FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's hockey team pulled out its most resilient win of the 2012-13 season after coming from behind to score twice in the third period to defeat Lawrence University, 3-2, in the first leg of the Battle for 41 Trophy, this evening, Nov. 15.
Lucas Mertz and Ashton Reinboldt tallied two quick scores early in the third period to erase a one goal deficit and give Marian a 3-2 lead, one which it would not relinquish. Aaron Leonard gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead late in the first period, but the Vikings tied it with a power-play goal before the first intermission and then took a one goal lead just before the six-minute mark in the second period.
Marian netminder Josh Baker shutout the Vikings for the final 34-plus minutes of action, making 33 saves to earn his second win of the season.
Marian improves to 3-3-1 overall, 3-2 in the MCHA with the win, while Lawrence falls to 2-3-0 (2-3-0 MCHA) with the loss. All three conference losses for the Vikings have been by 3-2 scores.
All three Marian goals came right on the doorstep with Leonard's providing an immediate spark at the 17:39 mark in the first. Tyler Klein assisted on the goal that just snuck past the Lawrence goaltender, Peter Emery. It was Leonard's second goal of the season and first since the season opener against UW-Stout, which forced a 3-3 tie back on Oct. 20.
The Vikings' Phil Bushbacher tallied his third goal on a power-play attempt with just 23 seconds remaining in the first period, converting a Reinboldt tripping penalty.
Lawrence found the go-ahead goal just 5:54 into the second period when Brad Scurfield put home his fifth goal of the year. It highlighted a period for the Vikings that saw 11 combined penalties, including four in the final 29 seconds.
The Sabres came out in the third period on the attack, challenging Emery early and often. Mertz finally broke through with his first goal of the season at the 4:13 mark on assists from Kyle L'Arrivee and Reinboldt to tie the game.
The Marian defense locked up Lawrence down the stretch, while Baker made all 11 saves in the period to secure the win.
The Sabres and Vikings will do it again tomorrow night, Nov. 16, to wrap up the first home-and-home series of the season. Last year, the two teams played to a 2-2 tie in Appleton. Friday's game is slated for a 7 p.m. start.