Clutch goals vs MSOE preserve tie for Vikings

Junior Matt Meininger battles for the puck.
Photo by Sebastian Evans.

Just coming off a loss against the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s (MSOE) Raiders, the Lawrence men’s hockey team had something to prove heading into the second half of the Feb. 1 double-header matchup. The Vikings’ tenacity was something to behold this game, with the offense firing on all cylinders to maintain their opponent’s pace. 

The first period set the tone of the matchup, as the Raiders’ Evan Kearns sunk a goal in under four minutes. Lawrence responded well, however, by defending their territory for seven minutes straight before tying the match up with a shot by first-year Zach Lodes. The pressure would continue to build as the period drew to a close as MSOE’s Nick Redmon would score on LU, but an even quicker response by junior Matt Meininger would tie the score again just 2 minutes before the end of the period. 

Beginning the second period at 2-2, it proved to be more of a defensive struggle than anything; senior goalie Evan Cline was able to block 18 shots for the Vikings, while Lawrence would only attempt five shots through the Raider defense. Despite a strong push by the Raiders, Cline helped keep the offensive onslaught at bay, and the entire second period remained scoreless on both ends. 

The third period threw the Vikings right into the fire again, as Stian Owens’s goal under 2 minutes in would light a firecracker under them. Not letting the lead slip away from them a second time, senior Jake Drinkard forced a third tie with 12 minutes remaining. The Raiders certainly were not going to make it easy for them, however, and with 1:50 remaining in regulation, MSOE’s Nate Rogers would score to put the Raiders up 4-3. The Vikings prevailed despite the grim outlook; Cline was benched in favor of another forward, leaving their defenses completely exposed. 

This gamble would pay off in the end, as Drinkard was able to land a second goal off senior Daniel Gysi’s assist. Overtime was nearly a victorious venture, as Viking sophomore Vincent Dekumbis was pulled down and given a penalty shot for a chance to win. What looked to be a certain goal was miraculously saved by MSOE goalkeeper Logan Halladay, and the time expired soon after, leaving both teams with a tie on their respective records. 

The Vikings hold a record of 5-14-2, while MSOE gathers its fifth tie of the season (8-8-5).  The Vikings will match up against the Marian University Sabres next weekend in the Battle of Highway 41.