Vikings battle to overtime tie with Marian

Lawrence hockey celebration photo
Josh Koepplinger, left, scored the game-tying goal in Lawrence's 3-3 tie with Marian.

APPLETON, Wis. -- Lawrence University scored with 14 seconds left in regulation to force overtime Friday with Marian University, and the teams battled to a 3-3 overtime tie in a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association game at the Appleton Ice Center.

The game was part of the Battle of Highway 41 series, which wraps up Saturday night at the Blue Line Ice Center. The winning team Saturday will take possession of the traveling trophy. 

Lawrence also kept its slim playoff hopes alive with the tie because Northland College downed Finlandia University. The Vikings will need to win their final three games, and Finlandia must lose its last three.

In a wild game that featured 22 penalties, Lawrence battled back from a pair of one-goal deficits in the third period. The Vikings trailed 2-1 entering the third, but Vincent Dekumbis scored on the power play at the 3:13 mark to tie it at 2-2.

Brock Weston's unassisted goal at the 8:24 mark put the Sabres back ahead, but a penalty and an extra attacker in the final minute gave the Vikings another chance. 

Marian took a high-sticking penalty with 39 seconds left, and the Vikings pulled goaltender Evan Cline. With an extra attacker on the ice, Lawrence's Josh Koepplinger scored a power-play goal off assists from Dekumbis and Cole Essig to tie the game with 14 seconds left.

Lawrence (5-15-2, 3-10-2 NCHA) went 3-for-5 on the power play, and the Sabres (10-8-4, 8-5-2) were 1-for-10.

In the five-minute overtime, Lawrence had two great chances to score, but Marian goaltender Hunter Vorva turned the Vikings away. Vorva finished with 17 saves, and Lawrence's Evan Cline stopped 32 shots.

Lawrence opened the scoring with Jake Drinkard's power-play goal with 4:14 left in the first period. Marian came back with a pair of second-period goals from Jake Howie and Nathan Walker to take a 2-1 lead into the third.