Vikings fall short against Aurora

Lawrence hockey action Daniel Gysi
Lawrence's Daniel Gysi (10) assisted on both goals for the Vikings against Aurora.

APPLETON, Wis. -- A goal late in the third period Friday broke a tie and lifted Aurora University to a 4-2 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association victory over Lawrence University at the Appleton Family Ice Center.

The Vikings got goals from Jake Drinkard and Danny Toycen to forge a 2-2 tie, but Aurora scored with 6:12 remaining to take the lead and added an empty-net goal to seal the win.

The Spartans scored first on a power-play goal with just 44 seconds left in the opening period, but the Vikings struck back quickly. Josh Koepplinger's shot with less than 10 seconds left in the period bounced off Aurora goaltender Josh Boyko and up in the air.

Lawrence's Danny Toycen took the puck off the bounce and directed it past Boyko with five seconds remaining in the period to tie the game at 1-1. Koepplinger and Daniel Gysi both collected assists on the goal.

Aurora's Jacob Holmers got the only goal of the second period at the 2:05 mark, but Lawrence tied it again early in the third.

Just 25 seconds into the third period, Drinkard fired a shot from above the left face-off circle over the shoulder of Boyko. It clanged off the pipe and into the upper corner of the net for a 2-2 tie. Gysi and Toycen picked up assists on the goal.

A scramble behind the Lawrence net led to what proved to be the game-winning goal. The teams were battling for the puck and it popped out in front of the net where it was redirected into the net by Riley Doyon to give the Spartans a 3-2 lead.

Holmers added an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left for the final margin.

Evan Cline stopped 36 shots for the Vikings, and Boyko made 22 saves for Aurora. The Vikings were 0-for-4 on the power play, and Aurora finished 1-for-5.