Marlins’ Lawrence leads team to state tourneyMarlin boys’ hockey coach John Lord knows he’s lucky to have Spencer Lawrence on his team.
By: Claire Meador, The Daily Republic
Marlin boys’ hockey coach John Lord knows he’s lucky to have Spencer Lawrence on his team.
“He’s fantastic,” Lord said. “He’s an incredible hockey player, and he’s one of the best I’ve coached … if not the best.”
This season, Lawrence broke the Marlins’ record for most points scored in a single season with 51 goals and 40 assists, bringing his overall points scored to 91.
The previous record Lawrence held with 89 points that he scored last season. Lawrence also set the record for all-time goals scored in a single season with 54 last year.
In regular-season play this year, Lawrence has 51 goals.
This year, Lawrence has helped his team to a 13-4 regular-season record, and the Marlins are seeded second going in the first round of the state tournament, which starts today in Pierre. They take on the seventh-seeded Aberdeen at 3:30 p.m.
If the Marlins are hoping to go far in the tournament, they’ll need Lawrence to keep up his high offensive output.
“(Lawrence) is such a modest guy,” Lord said. “Nobody would have ever known that he broke the (overall points scored in a single season) record unless his dad had said something about it. We never would have heard it from him.”
Lawrence is only a junior this year, but Lord said he’s talented enough to play hockey at a higher level next year if he chooses to do so. That means this could be the last weekend Lawrence plays for the Marlins.
Last year, Lawrence started playing in Omaha, Neb., with a Triple-A club team—an elite high school team, consisting of players ages 14 to 18, who played higher competition and traveled around the country — in August. He played with the team until the beginning of November and eventually left because of traveling conflicts coincided with his schooling.
The team traveled a lot, and Lawrence missed school often, so he decided to leave and move back to Mitchell to play for the Marlins. Lord said Lawrence was keeping up with his grades and schoolwork, but he was absent from classes too often and needed better attendance.
Lawrence could decide to join a similar team next season, but will have to figure out a better schooling situation. Lawrence’s plans for next season are currently undecided, Lord said.
“I’m absolutely going to miss Spencer next year if he doesn’t come back,” Lord said. “He’s always lively and he’s always very, very energetic, and it’s always nice to have that on the team.”
Lawrence led the Marlins this year, averaging five goals and three assists per game during the regular season. Two of Lawrence’s best games where when he scored seven goals and had two assists against the Yankton Miracle on Jan. 27, and when he scored six goals and had one assist against the Rushmore Thunder on Feb. 18.
Even when the team doesn’t have practice, Lord said Lawrence is always working to improve his game, so he’s never surprised when Lawrence has high-scoring games.
Although Lawrence is a standout player on the team, he credits his success to the hard work his teammates have put in during the season and the way the team skates together as a whole.
“Our team has been piecing together really well, and we’ve been playing really hard,” Lawrence said.
He said he didn’t set any specific personal goals at the beginning of the season, but it’s always a goal of his to do well in the state tournament.
“I’m really looking forward to getting this first game underway and hopefully we’ll be in the championship,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence said he’s particularly excited to be able to play in the state tournament with this year’s team.
“It’s always a big deal (to go to the state tournament),” Lawrence said. “I think this year is special, because our group of seniors is probably one of the best group of seniors we’ve had in a while, so I think if there ever was a year we could pull it off it would be this year.”
Lord said he feels Lawrence has been a key part of this year’s success.
“We always shoot for a championship,” Lord said. “We always try to be the best we can throughout the year and hopefully, like this year, we end up in a good seed. We’ll see what happens.”