Viking women’s hockey defeated by Foresters

Just minutes before the game, senior Maeve Tallman stood on the ice in her goalkeeping pads, taking pictures with her family before what would be the best and final home game of her collegiate hockey career. The Lake Forest Foresters traveled to the Appleton Ice Center to face off against the Vikings women’s hockey team on Sunday, Feb. 5. It was a tough matchup against Lake Forest, a strong mid-table team (4th in NCHA) who had defeated the Vikings (8th in NCHA) 8-0 the previous day in Lake Forest. The Vikings were determined to gain redemption at home on Senior Day, but again fell to the Foresters 6-1. 

Forwards junior Lindsey Gulliksen, junior Delaney Kingsland and sophomore Sofia Alvarez started the game for the Vikings, along with defensive pair sophomore Madi Mishica and first-year Sophia Labreque. Backup goalie Maeve Tallman got the start on Senior Day and would defend the net for the duration of play.  

The 1st period did not go the Vikings’ way. Just a few minutes into play, Lake Forest forward Emma Sweeney snuck it into the back of the net from a distance, and at 5:45 into the 1st, Lake Forest widened the gap to 2-0, courtesy of forward Lauren Wensell. The agile Lake Forest offense was giving the Vikings trouble in the 1st period defensively. Clearing the zone proved to be a challenge for the Vikings on defense, and the Foresters maintained possession in Lawrence’s end for extended periods of time, exploiting gaps in the Vikings defense and crashing for rebounds on shot attempts. This led to a tap-in that was put past Tallman by forward Samantha Shoebottom to close the period 3-0 to Lake Forest. 

The Vikings entered the 2nd period with renewed vigor, while penalties plagued Lake Forest in the first 10 minutes. This opened the chance for the Vikings to take advantage of numbers through power plays, even having a 5v3 advantage at one point. The Vikings fought through the understaffed but still tenacious Forester defense to register 10 shots on goal (out of their 14 on the night), all of which were dispatched by the Lake Forest goalie. When the Foresters regained full numbers, they resumed their previous form, and at 10:31 in the 2nd , forward Caitlyn Dahut was able tap the puck in off a rebound to extend the Foresters lead to 4-0. 

After a solid performance in goal by Tallman to carry the Vikings through an opposing power play unscathed, Lawrence defender junior Lauren Moravchik was able to sling in a sneaky wrister from long distance off a won draw and assist from forward Kingsland. The Foresters’ goalie stood steadfast, not even aware of the shot until it was in the back of the net. The stadium and the Viking bench erupted in cheer, celebrating Moravchik’s 3rd collegiate goal and first of the season. The Foresters closed out the 3rd period strong, however, ending the game 6-1 with two more goals (11:32, 18:04) by defender Karya Dean and forward Zara Post. 

Tallman played excellently in Sunday’s match despite the misleading scoreline. She logged a season- high 55 saves with a save percentage of .902, which is a 2% better save rate than her career average (.882). She achieved this in the face of a very competent Lake Forest offense who registered 61 shots on goal – with numbers like that, even the best collegiate goalies are going to have some shots slip past them. She marks history as the first senior to graduate from Lawrence’s fledgling women’s hockey program – certainly a day for her to be proud of.  

The Vikings take on Concordia University of Wisconsin at the Appleton Ice Center on Friday, Feb.10 at 7 p.m.