MEQUON, Wis. – Marian University men’s hockey (14-6-1, 10-6-0 NCHA) clinched home ice for the opening round of the NCHA Harris Cup with a 4-1 win at Concordia Wisconsin.
Neither team found the scoresheet in the opening period but Marian was able to strike first when senior Conner Blanck lit the lamp on a breakaway for his eighth goal of the season. The goal came at the 5:34 mark with an assist to junior Anthony Orubor. The lead didn’t last long as the Falcons struck back just 11 seconds later to tie the game heading into the final period.
Both sides went back-and-forth to open the period before freshman Ty Enns lit the lamp for the eighth time this season at the 10:08 mark to put Marian ahead 2-1. Sophomores Parker Colley and Nathan Walker each had an assist. Sophomore Gianni Vitali then gave Marian breathing room with a goal at the 16:31 mark, assist to Enns and senior Brock Weston. An unassisted empty-netter from Vitali in the final minute, his 14th goal of the season, then sealed the Sabre victory.
Marian finished with a 42-37 advantage in shots led by Vitali and freshman Blake Kleiner who each had five shots. Senior Hunter Vorva (11-4-1) was dominant in goal making 36 saves to only one goal against. He also helped lead the penalty kill unit to a perfect night holding the Falcons scoreless on four power plays.
Marian opens the Battle of Highway 41 against Lawrence at home Friday, Feb. 7 with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.