There is an equation for the men’s hockey team: Play simple and finish checks. When the Vikings do those two things they are a formidable team; when they don’t, “unimpressive” might be appropriate.This past weekend, the Vikings played twice against the Marian College Sabres. Friday night, they lost 4-3 at Marian. Down 3-0 in the third period, the Vikings came back to within one when junior Nick Jennette scored on a five-on-three at 5:40 into the period. Marian scored at 10:23 into the period to take a 4-2 lead.
Although senior Josh Peterson scored at 13:14 in the third to bring it within one goal, the Vikings could not come back to tie. Freshman Evan Johnson was between the pipes for Lawrence, making 39 saves, while Jason Jadczak made 27 saves for the Sabres.
At home against Marian last Saturday night, the game went back and forth. Marian scored the first goal of the game in the first period at 6:47 on a two-on-one during a Marian power play. Lawrence responded at 12:24 when freshman Josh DeSmit jumped on a rebound off a shot by Peterson on the advantage. Less than a minute later Lawrence lost the lead when Marian snuck a puck past Johnson’s outstretched leg. The first period ended with the score 2-1 Marian.
Sophomore Marc Howe started the second period for the Vikings with a shot five hole that beat the Marian goaltender at 2:45 into the second. Marian responded at 3:22 to retake the lead, but DeSmit added his second goal of the game at 9:01 on the power play. The Vikings won the period 2-1, in large part because they decided to hit and simply got the puck out when they could. The score was 3-3 going into the third.
The third period started just like the second, with Howe scoring. At 0:34 into the period Howe scored with a shot low blocker side just as a Lawrence five-on-three expired. Then, at 11:06, Marian scored after a minute of sustained pressure on a shot that nicked a Lawrence player.
Lawrence was unable to get the puck out because of errant passes and forwards collapsing into the zone. Lawrence would have several chances in the remaining minutes, but Marian would have sustained pressure for most of the last three minutes, and, if not for Johnson’s defense, Lawrence would have been down 5-4 with 0:15 left.
The overtime period proved to be indecisive and the Vikings would skate off with a 4-4 tie. Johnson stopped 37 of 41 shots while Marian’s Cullen Caldwell stopped 26 of 30.
Lawrence plays their final home games of the season this weekend against University of Minnesota-Crookston. The games are Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Appleton Family Ice Center.