Vikings rally late to top Aurora

Lawrence's Mikkel Joehnk scored two goals as the Vikings beat Aurora 5-4.
Lawrence's Mikkel Joehnk scored two goals as the Vikings beat Aurora 5-4.

APPLETON, Wis. -- Lawrence University scored two goals in just over a minute late in the third period Friday to pull out a 5-4 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association victory over Aurora University at the Appleton Family Ice Center.

The Vikings were down 4-3 after Rihards Marenis scored for Aurora with 6:14 remaining in the game. 

Lawrence's Josh Koepplinger, the NCHA's leading goal scorer, quickly tied it up for the Vikings (8-9-1, 6-5-0 NCHA). Koepplinger was nearly past the net when he went top shelf and scored to tie it at 4-4 with 5:34 left.

The Vikings kept the pressure on and Jake Drinkard grabbed a loose puck in the slot and scored with 4:25 left to put the Vikings up 5-4. 

Aurora (4-10-4, 3-7-1) pulled goaltender Josh Boyko for the final two minutes, but the Spartans didn't have a great scoring chance with the extra attacker on the ice. Boyko finished with 31 saves.

Lawrence goaltender Evan Cline stopped 22 shots to pick up the victory.

Mikkel Joehnk finished with two goals for the Vikings, and Koepplinger had a goal and an assist. Lane King and Austin Frank both had a pair of assists for Lawrence.

The Vikings jumped on Aurora early on Joehnk's power-play goal just 3:17 into the opening period. Aurora would score twice in the first and led 2-1 after one.

Lawrence tied it early in the second period on Luke McDiarmid's second goal of the season, and the score was tied 2-2 after two.

Joehnk scored again on the power play at the 5:54 mark of the third period to put Lawrence up 3-2. The Vikings went 2-for-2 on the power play. Aurora then scored the next two goals to take the lead before the late heroics from the Vikings pulled out the win.