The men’s hockey team took on the University of Minnesota-Crookston Golden Eagles at home this past weekend. The Vikes swept the Eagles with a 5-3 win Friday and an 8-7 overtime win Saturday.Friday night, the Vikings took control early due to a Crookston penalty. Sophomore Masa Takahashi put the puck in on the power play with assists from freshman Josh DeSmit and junior Mike Ackley. The game went back and forth for the rest of the first period; the period ended with the score 1-0 Lawrence.
The second period was looking like it would be scoreless until Crookston goaltender Eric Everson was called for spearing. The subsequent five-minute power play for the Vikings gave the Vikes an opportunity to take control of the game. Junior Nick Jennette decided to take advantage, with two goals during the power play at 16:16 and 18:10 into the second. The Vikings went into the locker room with a 3-0 lead.
The third period began with Crookston making a strong bid for a comeback. Crookston scored 3:38 into the period to make the game 3-1. Jennette completed the hat trick on an unassisted goal at 7:04 of the third. Crookston scored two goals to bring the score to 4-3, but an empty-net goal by Jennette — he totaled four goals on the night — with 0:21 left gave the Vikings the 5-3 win.
Freshman Evan Johnson made 24 saves for the Vikings in the win. The Crookston goaltenders combined to make 29 saves on the night.
Saturday night can best be described as a shoot-out. The first period began with a Crookston goal at 3:58 into the period. Junior Aaron LaFave scored a goal on the power play, whipping around and beating the goaltender low at 6:31 with assists going to sophomore Marc Howe and junior Adam Brand.
Crookston followed up with two power play goals at 7:25 and 12:12. Senior Josh Peterson scored on the power play for the Vikings at 14:37 with assists to DeSmit and Ackley. The first period ended with the score 3-2.
The second period began the same as the first, with a Crookston goal making the score 4-2 at 5:24 into the period. Lawrence followed up with a shorthanded goal. LaFave jumped on the puck, which the Crookston goaltender mishandled and threw the puck into the net at 7:45 into the second; senior Austin Montgomery assisted.
Peterson added his second power play at 15:38 into the second with assists from DeSmit and freshman Matt Jacobs. Jennette added a goal at 17:53 cutting across the net and sliding the puck past the Crookston goaltender. Crookston would add one more at 18:56 to make the game 5-5 going into the third.
Crookston struck first in the third period with a goal at 10:41. Lawrence followed suit with a goal by Jennette at 11:36, helped by DeSmit and Howe. Howe gave Lawrence the lead at 18:13 on an unassisted goal, but Crookston responded less than a minute later to tie the game at 18:59.
The overtime period went back and forth until LaFave cut across the blue line and skated into the center of the ice throwing a shot on net that hit the bar and went in. LaFave completed his hat trick at 2:47 into the overtime period.
Junior Jim Ryan made 30 saves on the night, while Jaden Isakson made 22 for Crookston. Jennette’s six goals on the weekend brought his season total up to 15, three shy of the record set by ’07 graduate Joe Searl last season. The Vikings travel to Northland College this weekend to take on the Northland LumberJacks in a two-game series.