Vikings hold Lions to just one goal in second win

Denia Bent/For the Gazette Finlandia’s Bryce Mitzel drives out of the defensive zone during a game against Marian Friday at the Houghton County Arena.

HANCOCK — A recent scoring drought continued for the Finlandia University men’s hockey team Saturday evening against Lawrence University.

The Lions, who have scored just twice in their last three contests, dropped a 3-1 decision to the visiting Vikings at the Houghton County Arena.

Finlandia skipper Joe Burcar said the lack of punch by his team can be attributed to a lack of hard work.

“It comes down to not working hard for 60 minutes,” said Burcar, whose team tallied just one goal over the weekend against Marian College and Lawrence. “That’s the bottom line, we take too many shortcuts.”

Lawrence coach Mike Szkodzinski was happy with the outcome, which gave his 2-8-1 team its first win in the NCHA.

“We’ve been struggling, and this win gives the kids some confidence,” Szkodzinski noted. “Finlandia is a much improved team and winning up here is always tough.”

The Vikings grabbed a 1-0 lead early in the second period when Cole Essig poked a rebound past Lions netminder Marcus Gloss. The goal was unassisted.

But Bryce Mitzel evened it up with a marker at the 15:13 mark of the middle period. Nicholas Tobey set it up with a nice pass.

Lawrence regained the lead when Matt Beranek scored just 43 ticks later, a play that Szkodzinski cited as “a key to winning.”

“That was a big one right there,” he said. “They (Lions) had the momentum and we were kind of hanging on.”

Finlandia, which had a 15-7 shots advantage in the middle frame, were halted by goalie Evan Cline who made 36 saves on the night.

An open net goal by Jake Drinkard of LU sealed the deal with under a minute left.

Gloss stopped 29 shots versus Marian Friday and 26 more Saturday to keep the locals close, and drew the praise of Burcar.

“Marcus Gloss had another good weekend, he’s been consistent,” the Finlandia coach said.

Also playing well for FU were Blake Peavey and Hunter Kero, who won 65 percent of their face offs.

The Lions, now 3-7-1 on the season, be idle until Dec. 14 when they host UW-Stout.

Lawrence    0   2   1 – 3

Finlandia     0   1   0 – 1

First period

No scoring

Second period

LU – Essig (unassisted) 3:27

FU – Mitzel (Tobey, Gamrat)  15:13

LU – Beranek (Vesley, Urch) 15:56

Third period

LU – Drinkard (Koerrplinger) 19:25

Goalie saves

Cline (LU)   10    13   12 –  36

Gloss (FU)   8      5    13  – 26

Penalties: LU 4, FU 3.