Battle of Highway 41: Marian University knocks off Vikings

The Lawrence University hockey team competed this weekend in a two-game series against the Marian University Sabres. The Vikings (1-3-0, 1-3-0 NCHA) captured the win on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Appleton Family Ice Center by a score of 3-1, but fell 6-2 to Marian (1-4-0, 1-3-0 NCHA) on Saturday. The teams competed for the traveling trophy in what is known as the Battle of Highway 41. But it was Marian who secured this trophy after their win in the second game.

The Vikings approached this weekend eagerly as they were looking to earn their first win. “It was a big weekend and we were looking for a good start,” said sophomore Matt Moore. “Our main focus was to win at home.”

The Vikings achieved that goal on Friday. Marian was able to strike first at the beginning of the first period with a goal from sophomore Ben Morgan. The 1-0 score continued until the middle of the second period when senior Huck Saunders evened things out with a goal to bring the score to 1-1. The Vikings offensive production exploded in the third period with an early goal from senior Paul Zuke and another by sophomore Rudi Pino, leading the Vikings to a 3-1 victory.

Saturday’s game took place down the road at the Blue Line Ice Center in Fond du Lac, Wis. The Vikings approached this game with equal levels of determination as the night before. “We knew that they had more to give,” commented Moore. “But we had more, too.”

Marian’s Brian Berger scored the first goal of the game late in the first period. Freshman Derek Perl of Marian notched another early in the second period, followed by a power play goal from freshman Scott Milnthorp, 4:40 into the second. A minute later, however, Moore responded with a goal for the Vikings, cutting Marian’s lead to 3-1. The Marian offense took charge after that and netted three more goals to widen their lead to 6-1. Despite a Pino goal late in the third period, Marian was able to secure the win and take home the traveling trophy.

As part of the new Northern Collegiate Hockey Association, the Lawrence Vikings look forward to the tough schedule ahead of them. “Our goal is to have a good week of practice,” said sophomore Ryan Rumble. “After this weekend we want to bring our record back to .500. It’s important to get those points early on in the season.” The Vikings will be away at Northland on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16 for another two-game series, as they look to even their record and set the tone for a winning season.