HANCOCK, Mich. – Marian University men’s hockey (16-7-1, 12-7-0 NCHA) was beaten by an NCHA North opponent for the first time this season falling to Finlandia 3-2.
Marian was able to open the scoring at the 12:10 mark of the opening period when sophomore Gianni Vitali scored his 16th goal of the season with assists to sophomores Parker Colley and Troy Ring. The goal was part of a first period where Marian outshot Finlandia 12-8.
The second period saw Marian outshoot the Lions 16-5 but Finlandia was able to convert two of their shots into goals to take a 2-1 lead after two periods. The Lions extended their goal out to 3-1 with an empty-net goal while on the penalty kill with just 3:23 left to play. Junior Anthony Orubor scored his third goal of the year just 1:43 left to put Marian down one with 1:40 left to play, assists to seniors Conner Blanck and Clay Cross, but the Sabres were unable to find an equalizer.
The Sabres finished with a 38-23 advantage in shots with senior Hunter Vorva (13-5-1) making 20 saves on the night.
Marian closes out their series at Finlandia tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 15, for a 3 p.m. (CST) puck drop.
Despite the loss, Marian was able to clinch the top spot in the North Division with a 3-1 Lawrence victory over No. 14 St. Norbert. The Viking win also set St. Scholastica as the opponent for Marian in the NCHA Harris Cup quarterfinals.