LTU hockey team loses in tournament finals
Monday, February 11th, 2013
After winning its first-round game in convincing fashion, the Lawrence Technological University men’s hockey team fell short in the finals of the annual outdoor tournament played in Clark Park in Detroit, losing to Xavier University, 5-2.
LTU, Indiana University, Washtenaw Community College, and Xavier University competed in the tournament on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9-10.
The puck dropped Saturday afternoon with Washtenaw Community College taking on Xavier. Xavier won the first game of the tournament, 7-4. Game two matched up the Blue Devils and the Hoosiers from Indiana University.
The Hoosiers struck first with a goal at the 10:37 mark of the first period. LTU quickly answered back with a goal by freshman forward Kaleb Rodes (Traverse City, MI). From there LTU did not look back.
In the second period LTU outscored Indiana, 3-1, despite being outshot, 18-16. Ben Videan (Traverse City, MI), Mark Koenigsknecht (Grand Rapids, MI), and Brandon Churches (Waterford, MI) all tallied a goal in the second frame.
The third period was more of the same with LTU again outscoring Indiana, 3-1. During the third stanza Blue Devil goals were recorded by Ryan Duby (Amherstburg, ON), Alex Dengate (Waterford, MI), and Phil Lywood (Windsor, ON).
The Blue Devils beat the Hoosiers by a final score of 7-3. LTU outshot Indiana, 49-44.
Leading all scorers for the game was graduate student co-captain Phil Lywood with four points (one goal and three assists). Senior goalie George Grzwacz (Clinton Twp., MI) excelled for the Blue Devils, recording 46 saves for a 94 percent save rate.
Sunday afternoon the Blue Devils faced off against the Musketeers of Xavier University in the championship game. Xavier jumped out to the quick lead and never looked back.
The Musketeers struck first just 2:32 into the first period and then again at the 11:49 mark. With just 51 seconds remaining in the period, LTU made it a 2-1 game with a goal by senior forward Steve Shalayko (Oxford, MI).
Xavier and Lawrence Tech played a defense-heavy second period until the final minutes when the Musketeers netted two goals with less than two minutes remaining at the 18:14 and 18:50 marks.
The third period was much the same for both teams. No goals were recorded until Koenigsknecht gave the Blue Devils a glimmer of hope at 17:49 of the third period. Lawrence Tech pulled its goalie for a last ditch effort to tie the game but came up short. Xavier added an empty-net goal in the final seconds to complete a 5-2 victory.
Lywood came up big again in the second game of the weekend by recording two more assists.
Up next for Lawrence Tech is the MCHC playoffs. The Blue Devils start on Friday, Feb. 22, at Northwood University, and a victory will get them into the next round on Saturday.