It wasn't so much that it was a bad weekend for the Laurentian Voyageurs men's hockey team. It just could have been so much better.
Coming off a big 2-0 win over the Waterloo Warriors at home Friday night in the first game of the 2017 portion of their schedule, the Voyageurs were well-positioned for the sweep, leading the Laurier Hawks 3-1 after 40 minutes of play the very next evening.
In fact, the homeside had doubled their advantage by scoring with just four seconds remaining in period number two, securing all sorts of momentum heading to the third. It didn't quite play out that way as Laurier rallied to score five straight goals, the final two in an empty net, doubling coach Craig Duncanson and company, in the end, by a final count of 6-3.
Jacob Smith, Brent Pedersen and Nicolas Dionne staked the LU side to their lead, with Christian Mroczkowski replying with one for the Hawks. But a very good weekend for Laurentian goaltender Joel Vienneau suddenly went for naught, as Will Cook, Danny Hanlon and Cole Porter all solved the former OHLer in a span of just under six minutes, with Cook and Kyle Morrison adding tallies with Vienneau on the bench in favour of an extra attacker.
Nothing would beat the native of Hearst the previous evening, as Vienneau turned aside all 37 shots that he faced in registering the first Voyageur shutout of the year. Interestingly enough, the team had surrendered only one goal against in six of their seven previous victories this year.
It wasn't as though the offense was overflowing for the blue and gold against Waterloo, as Jacob Smith drilled home the game-winning goal midway through the first period and Graham Yeo provided some insurance with an empty-net marker with fifteen seconds to play.
Laurentian would muster only a grand total of 19 shots against Warriors' netminder Mike Morrison, but still managed to improve their season mark to 8-9-2 (18 pts), one back of the Ottawa Gee Gees and five better than the 9th place Nipissing Lakers.
The Voyageurs will travel to face Ottawa and the Carleton Ravens (12-7-1) on the road next weekend, heading even further away a week later with a two game set in Thunder Bay opposite the Lakehead Thunderwolves (8-8-1).