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Hockey team squanders chances over weekend

The Lawrence University hockey team (4-12-1, 3-7 NCHA) fell to Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) (4-12-1, 3-7 NCHA) this weekend, extending their six-game losing streak. Over Winter Break, the Vikings were defeated twice by UW-Stevens Point (13-2-1) and twice by UW-Eau Claire (11-3-1). Both are large schools with strong ice hockey programs and are two of the highest-ranked teams in the country.

With a return to conference competition, the Vikings are hoping to use what they’ve learned from some of the most challenging competition they’ve ever faced to break into winning territory. MSOE, also coming off non-conference losses to Augsburg College and St. Mary’s University, was able to reverse their losing momentum, whereas Lawrence was not. The Raiders edged the Vikings 1-0 on Friday, Jan. 17, and again on Saturday, Jan. 18, 4-1.

MSOE hosted Lawrence at the Kern Center in the first game, controlling the puck for most of the game and outshooting the Vikings by a wide 51-22 margin. The lone goal of the contest came five minutes into the second period, and the Raiders sustained offensive pressure the majority of the time. Austin Campbell picked up the shutout for MSOE, and freshman Mattias Soderqvist stopped 50 shots for Lawrence.

On Saturday, the teams reconvened at the Appleton Family Ice Center. The Raiders put the first points on the board with a goal 3:44 into the game and scored again a few minutes later on a power play to put MSOE ahead 2-0. After a whistle sent sophomore Renato Engler to the penalty box, Lawrence retaliated with a shorthanded goal scored by senior William Thoren off a pass from sophomore Matt Moore at 14:20. The Vikings held off their opponents for the rest of the period and headed to the locker room down 2-1.

MSOE’s third goal came 11:35 into the second period, when the Raiders’ attacking line easily outmaneuvered the Viking defense, widening their lead to 3-1. The last goal of the game was scored with 2:13 remaining in the third period, earning MSOE the victory by a final score of 4-1. The Vikings saw huge improvement in performance from the first night to the second, earning a 28-27 shot advantage. Raider goaltender Nick Kohn made 27 saves to Soderqvist’s 23.

As MSOE moves on to a weekend series against St. Norbert College (14-2-1, 9-1 NCHA), Lawrence will host the College of St. Scholastica (9-4-4, 6-1-3 NCHA) both Friday, Jan. 24, and Saturday, Jan. 25. The Saints are coming off a tough pair of battles against Adrian College, whose 8-0-2 conference record (14-0-3 overall) positions them at the top of the conference.

St. Scholastica tied the Bulldogs 1-1 in the first game and suffered a 4-3 overtime loss in the second. The Saints will face the Vikings here in Appleton at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22.