Most athletes know who their biggest competitor is. They watch them with a close eye, learning their strengths and weaknesses, so when it comes to game time, they will be ready. Our Vikings stepped onto the ice knowing that this was going to be a tough game. Lawrence’s men’s ice hockey head coach Mike Szkodzinski even said, “This will be the hardest game of the year.” The Vikings knew they needed this win, especially because St. Scholastica was above them in the conference. The Vikings needed these extra two points in order to take a step closer toward the playoffs. Knowing what was at stake, they did not shy away from the long, treacherous path they saw before them, but rather got on the ice and faced the problem head on, eagerly waiting for the puck to drop. Once the game started, things moved rather quickly and was hard hitting, like predicted. However, the Vikings’ fast play, coupled with determination, seemed to overwhelm the other team, considering that Lawrence scored an early goal within just a couple minutes into the game. Sometimes that’s all you need in order to find your groove. That proved to be true because they scored another goal, ending the first period with the score 2-0. Then, in the second period, Lawrence scored two more times, but with only 34 seconds remaining in the second period, St. Scholastica finally scored. This game held true to the saying “It ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings,” because in the third period, St. Scholastica started to come back, and before you know it the score is now 4-3. Fortunately, the Vikings were able to hold St. Scholastica off for the remaining eight minutes left in the last period. The final score? Vikings win 4-3! What is extremely impressive though is the Vikings’ goalie #30, Greg Procopio, who saved 41 out of the 42 shots on goal, which interestingly enough was more shots on goal than Lawrence’s 30. With all that, the Vikings were still able to defeat St. Scholastica, even though the odds were clearly stacked against them!
Lawrence freshman and defensive player Anthony Eichorn commented, “The best part about playing hockey is being with the team, it’s such a family-type atmosphere that you always want to be part of”. Eichhorn’s favorite memory so far been the road trip they took to Vermont. “It was a long trip where we all got to bond and play some really good East Coast colleges, so it was a once-in-a-hockey-career kind of trip!” Though the Vikings did win, the moral of the story is to never give up because the Viking’s hockey team showed that hard work does pay off. Also, it seems like Eichhorn suggests that maybe winning is not necessarily the reason why athletes play, but rather because of the people they meet and the bonds they form along the way.