The Lawrence University men’s hockey team was unable to overcome their recent slump as their losing streak extended to four games over the weekend. The losses came on Friday, Jan. 10 at UW-Stevens Point and Saturday, Jan. 11 at UW-Eau Claire.
The Vikings struggled throughout the entirety of Friday night’s match against the UW-Stevens Point Pointers. After scoring within the first two minutes, the Pointers held a 3-0 lead going into the second period. The scoring run continued with two more Stevens Point goals in the second period. Finally, freshman Blake Roubos and senior Huck Saunders each scored for Lawrence, bringing the game to 5-2. Lawrence was unable to mount more of a comeback and the Pointers closed the game, scoring twice within twelve seconds to close out the contest with a 7-2 win.
Lawrence followed up Friday’s defeat with a shutout loss to the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds. Four separate Blugolds scored, as Eau Claire soared to an easy 4-0 victory over LU. The Blugolds dominated the game in time of possession and launched 45 shots on goal to Lawrence’s 27. Despite 41 saves from junior goalies Anton Olsson and Mattias Soderqvist in each game, the Vikings poor defense was a key factor in both losses.
Lawrence is now ranked seventh in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) with a record of 4-10-1. Thus far, the season has not shown the kind of positive results that head coach Mike Szkodzinski had hoped for after Lawrence joined the newly established NCHA this year.
However, some of the individuals who have maintained outstanding seasons include Olsson, Saunders and Roubos. All were also the standout performers in Friday’s game against Stevens Point. Olsson and Saunders are both upperclassmen who bring experience and leadership to the locker room. Roubos is a freshman from Niagara Falls, Ontario, who currently leads the team in points with 17 and is already turning out to be an offensive leader on the ice.
The men’s hockey team will face only conference opponents for the remaining ten games of the season, beginning with Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) this weekend. The Vikings will play MSOE away on Friday, Jan. 17 and at home on Saturday, Jan. 18. MSOE is currently ranked ninth in the NCHA.