The Lawrence Men’s hockey team traveled to Michigan to take on the eighth-ranked Adrian College Bulldogs. The Vikings lost both matches by the slimmest of margins, 3-2 for both games. Lawrence’s overall record now stands at 5-7-3 and 4-3-3 in Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association Conference play.
In the first contest, the Vikings fell behind to a 3-0 deficit after the first two periods. In the third period, Lawrence attacked. After an Adrian player was penalized for boarding, freshman defenseman Erik Soderlund scored on the power play off of assists from senior defenseman Jameson Raymond and junior forward Phil Bushbacher.
Lawrence found itself on the power play again after a slashing penalty and the Vikings took advantage. Senior forward Matt Hughes scored off of assists from Raymond and sophomore defenseman William Thoren. With the lead trimmed to one goal, the Vikings were unable to equalize the game despite an overall advantage in shots 38-25.
The next day, Lawrence struck first with a goal from sophomore forward Derek Brickan off of assists from freshman defenseman Kevin Killian and freshman forward Gustav Lindgren halfway through the first period. Adrian scored twice on power plays in the second period within a few minutes of each other to take the lead.
The Vikings were able to tie the game with 57 seconds left in the second period as Raymond scored off of assists from Bushbacher and junior forward Brad Scurfield. The Vikings had a 5-on-3 advantage at the time because of two Bulldog penalties. The score remained tied for most of the third period until the Vikings got called for interference and Adrian scored on the power play. Lawrence was unable to tie the game and took another tough, close loss.
Lawrence competed well both days against a nationally ranked team. However, sophomore forward Huck Saunders commented, “We’re not satisfied. We played well but the bounces didn’t go our way. On the bright side, we will have another opportunity to play them. We know the system works and we need to stick to it to win the MCHA championship.”
The Viking’s next games are against another nationally ranked team, the Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders. The Raiders are ranked 12th. Sophomore forward Paul Zuke feels confident about these upcoming games: “The Adrian games are a good lead to MSOE because they were tough, hard, battled games. It proves we are right on the doorstep of something great. We are on the right path and have to stick to our system and it will pay off.”
Lawrence hosts MSOE Friday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Appleton Family Ice Center, and then will travel to Milwaukee the next day for the second game.