Close call for the Vikings Ice Hockey team after having a rocky start against a team they dominated just one week prior. After starting out slow, Vikings claimed another victory against Mohawk Valley on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
The last victory Hudson Valley had over Mohawk Valley was just one week prior, ending in a 9-1 blowout. Considering that last game, it seemed the Vikings thought it was going to be another easy victory. This time, Mohawk Valley actually put up a fight, making it a close game.
The Vikings seemed to have been out skated in the beginning of the first and second period. Mohawk Valley scored the first goal of the game at 49 seconds into the first period.
Goalie Nate Muller from Highgate, Vt., had 28 saves on the game. “I think our team needs to realize that we should have given it to them early instead of letting them skate and gain momentum,” said Muller.
The Hawks were ahead 2-0 in the second period until freshman player Sean Spohr from Westfield, Mass., scored the first goal for the Vikings. Freshman player Jordan Smith from Oakland, Ohio, quickly followed Spohrs’ goal with another goal for the Vikings, tying up the game.
“Halfway through the second we really tried to turn it around a little bit,” said sophomore player, Nick VanLiew from Ballston Spa. “Those two goals really sparked us because we got them so quick,” said VanLiew.
Third period started off as a tie game. Both teams were giving all that they had to come out on top. Five minutes in, the Hawks broke the tie with their third goal on the game.
Freshman Gavin Litz from Troy scored another Vikings goal, assisted by sophomore Jacob Henning from Malone, tying up the game at 3-3.
Both teams then kicked it into high gear to score the final goal of the game. It was Nick VanLiew from the Vikings who scored the winning and final goal on the game with just five minutes left to the third period.
“Last time we played these guys we beat them 9-1, so letting a team like that hang around isn’t good,” said VanLiew. “They really came out flying and they didn’t have anything to lose and they came out and really wanted to ruin our hopes at Nationals,” said VanLiew.
“I think we finally realized what it took to win a hockey game,” said Matt Alvey, head coach for Vikings ice hockey. “I don’t think we mentally prepared enough for tonight’s game but we battled for a win and I’m thankful we got one,” said Alvey.
Spohr also believed that the Vikings weren’t mentally prepared to face Mohawk Valley because of the turnout of the previous game. “We came into this thinking it was going to be an easy ride,” said Spohr.
Although they have been progressing throughout the season, the team is working harder than ever in order to bring home the big win at Nationals on February 27th and 28th in Broome. Alvey believes that the main thing they need to work on is tightening things up as a team before heading to Nationals.
The next game will be against Siena Club team on Saturday, February 13th in the Mcdonough Sports Complex at 7:30pm.