While many Lawrence students were spending the long winter break with their families, the men’s hockey team was busy at work with practices and games. They traveled to Minneapolis to play the Augsburg College Auggies in two games on Dec. 30 and 31. The Vikings were defeated in the first game 9-4 but came back the next day and won an overtime thriller 1-0. Lawrence’s overall record now stands at 5-5-3.
In the first contest, the Vikings kept it close at the beginning. With goals from senior Matt Hughes, freshman Patrick Coyne and junior Brad Scurfield, the Vikings trailed 4-3 midway through the second period. Then a scoring burst from the Auggies helped them take over. They scored four consecutive goals. Senior Ben DiMarco put one in the net to stop the scoring streak, but it was too little too late as Lawrence was unable to catch up.
After a tough defeat, the Vikings came back the next day and battled to overtime, as neither team was able to score during regulation. Lawrence went on the power play during overtime when an Augsburg player got penalized for slashing, but 13 seconds later, LU sophomore Paul Zuke was whistled for interference. With a four-on-four match between both teams, Hughes broke the tie with his team high ninth goal of the season. He regained control of a shot that was blocked by a defenseman and beat the goalie to seal the victory. This was Lawrence’s fourth overtime game of the season. Freshman goaltender Peter Emery picked up his first shutout of his career and contributed 40 saves.
Regarding their performances against the Auggies, junior goaltender Michael Baldino commented, “The first game we did not execute very well defensively. We did a good job of coming back the next day and turning up the intensity on the defensive end by not allowing a goal. While we wish we scored more, it’s always good to pick up a win.”
Now the Vikings face their biggest challenge in the conference, Adrian College. The Bulldogs are a traditional powerhouse in the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association Conference and were the NCAA runner-ups last year. Lawrence will travel all the way to Adrian, Michigan for two games on Jan. 13 and 14. “We are definitely pumped up for these games. When two good teams play against each other, it’s usually the special teams’ play that decides the outcome,” added Baldino. “We need to play hard, execute very well and take advantage of their mistakes.”