Is this case, a tie was just as good as a win.
Lawrence University forged a hard-fought 2-2 overtime tie on Saturday with Finlandia University, and that was enough to allow the Vikings to win this weekend’s Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinal playoff series at the Appleton Family Ice Center.
Lawrence (13-10-4) beat Finlandia (7-18-1) 5-1 on Friday night and won the series with a 1-0-1 record. Lawrence advances to the Harris Cup semifinals next Saturday, March 3, at Adrian College.
The Vikings had to rally from a pair of deficits to earn the tie.
Alex Heinonen gave Finlandia a 1-0 lead just 3:23 into the game. Lawrence then tied the game at 1-1 on Matt Hughes’ goal at the 12:33 mark of the first.
Finlandia’s Clancy MacNeil got sent off for holding at 15:40 of the first, but it was Finlandia that took advantage. Dmitry Antipin scored a short-handed goal at 16:06 to give the Lions a 2-1 edge.
The score stayed that way until the 7:34 mark of the second period. Phil Bushbacher took a faceoff for Lawrence to the right of Finlandia goalkeeper Mike Wuthrich. The draw went toward the net, and Bushbacher battled to the puck and beat Wuthrich to tie the game at 2-2.
Finlandia thought it had tied the game late in the third period, but a Lions skater had kicked the puck into the net with his skate and the goal was waived off by the referee.
The Lions had a great chance in the final minute when a shot was redirected in front of the net by Travis Armstrong, but Lawrence goaltender Peter Emery made a spectacular save with 21 seconds left to preserve the tie.
Both teams had five shots in the overtime, and Lawrence did a nice job of keeping the puck in the Finlandia zone late. The Lions were looking to pull Wuthrich to get the game-winning goal because Finlandia needed a win to force a decisive mini-game to determine who would win the series. Lawrence kept the puck in the Finlandia zone in the final minute and ran out the clock.
Emery made 30 saves for the Vikings, and Wuthrich stopped 48 shots for Finlandia.