue into the second period. The Foresters squeezed one between sophomore goaltender Mattias Soederqvist and the pipe to snag the lead at the start of the period and added another less than two minutes later to pull ahead 3-1. The Vikings didn’t stop fighting, but Lake Forest scored one more goal at 15:40 to end the second up 4-1.
Senior goaltender Peter Emery took his place between the pipes for the third period and shut the door, making 9 saves to add to Soederqvist’s 14 from the first two periods. Despite out-shooting the opponents 46-27, the Vikings were unable to get past the Foresters’ goaltender and score again.
Saturday was a similar story, though this time at the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse in Lake Forest. Freshman Austin Frank scored less than a minute into the game off assists from seniors Gustav Lindgren and Patrick Coyne, but the Foresters struck back two minutes later to tie it up. Lake Forest scored again at 17:46 into the first, and freshman Brad Mueller answered for the Vikes to leave it tied at the buzzer.
Both teams played very physically to try and gain the upper hand in the second period, and it was the Foresters that found success. After more than 15 minutes of fighting hard, Lake Forest scored two goals in the span of 30 seconds to pull ahead 4-2.
After that the Vikings had a hard time coming back. Freshman Brendan Vetter scored an unassisted goal with 30 seconds remaining in the game, but it wasn’t enough to combat the two additional goals the Foresters put away in the third period. Again the Vikings soundly out-shot the Foresters 40-26, but the final score came out to 6-3 in the Foresters’ favor.
This weekend, the Vikings host Adrian College (15-3-3, 12-1-1 NCHA) at home on Friday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 7 at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs are currently ranked first in the conference and are coming off a big sweep of St. Norbert College.