Hockey swept by Marian, prepare for MCHA tourney

Kaitlin Mahr

Last weekend’s hockey proved disappointing for fans, as the team was unable to snap their three-game losing streak.
The Vikes lost to Finlandia Feb. 3 and then dropped both home games against conference leader MSOE the weekend after that. Last weekend, Lawrence played Marian, currently third in the MCHA.
Friday night was LU’s last home game of the season and senior night at the Appleton Family Ice Center. The team, fans and family honored Joe Searl, Andrew Isaac, Evan Thornton, Kalle Larsson and David Olynyk.
The team’s offense showed no improvement last weekend, suffering from a shutout Friday night.
In the past three games Lawrence has scored only three goals, just under the single-game season average of 3.2 goals.
The Vikes were missing consistent, reliable play by key players last weekend. The team as a whole just didn’t seem to click, missing easy passes and failing to put together much offense at all, putting only 21 shots on goal Friday night.
The defense missed Adam Brand’s vigilante tactics due to a shoulder injury that knocked him out of last weekend’s games. The final score on Friday was 5-0 to Marian.
Saturday’s game started out in the same frustrating way when Marian took a 3-0 lead early in the second period.
After a slew of penalties through the second period and with only 40 seconds remaining, sophomore Nick Jennette came up with Lawrence’s first goal of the weekend, assisted by Joe Searl and Kalle Larsson.
The last 30 seconds of the second frame proved to be quite volatile. Five seconds after Jennette’s goal, Larsson received a 10-minute misconduct.
Six seconds after that, freshman Marc Howe received a crosschecking penalty, leading to Marian player Jeff Wills’ five-minute fighting penalty and game disqualification.
After the second intermission Marian came out and scored their fourth goal, putting them ahead 4-1. Halfway through the third Marian received a penalty, putting the Vikes on a power play.
Coach Mike Szkodzinski called a timeout and Jennette came out of the huddle with his second goal of the game, this time assisted by Aaron LaFave and Blake Royle. The game ended 4-2 and gave Marian the weekend sweep.
The MCHA playoffs begin this weekend. The Vikings will play the fifth seed in the conference, Minnesota Crookston, here in Appleton.