This past weekend the Lawrence University men’s hockey team split a home-and-away series with the MSOE Raiders. Friday night the Vikes snapped an 11-game losing streak with the Raiders winning six to five.At 0:41 into the first period, the Raiders took a penalty, giving the Vikes a chance to go up early. It ended up the other way around as the Raiders came down on a two on one and scored shorthanded on a rebound at 1:30 into the first.
After the Vikings went down a man, the Raiders went up two to zero on a shot from the point at 4:06 of the first period. The Raiders added another goal at 17:02 of the first to take a three to zero lead. The Vikes went on a five-on-three power play near the end of the first and Mike Ackley scored on a shot, glove side, at 19:21.
The Raiders came out firing in the second period, scoring two more power play goals at 7:34 and 9:21. Midway through the second the score was five to one, but the Vikes were not ready to give up.
Nick Jennette came down on a three on one. When Chris Keller, the MSOE goaltender, cheated over to the center of the ice, Jennette put it past him short side. The remainder of the period went scoreless, and the Vikings would have to overcome a three-goal deficit in the third to tie.
When the Vikings came out in the third period it was obvious they had the energy and momentum, with MSOE looking like a team that wanted to get on the bus and go home.
The Vikings pushed and at 3:13 of the third, Masa Takahashi got the puck past Keller, with assists from Austin Montgomery and Josh Peterson. Then at 8:13 of the third Neil Wallace redirected a puck into the net, to make it a one-goal game.
Then at 18:22 of the third period Josh DeSmit got the puck on the left side of the net, and put the puck top shelf to tie the game. The normally reserved Lawrence crowd went wild as the Vikings came back to tie the game after being down by four.
The night was not over and the Vikings had the momentum. MSOE put the Vikings on the power play with a delay of game penalty at 19:12 of the third. It looked like the game might be heading to overtime, until Jennette got the puck past Keller with only 0:08 seconds left on the clock.
The crowd jumped to their feet and the Vikings skated away with a thrilling conference win. Evan Johnson got the win for the Vikings with 33 saves on 36 shots. Keller made 29 saves on 35 shots for the Raiders.
Riley Stank, a player for the Vikings, commented after the game, “The boys came out in the third and it was evident they had the momentum, the conditioning, and the drive that MSOE was missing. You could tell they were going to come out ahead.”
Saturday night the outcome was not nearly as dramatic. The Vikes fell five to two. The Raiders scored the lone goal in the first period. Takahashi came out of the corner and scored a goal short side at 0:32 in the second to tie it up, but the Raiders scored two before the period was over to go into the third up by two.
Takahashi scored again on a four-on-three power play at 1:53 of the third on an assist from Peterson; but that would be it for the Vikings. The Raiders scored two power play goals in the third to skate off with a five to two win. Johnson made 33 saves for the Vikings. Keller made 20 saves for the Raiders.