APPLETON, Wis. — Huck Saunders’ third-period goal was the difference as Lawrence University downed Lake Forest College 2-1 in a Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association game Friday night at the Appleton Family Ice Center.

The win pulls Lawrence into a tie for with Finlandia University for second place in the MCHA’s Northern Division. The top three teams in each division advance to the playoffs. A Lawrence win on Saturday in the regular-season finale at Lake Forest would assure the Vikings of a playoff berth and home ice for the MCHA quarterfinal playoff series.

Lawrence (7-15-2, 6-11-2 MCHA) went to the third period tied at 1-1 with the Foresters (9-11-4, 6-10-3), but the Vikings got their first power-play chance of the night early in the period.

Lake Forest’s Pat Charron was whistled for tripping at 5:54, and the Vikings went on the offensive. Lake Forest killed off the penalty, but Mike Violette was called for tripping as the previous penalty was expiring.

Lawrence cashed in on the second power play when Saunders scored his third goal of the season off a rebound of Rudi Pino’s shot at 8:29. 

Lake Forest got one last chance when William Thoren was called for holding at 18:24, and the Foresters went on the power play. Lake Forest also pulled goaltender Brendan Sullivan for the final 1:23, but Lawrence’s defense didn’t allow the Foresters a good scoring chance in the final 90 seconds.

Lawrence goaltender Fabian Sivnert was outstanding in net and finished with 37 saves. Sullivan stopped 27 shots for the Foresters.

Lawrence took a 1-0 lead just 6:08 into the game when Thoren scored off assists from Brad Scurfield and Patrick Coyne. The Foresters tied it at 1-1 at the 15:35 mark of the second on Jason McAloon’s power-play goal.

Box score