FOND DU LAC, Wis. -- Lawrence University dropped a tight 3-1 decision to Marian University on Friday in a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association game at the Blue Line Ice Center.
In the Battle of Highway 41 series, Lawrence needs a win on Saturday to force a shootout to determine who gets possession of the traveling trophy.
A short-handed goal early in the second period gave Marian (15-6-1, 11-6-0 NCHA) the lead, and the Sabres added a goal midway through the third for the final margin.
Lawrence (5-15-2, 4-11-2 NCHA) jumped on top with a goal midway through the opening period. Charles Stewart scored off assists from Matt Meininger and Stephen Zabrowski at the 10:18 mark for a 1-0 edge.
Marian tied it just 1:10 later and the score was 1-1 after the first.
The Sabres' Parker Colley was sent off for tripping early in the second period, but Marian's Gianni Vitali scored a short-handed goal at the 2:54 mark for a 2-1 lead. Ty Enns added a power-play goal at 10:15 of the third for a 3-1 edge.
Lawrence pulled goaltender Evan Cline for the final 49 seconds but could draw no closer.
Cline stopped 41 shots for the Vikings, and Hunter Vorva made 25 saves for Marian.
The teams finish the series Saturday night at the Appleton Ice Center.