APPLETON, Wis. — Lawrence University pulled away in the third period and got some superb defensive work to post a 3-0 win over Northland College in the opener of a Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinal playoff series on Friday at the Appleton Family Ice Center.

Lawrence (8-15-3) needs a win or a tie to clinch the series on Saturday afternoon and advance to the Harris Cup semifinals next weekend.

Freshman goaltender Fabian Sivnert picked up his first career shutout for the Vikings. Sivnert stopped 25 shots and made several spectacular saves to push his unbeaten streak to three games.

Lawrence got on the board midway through the first period when Renato Engler scored on a breakaway for a 1-0 lead at the 9:06 mark.

The score stayed that way until the third period, but the Vikings had to do some serious work on the penalty kill in the final period. Northland (9-16-1) was on the power play after Engler received a five-minute facemasking penalty, but Lawrence’s Erik Soderlund was later whistled for holding during that power play.

Northland had a two-man advantage for a full two minutes, but Lawrence killed off the Soderlund penalty. While Engler was still in the box, Rudi Pino got a breakaway for Lawrence and beat Northland goaltender Mason Riley for a short-handed goal at the 6:45 mark.

It was Pino’s second short-hander of the season and gave the Vikings a 2-0 edge. The Vikings then sealed the victory with Patrick Coyne’s goal at the 15:46 mark.

Riley stopped 45 shots for Northland.

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