The Lawrence University Men’s Hockey team saw a lot of similarities in their game on Sunday for third place in the MCHA Tournament. A year ago they played MSOE, as they did on Sunday.
A year ago the game went into overtime, as it did Sunday.
A year ago Lawrence came out of it with a win and the third place title, as it did Sunday.
The Vikings lost a heartbreaker to Marian in the semifinals, but returned to take third place away from MSOE.
The first game pitted the Marian Sabres against the Vikings. Marian took second place in the regular season, and defeated the Vikings three out of four times they played this season.
The Vikings knew they could beat the Sabres; they just had to perform.
It looked right away that this could be a blowout again like the last two games against Marian. The sabers got a goal from Dan Odegard less than three minutes into the game, and Viking fans were nervous.
However, unlike the last two games, the Vikings kept their composure, and LU goalie Daniel Ljung played well.
Six minutes later, Brad Barton scored his third of the year, and tired the game up at one apiece.
The game stayed at one all until late in the first period. Dan Weymann got a breakaway on Ljung for Marian, and he put it in the back of the net to give the Sabres a 2-1 lead going into intermission.
The second period was scoreless, and with nine minutes left in regulation, Nick Beyler picked up goal number two on the season for the Vikes to tie the game at two.
Both goalies made amazing saves in the last nine minutes, and the semi-final game went into overtime.
The Vikings’ dreams of the upset were shattered when 2:48 into the extra session Brad Hawkins put the game winner behind Ljung and the Sabres were off to their fifth consecutive championship game.
The Vikings would face the loser of the second semi-final game in the third place game Sunday afternoon, and that opponent was MSOE after they lost to UM-Crookston 3-2. The Raiders and Vikings had been in this position a year ago, and again it would take extra time.
The only goal in the first period was scored by the Raiders’ Rob Kaufman. He put MSOE up 1-0 and that lead would hold until the middle of the second period.
The Vikings tied up the game on Matt Melchiori’s 11th goal of the season. The game remained 1-1 as the teams headed into overtime.
Last year in overtime Ryan Blick was the hero, and he had a breakout season.
The Vikings hope Brad Barton can do the same next year. Barton scored his second goal of the tournament with a minute left in overtime.
The goal gave the Vikings the third place crown for the third year in a row, and the second year in a row over MSOE in overtime.
The Vikings had four members of their team earn all-MCHA honors. Ryan Blick was named to the first team with an amazing season. Blick was second in the MCHA with 28 points in conference games.
Named to the second team All-MCHA were Danny Schroeder, Andy Gilles, and Daniel Ljung.
In the championship game, UM-Crookston snapped a Marian winning streak and defeated the Sabres 2-1.