The men’s hockey team traveled to Ashland, Wis. last weekend, Jan. 27-28, to take on the Northland College Lumberjacks in a two game series. The Vikings posted a solid 3-0 win the first game and stole a thriller in the second 3-2 with some late game heroics. Lawrence now has an overall record of 7-9-3 with a 6-5-3 record in the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association Conference.
Posting an impressive defensive showing, the Vikings kept the Lumberjacks out of the net during all of game one. Lawrence also had more than enough scoring power as they tallied a 45-29 edge in shots. Freshman forward Gustav Lindgren struck first with a goal at the 15:14 mark in the game off of assists from freshman forward Austin Rohaly and senior forward Matt Hughes.
In the second period, junior forward Phil Bushbacher got a goal of his own off of assists from junior forward Brad Scurfield and sophomore defenseman William Thoren. In the third period, the Vikings insured their win when Scurfield scored on a power play for the Vikings off an assist from Thoren.
This proved plenty of security for freshman goaltender Peter Emery, who made 29 saves en route to his second shutout of the season. This capped off a remarkable defensive effort by Lawrence as they held Northland to 0-for-7 on the power play.
The next day, Northland came out looking for revenge and struck first with a goal at the 15:57 mark in the first period. However, sophomore forward Nate Scurfield tallied his first goal of the season with just 22 seconds left in the first period off an assist from his brother, Brad, to even the score. Both teams remained deadlocked at 1-1 until the beginning of third period when the Lumberjacks scored on the power play after a Lawrence interference penalty.
With the clock running out, the Vikings pulled Emery out of the net in the final minute to put an extra man on the ice. The advantage paid off for the Vikings. Lindgren scored the equalizer off an assist from Brad Scurfield with 25 seconds left. With Northland already demoralized, the Vikings took advantage and got the game winning goal from senior forward Sam Johnson just nine seconds later. Thoren and Hughes were credited with the assists. After a very dramatic final minute, the Vikings stole the victory 3-2.
Both victories proved to be very helpful for Lawrence as they find themselves back in second place in the Northern Division and in the top four of the conference. It also could provide a huge home ice advantage for the Vikings in case they face Northland again the playoffs and they are both tied in the standings at the end of the season.
Commenting on the win, freshman defender Mike Megnia said, “It was important for us to come out with a lot of intensity. Playing in a tough atmosphere up in Ashland, it was great to see the team bounce back and get two exciting wins.”
With the regular season winding down, playoffs seem just around the corner and that is when teams want to be playing their best hockey. Megnia added, “We need to continue doing what we’re doing. We made some positive strides this weekend and if we continue to stick to the system, we will be rolling by playoff time.”
The Vikings have a home and home series with the Marian University Sabres, who are in first place in the Northern Division, for their next games.
Lawrence will host on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Appleton Family Ice Center and will travel the next day to Fond du Lac for a 4 p.m. game.