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No. 3 Lions take series from No. 10 Warriors

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Aaron Schneider

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Lindenwood University handed the Waldorf College hockey team a 3-1 loss to complete a series sweep during Sunday’s regular-season finale.

The Lions (15-13-2) are ranked No. 3 in the latest American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division II Central Region poll and locked down defensively to hold the No. 10 Warriors (19-13) scoreless in the final two periods of play.

Christian Weber provided Waldorf’s lone goal in his final home game at Albert Lea City Arena. The senior from Charles City currently has 14 goals on the season.

Junior Alex Fleming provided the assist on Weber’s goal.

Lindenwood’s Petrus Sipila, Tyler Arenz and Kyle Vesling each tallied goals for the Lions. The Lions received assists from Vesling, Colin Chandler, Mitchell Miller and Dominic Valencia.

Lindenwood outshot the Warriors 28-24. Waldorf sophomore Ronald Paulson racked up 25 saves for while Clint Steinmeyer recorded 23 saves for the Lions.

Weber gave the Warriors a 1-0 advantage during the 17th minute of the first period when he capitalized off a pass from Fleming. Sipila contributed the equalizer less than two minutes seconds later with a short-handed goal that was set up by Vesling and Chandler.

Tyler Arenz delivered the game-winning goal five minutes into the second period with Miller on the assist. Vesling put the Lions up by two goals during the 14th minute of the second period with a score assisted by Valencia.

Waldorf posted a 9-5 record in Northern Collegiate Hockey League (NCHL) play to earn the No. 3 seed in the NCHL Tournament. The Warriors, who are the defending NCHL Tournament champions, face sixth-seeded St. Mary’s University (5-17) in Friday’s NCHL Tournament quarterfinal at 1 p.m. (EST) at Marquette, Michigan. Waldorf swept the Cardinals during the regular season with 12-2 and 6-4 decisions.

With a win over St. Mary’s, the Warriors would advance to Saturday’s 7 p.m. NCHL Tournament semifinal against No. 7 Robert Morris University (23-10), which secured the No. 2 seed. The Eagles split the season series with Waldorf. They pulled out a 3-2 shootout win on Jan. 29 and were routed by the Warriors in a 7-0 loss the following day.

The NCHL Tournament championship game – the battle for the Philip E. Schroeder Memorial Trophy, which is also known as the Hap Cup – is scheduled for next Sunday at 1 p.m.