Women’s hockey posts first ever home wins

Women’s ice hockey posted two Northern Collegiate Hockey Association wins over the weekend in a two-game series against Finlandia University. Both games were played at the Appleton Ice Center, and saw great spectator turnout. 

The women’s team hit the ice for their first game against the Lions on Friday. Anyone could tell that they were hungry for a victory as their last series against Marian University had increased their losing streak to eight games. Right from the start, Lawrence players were taking shot after shot. They eventually scored their first goal halfway through the opening period on a power play. After a Finlandia player was sent off the ice, junior Lindsey Gulliksen earned the Vikings a 1-0 lead with assists from first-year Elsie Salerno and senior Lauren Askenazy. At the 15:06 mark, first-year Sophia Labrecque sent the puck right through Finlandia’s defense, making her first collegiate goal and widening Lawrence’s lead to 2-0. Sophomore Taylor Halverson also scored her first collegiate goal at the 9:37 mark in the second period, expanding the Vikings’ lead over the Lions once again. Finlandia fought back, however, slipping past Lawrence’s defense to score a goal just a few minutes later. This momentum was short-lived as nobody managed to score until the tail end of the game. Sophomore Aislinn O’Hagan sent a backhander right past Finlandia’s goaltender at the 18:14 mark, making her first collegiate goal. Goaltender and first-year Chasity Anderson was working hard for the Vikings, stopping twenty-five shots throughout the game, eleven of which were in the third period. The final score was 4-1 and Vikings women’s hockey secured not only their first NCHA win of the season, but their first NCHA win in the history of their two-season program.  

The Lions came to Saturday’s game with renewed vigor, which the Vikings soon realized after they had twenty unsuccessful scoring attempts by the time the first period and the opening minutes of the second period had gone by. Finlandia took advantage of their frustrations and scored at the 12:10 mark of the second period, taking a 1-0 lead over Lawrence. This made the Vikings even more determined for a shot. Just a few minutes later, Gulliksen stole the puck from a Finlandia player and got it past the goaltender to tie up the score 1-1. The two teams remained at a stalemate until early in the third period. Askenazy forced a Finlandia turnover, after which she quickly slipped the puck past the Lions’ goaltender, scoring her first goal of the season and giving the Vikings the lead. Any attempts by Finlandia’s offense were hastily shut down with only nineteen total shot attempts in the entire game, compared to Lawrence’s sixty-five. O’Hagan secured Lawrence’s victory with a third goal at the 14:43 mark. Sophomore goaltender Charlie Prior helped seal the victory with eighteen saves for the Vikings.  

Women’s ice hockey will be playing Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois this Saturday at 7:30pm, followed by a match at the Appleton Ice Center on Sunday at 3pm.