APPLETON, Wis. -- Marian University broke a 1-1 tie with 2:11 left in regulation Friday night and went on to a 3-1 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association victory over Lawrence University at the Appleton Family Ice Center.
The game was the opener in the annual Battle of Highway 41 series and play shifts to the Blue Line Ice Center in Fond du Lac on Saturday night. A Marian win or tie would allow the Sabres to regain the trophy currently held by the Vikings.
Lawrence (10-11-1, 8-7-0 NCHA) led for most of the game after the Vikings posted an early goal. Josh Koepplinger scored 6:50 into the first period off assists from Lane King and Zach Satalino to stake the Vikings to a 1-0 lead.
The scored stayed that way until the third period thanks to the work of Lawrence goaltender Evan Cline. He finished with 37 saves, including 12 in the first period and 19 in the second.
Marian (15-6-1, 9-6-0) tied the game at 1-1 on Derek Thorogood's goal at the 7:14 mark of the third. The game looked like it might be headed to overtime when the Sabres threaded the needle on a pass to Conner Blanck right up the middle of the ice. He had a step on the Lawrence defense and scored with 2:11 left.
Lawrence was also whistled for a slashing penalty on the play, and Marian added an empty-net goal while on the power play to finish the scoring.
Hunter Vorva made 14 saves to pick up the win for the Sabres.
The loss drops Lawrence to third place in the North Division with 16 points. Marian pulled ahead into second place with 18 points.