Tanner Barnes' goal with :09 left in regulation capped a wild third period and lifted the host Tommies to a 4-3 win over Hamline and into first place in the MIAC Friday night in Mendota Heights.
Four different players scored for the Tommies (15-8-1 overall, 10-4-1 MIAC). Gavin Payne and Jake Ahlgren scored the Toms' first two goals. Johnny Panvica scored in the first minute of the third to put UST ahead 3-1.
The Pipers climbed back to 3-2 then tied the game on Jaycob McCombs' extra-attacker chance with 52 seconds left in regulation. With overtime looming, Barnes' goal gave the Tommiess the win and let him finish with a three-point night.
UST's Benjamin Myers stopped 24 shots and helped kill off all seven Hamline power-play tries.
The St. Thomas win and Gustavus' 2-1 home defeat of St. John's knocked the Johnnies out of first place and into a tie for second place with Augsburg with 30 points. UST climbed to 31.
The Toms and Pipers play again Saturday with a game in downtown St. Paul at the new Tria rink (7 p.m.), while Augsburg plays again at Concordia, and Gustavus visits St. John's. Wins are worth three points and ties either two or one depending on the shootout results.
The Toms can win a solo MIAC crown with a Saturday victory, or with at least a share of the title with a tie and shootout win.