The Augustana Vikings Men’s Hockey team faced some adversity to start the 2014-15 season this past weekend. Despite only being in their second season in the ACAC the Red Deer College Kings have proven that they will be a challenger for the league title after a strong first campaign last season. The Vikings have been injury plagued to through pre-season and those woes seemed to continue through to opening weekend.
The Vikings were able to come out on top of both contests versus the kings and truly proved that the team has a great level of depth on this year’s roster. The Vikings were forced to play without the veteran presences of Jeremy Beirnes, Dane Bonish, Mitchell Gartner, and Konrad Litke in Friday’s game in Penhold. They skated away with a 3-1 win. The game could be described as a battle from start to finish. Goal scorers were Kenny Bradley, Adam Johnson, and Scott Swiston. Andy Williams picked up the win in goal.
Friday’s contest also saw some unfortunate injury woes continue for the Vikings, as veteran forward Boyd Wakelin sustained a back injury at the end of the second period. Captain Kenny Bradley also injured his knee in the third period.
Despite injuries and misfortunes, the Vikings were able to rally a strong performance on Saturday night taking a “gutsy” 2-1 win. Johnson scored from a tight angle and Beau Taylor followed with a goal early in the first to round out scoring. The Vikes were able to maintain the lead throughout the remainder of the game and played a solid defensive game backstopped by Joel Danyluk in goal.
The Vikings proved this weekend that they will be a force to contend with in the ACAC and that they can win with many different faces in the lineup. Opening weekend only heightened expectations and showed that this season will be an exciting one from start to finish for Vikings Hockey.
by Preston Eschenko, Vikings Hockey