Hockey ties Bethel in tough battle

Ted Greeley

After splitting a weekend series with Concordia, losing 3-0 on Friday night and winning 10-5 on Saturday night, the men’s hockey team took on the Bethel University Royals this past Monday.Bethel and Lawrence skated to a 6-6 tie in a thrilling back and forth battle. The game began with Bethel getting the early opportunities, but due to Lawrence’s ability to clog up the shooting lanes, the Royals were unable to take advantage of their opportunities.

With 12:23 left in the first Marc Howe (’10) made a beautiful behind-the-back pass as he was going behind the net that was just out the reach of Josh DeSmit (’11). Adam Brand (’09) almost scored for the Vikings when he took a shot that was just kicked wide by Bethel netminder Patrick Kiely.

Brand’s hard shot sent the puck out of the zone and a pass put the puck on Bethel’s Jeff Balvin’s stick. Balvin came in wide and snuck the puck past Viking goaltender Jimmy Ryan (’11) to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. At 7:15 of the first Lawrence went on the power play when Bethel committed a hooking penalty. The Vikings took advantage of the opportunity.

A shot from Corey Garrett (’11) was batted down as it went toward the net leaving the Bethel goaltender out of position and Billy Siers (’10) open to knock the puck in. The second period began with Bethel taking control of play, leading to a Viking penalty.

Bethel moved the puck around on the power play until a shot bounced out to Steve Eastman of Bethel. Eastman took a slap shot on a screened Ryan to give the Royals a 2-1 lead. The Vikings had some quality chances in the next few minutes including a two-on-one where Scott Minarcik (’11) optioned out of the pass to Matt Jacobs (’11) and tried to beat the Bethel goaltender on a shot, but just missed.

Howe tied things up at two when Nick Jennette (’09) hit him with a pass in front and he scored on a turnaround shot that found the net blocker side low. Bethel scored next on a shot glove side high by Eastman of Bethel. Ryan kept the game at 3-2 by making a big save on a breakaway not long after.

With 6:47 left, Bethel scored again and the Vikings were down 4-2. Evan Johnson (’11) came in to relieve Ryan after the fourth goal, and the Vikings revived their game. Ten seconds after the goalie change, Howe drove wide and took a shot that bounced off the Bethel goaltender’s leg and onto DeSmit’s stick, who banged it home.

Then, senior captain Josh Peterson passed the puck to Minarcik who fooled the goaltender on a breakaway 15 seconds later. The score would be knotted at four after two periods.
In the third period, the play went back-and-forth until 13:55, when Siers chipped the puck to Jacob Esch (’11) who put the puck in the net. At 12:21, the Vikings increased their lead to two when Peterson put the puck on net and Neil Wallace (’08) put the rebound home.

After a Bethel timeout and goalie change, Bethel came out firing. A pass from Bill Menozzi and some moves by Jeff Balvin put Balvin on a breakaway. Balvin faked forehand, went to his backhand and put it upstairs to bring the game to within one. A Viking penalty at 7:17 gave Bethel a chance to tie and they capitalized. Bethel defenseman Brent Kettelkamp put the puck in off a rebound. The third period would end with the score six to six.

In the overtime period Johnson turned away two quality shots off face-offs by Bethel, and kept the score tied at six.