When the Augustana men’s hockey team took the ice at the River’s Edge in Davenport on Saturday afternoon, they had only six forwards and three defensemen.
Head coach Perry Jacobs pointed out that the Vikings were exhausted towards the end of their 9-4 loss to Eastern Kentucky University.
“We fell apart in the third because guys were tired and we stopped doing everything that we were doing well before that. We quit playing the hard basic hockey and tried to get fancy,” said Jacobs.
The Vikings fell behind after a goal by Eastern Kentucky with eight minutes left in the first.
A minute after the goal, the Vikings received a penalty and Eastern Kentucky took advantage, scoring a power-play goal and a two goal lead.
The Vikings had a chance on a power play with six minutes left, but could only get two shots on goal.
After coming out of the locker room to start the second period, the freshly Zambonied ice did not work out in the Vikings favor as a neutral zone turnover led to an easy breakaway and an Eastern Kentucky goal to put them up 3-0.
Eastern Kentucky added another goal to bring the score to 4-0 with 15:53 left in the second.
The Vikings scoring started with a wrist shot from defenseman Brandon Maize just 35 seconds after Eastern Kentucky scored.
Maize said the time between the periods was good for the teams to recompose.
“We took the intermission to regroup and got a quick goal that propelled us through the rest of the period,” said Maize.
Augustana struck again after a slap shot by forward Sam Spector, who scored at the end and beginning of third to put the Vikings down by one goal.
The Vikings took advantage of a power play with 12 minutes left in the period and tied the game.
However, the Vikings lack of depth, with only one junior on the team and no seniors, caught up to them as Eastern Kentucky scored five straight goals to finish the game.
After the game, Jacobs was encouraged about the changes in his team’s play.
“We played a more basic style of hockey: get the puck on net, make their defensemen turn around, get the puck deep in the zone and pressure them,” Jacobs said. “We did those things well in the first two periods and the game was much closer. When we got away from that they pulled away,”
The Vikings’ next game will be against Midland at 7 p.m. Midland is one of the team’s Division I opponents.