Lawrence scored four times in the third period, advancing to the title game of the 20th Annual PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut, as the Vikings doubled up Middlebury 6-3 Friday night in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers (0-3-0) face defending national champion Norwich in the consolation game Saturday at 4:00 p.m., while Lawrence (3-4-0) battles Plattsburgh State in the championship at 7:00 p.m. The Cardinals skated past the Cadets 4-1 in the other semifinal.
The hosts jumped out to an early lead, scoring 3:32 into the contest. Owen Powers won a faceoff in the Lawrence zone back to Ryan Ashe, before Michael Fahie redirected the shot from the point for his first career goal. The Vikings tied the game just under three minutes later when Zach Briscoe tucked in a pass from Austin Frank. Middlebury regained the lead at 2-1, as Fahie set up Kamil Tkaczuk in the slot, who ripped a shot off the left post and into the net when the teams were skating four-on-four.
In the middle frame, the teams traded power plays in the early going with neither side able to get on the scoreboard. Lawrence knotted the score at 2-2 at the 8:59 mark of the stanza when Tomas Vesely jumped on a turnover and fed Matt Beranek for a one-timer from the right circle.
Seconds into the third period, the Vikings had three minutes of power-play time, but the Panthers had the best scoring chance. Alex Heinritz had a shorthanded breakaway, but Lawrence goalie Evan Cline used his left pad to deny the scoring bid 2:38 into the stanza. Less than a minute after Middlebury successful killed off the penalty time, the Vikings got an unassisted goal from the slot by Jack Roeper for a 3-2 lead.
The hosts battled back to tie the score with 11:09 on the clock on Powers' first goal as a Panther. The Vikings netted the go-ahead goal minutes later when Nick Felan tapped in Lane King's shot that bounced off the end boards behind the Middlebury net. Josh Koepplinger made it a 5-3 contest with 2:55 left in the game and King added an empty-net goal with more than a minute left for the 6-3 final.
Stephen Klein finished with 30 saves for the Panthers, while Cline made 24 stops for the visitors. Lawrence held a 36-27 advantage in shots and each team went 0-4 on the power play.