Green Knights edge Lawrence in playoff opener

Evan Cline stopped 39 shots in the Vikings playoff opener at No. 2 St. Norbert.
Evan Cline stopped 39 shots in the Vikings playoff opener at No. 2 St. Norbert.

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. -- Second-ranked St. Norbert College got a pair of third-period goals Friday to top Lawrence University 3-1 in the opening game of a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinal series game at the Cornerstone Community Center.

Lawrence (10-14-2) needs a win and needs to win the mini-game Saturday to win the series. A win or tie on Saturday would give the Green Knights (21-4-1) the series win.

Josh Koepplinger scored for the Vikings, and Peter Bates had a goal and an assist for St. Norbert.

After a scoreless opening period, Luke Karakas got St. Norbert on the board with a goal at the 6:07 mark of the second. Bates then scored a power-play goal on a two-man advantage at the 6:58 mark of the third to give St. Norbert a 2-0 lead.

After St. Norbert's Sean Campbell was whistled for interference, the Vikings slashed the lead in half on Koepplinger's power-play goal at the 13:40 mark. Lane King and Austin Frank both picked up assists for the Vikings.

Lawrence was 1-for-4 on the power play, and St. Norbert was 1-for-5.

St. Norbert's Tanner Froese pushed the lead back to 3-1 with a goal at the 17:26 mark.

The Vikings pulled goaltender Evan Cline for the final 1:24 but couldn't draw any closer. Cline was superb as he stopped 39 shots on the evening. T.J. Black made 21 saves to pick up the win.