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The ACHA West first rankings have come out, and the Lions will start where they finished last season, ranked as the 9th best team in the West. After a great start, the Lions had a tough trip to Utah this past weekend, and that certainly factored heavily into the finish for the Lions. The team will have a month of games until the next rankings will come out, and plenty of opportunities to prove the Lions should move up in the rankings. In the next ranking period, LMU will face LBSU, SDSU, CSUF, CSUN, #4 Boise St, and #10 ASU P8.
The Lions finished the weekend against Weber State on Sunday. The night before, the Lions travelled north to take on Utah State, and USU ran away with the game. On Sunday, the Lions knew they'd need to play a smart game, with their third game of the weekend at hand and a short bench. The Lions would get up early, as freshman John Yoder tallied his first goal of the season. Weber would get up 2-1 late in the second, but Jack Hyman would get a breakaway pass from Matt Lorange and tuck it home. The third went back and forth, with the Lions generating tons of chances but not being able to finish. Weber would tuck home a rebound chance, and the Lions were not able to tie the game. LMU fell to 0-2-1 on the weekend, and need to regroup as they face LBSU at home on 11/1.
The Lions are keeping things straight, at least, with two back to back ties against teams from Utah. LMU travelled to Ogden, UT on Friday to take on Weber St. Weber got out to a hot start, using their home ice, and large crowd to jump to a 4-1 lead. The Lions didn't back down, scoring 3 2nd period goals to be down 5-4 after two. In the third Weber would score first to go up 6-4, and that held until 13 minutes left, when Kyle Martins tipped home a beautiful Trevor Tracy pass. With just over three minutes left Trey Thalmann held the blue line and while falled down fired a shot over the goalies shoulder to tie the game. The teams would provide a lot of back and forth chances the final 3 minutes and in OT, but the game would end in a 6-6 tie.
The Lions were facing one of their toughest weekends of the season, as they hosted two of the top 3 teams in the West, NAU and Utah. After a lackluster performance at home against NAU, in which the Lions lost 7-1, the team rebounded very well on Saturday against University of Utah. Utah, the team who knocked LMU out of regionals last season with a 2-1 victory, had just come off two blow out wins over USC. LMU would score first, as Trey Thalmann shot a puck wide, and the rebound bounced around to Hyman who put it home. The lead did not last long as the very next shift Utah got LMU running around in the D zone, and put one home from the slot. In the 2nd, LMU would take the lead as a good LMU forecheck turned the puck over and Trevor Tracy scored from the slot. Utah would tie it late in the third on a 2 on 1. The game would go to overtime, and neither team would score again, though Utah had a 4 on 3 powerplay, and LMU's Trevor Tracy had a breakaway in the final seconds of OT roll off his stick. This was the only regular season meeting between these teams. For the Lions Taylor Spesak stood tall stopping a multitude of good chances, stopping 27 Utah shots. The Lions now travel to Utah next weekend for three games versus Weber St and Utah St.
The Lions scored first, with Trevor Tracy walking down the slot and beating the LBSU goalie over the glove. LMU would never trail in the game, though it would be tied 1-1 and 3-3. After LBSU tied the game, Kyle Martins would score a power play goal on a nice pass from Trey Thalmann. Early in the second Archie Ogani would score a powerplay goal of his own, to give LMU a 3-1 lead. LBSU would cut it by 1 late in the second, and early in the third would tie the game at 3. LMU's top scoring line answered back shortly after as Fink netted his second of the game on a nice pass from Martins and Costin. LMU would be unable to capitalize on a number of great chances in the third, but was able to hold back LBSU down the stretch, including killing two penalties in the final 6 minutes to win the game 4-3. LMU moves to 4-0 on the season, but has an incredibly tough weekend as two top 5 teams will visit, NAU and Utah.
Nov 1 vs. LBSU
LMU 2 - Weber 3
LMU 6 - Weber 6
LMU 2 - Utah 2
LMU 4 - LBSU 3
LMU 6 - Texas A&M 2