Men’s Hockey splits series with Northland

Jon Mays

The Lawrence University Men’s Hockey team was looking to gain some momentum for the remainder of the season when they faced Northland in a home-and-home series last weekend.
The Vikings had won the previous 22 games against the Lumberjacks entering the series and hadn’t lost to Northland in 25 games. Lawrence’s dominance over Northland dates all the way back to November 2003, when the Lumberjacks won 4-3 to end an eight-game losing streak to the Vikings, only to lose 5-1 the next day and start a streak of even more impressive length.
The Vikings, who were 1-9-1 in their previous 11 games entering the series, looked to continue their dominance over Northland and head into the final stretch of their season on a winning streak.
In the series opener, Lawrence came out strong, picking up three goals in the first period of the opening game and never looking back. Lawrence’s newly-crowned all-time leading scorer, Marc Howe, scored twice for the Vikings, and fellow senior Mike Ackley also added a goal.
Lawrence goalie Evan Johnson notched 23 saves in the victory, adding, “It feels good to get this win, and hopefully it will propel us for the rest of the season.”
However, the Vikings lost their momentum in the very next game, falling behind the Lumberjacks (4-16-1, 4-11-1 MCHA) early.
Despite holding a 1-0 lead midway through the first period after a Billy Siers goal, the Vikings quickly fell into a 3-1 hole. The Lumberjacks’ flurry of goals seemed to catch the Vikings off guard, as Northland’s second and third goals came just 18 seconds apart.
Howe scored again in the third period to cut the lead to 3-2, but the Vikings proved unable to close the gap. Despite holding a 26-20 advantage in shots, the Vikings (8-10-1, 7-6-1 MCHA) fell 5-2.
The Vikings will look to snap out of their funk this weekend in a series against the red-hot Marian University Sabres (14-6-0, 13-2-0 MCHA,) who have won their last nine consecutive games. Beginning with a home game at 7 p.m. Friday, the three-game set will conclude with a Saturday-Sunday series in Fond du Lac.