Men’s hockey splits home games

The Lawrence University hockey team was back in action this past weekend playing host to a couple of conference foes at the Appleton Family Ice Center. Friday night, the Vikings took on the Aurora University Spartans (4-9-4, 3-6-1 NCHA) and Saturday they faced off against the Lake Forest College Foresters (10-8-0, 7-4-0 NCHA).

Lawrence wasted little time getting the scoring started on Friday against Aurora as senior Mikkel Joehnk found the back of the net on a power play 3:17 into the opening period to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. Junior Josh Koepplinger and senior Austin Frank contributed assists on the play. However, Aurora responded with a goal of their own at the 5:26 mark in the first period and they had a 2-1 lead over Lawrence at the end of the first period as they scored again at the 17:05 mark. In the second, the Vikings scored the only goal. It was only 1:48 into the period off the stick of senior Luke McDiarmid. He was assisted by sophomores Evan Ketner and Matt Beranek.

The game entered the third period knotted at 2. Aurora started the scoring in the third period with a goal at the 5:44 mark. Ten seconds later Joehnk added his second power-play goal of the game to tie the game again at 3. Senior Lane King and Frank had assists on the play. About halfway through the final period, at the 9:27 mark, Aurora scored a power-play goal of their own to take the lead 4-3. However, the Vikings would have the final say in the game scoring two more goals to win 5-4. The first of these final two goals was scored by Koepplinger, with assists by King and freshman Matt Meininger at the 14:26 mark. Just over a minute later, at the 15:35, sophomore Jake Drinkard scored the final goal of the game. Freshmen Zach Briscoe and Danny Toycen tacked on two more assists for the Vikings.

Lawrence took 36 shots in the game and went two for two on power play chances. Sophomore Evan Cline played all 60 minutes in goal and had 22 saves in the game.

On Saturday, the game did not go the Viking’s way. Lake Forest scored the first period’s only goal at the 6:16 mark to take a 1-0 lead. Lawrence responded right at the beginning of the second, knotting the score a 1 on a goal by King at the 17 second mark. Lake Forest would score five more goals, one in the second period and four in the third period, two win the game 6-1. Cline played the entire game in goal and made 31 saves in the losing effort. Lawrence went zero for three on power play chances and took 34 shots in the game.

With the win and loss this weekend the Viking’s record sits at 8-10-1 and 6-6-0 in the NCHA. They currently are tied for third in the North Division. The team is back in action this upcoming weekend as they host another pair of conference games at home. They will play St. Scholastica at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26th and Northland on Saturday, Jan. 27th at 4 p.m. Both games will be at the Appleton Family Ice Center. The Vikings hope to better their conference standings with the hopes of making the playoffs this season.