FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – Tyler Klein's second goal of the night came with just 8.5 seconds remaining in regulation and gave the Marian University men's hockey team a thrilling, 3-2, victory over MCHA rival Lawrence University, while reclaiming the Battle of 41 trophy in the process, this evening, Feb. 2.
Klein scored the game-tying and game-winning goals as the Sabres separated themselves from the rest of the pack in the MCHA North Division, increasing their first place lead from four points to six with the victory over Lawrence. Brian Berger scored Marian's first goal of the game at the 6:14 mark in the third to kick start a sputtering offense.
Marian improved to 10-10-1 overall, 9-7 in the MCHA with the win. Meanwhile, Lawrence fell to 6-13-2 (5-9-2 MCHA) with the loss.
Lawrence's Logan Lemirande scored the game's first goal just 1:18 into the game to put his team on top and the lead would hold through the first period.
In the second period, Ryan Rumble found the net after taking a sloppy puck transfer from the Marian zone and beat Josh Baker over his right shoulder to make the score 2-0 after two periods of play. Huck Saunders and Lemirande were credited with assists.
Brian Berger's goal 6:14 into the third cut the Sabre deficit in half. The sophomore redirected a shot from his older brother Matt Berger and past the Lawrence goalie Fabian Sivnert, who had been a stone wall up until that point. Thomas Nosella also received an assist on the power play score.
Just a minute and 38 seconds later, Klein went on a breakaway and tied the game to send the Marian crowd into a frenzy. Dakota Dubetz and Matt Berger were credited with assists.
With just 19 seconds remaining in regulation, Lawrence's Rudi Pino was called for hooking as Aaron Leonard tried to weave his way through the Viking defense for a go-ahead opportunity.
Then, with 8.5 seconds left in the game, Klein scored his team-leading 12th goal of the year on a nifty feed from Dubetz.
The Sabres' power play had struggled all season long going into the game, ranking last in the MCHA after converting less than 10 percent of their chances. But tonight, Marian was 2-for-5 on the power play en route to a season series sweep of the Vikings.
The Sabres will next travel to Northland College for a two-game series in Ashland. Marian took the first two games of the season series that was played in Fond du Lac. Northland currently sits tied for second with Lawrence with 12 points in the division, six behind Marian with four games remaining in the regular season.
The LumberJacks and Sabres will drop the puck this Friday, Feb. 8, at 7:05 p.m. followed by a 3:05 p.m. start Saturday, Feb. 9.