Marian University men’s hockey (10-7-0, 5-3-0 NCHA) clinched a spot in the conference championship for the first time since 2011 with a 5-3 win over St. Scholastica.
The Sabres didn’t need long to open the scoring when freshman Tanner Versluis scored a short-handed goal, his second tally of the season, at the 1:49 mark. The Saints would answer, however, scoring a power-play goal at the 14:58 mark to tie the game after one period. The special-teams game continued as the Saints took their first lead of the night with another man-advantage goal of the 14:44 mark of the second. This lead didn’t last long, however, as sophomore Ty Enns lit the lamp on a power-play just 17 seconds later to tie the game at 2-2, assists to juniors Nathan Walker and Parker Colley.
Heading into the third with a 2-2 score, the Saints scored just 10 seconds into the final period to retake the lead at 3-2. Enns was able to once again provide an equalizer at the 8:51 mark with his tenth goal of the season. Sophomore Blake Kleiner and junior Gianni Vitali each had an assist on the play. Marian then took the lead for good when sophomore Brady Pupp snuck in his second goal of the season, with an assist to junior Salvatore Scalise, at the 16:37 mark. Colley put a stamp on the win with an empty-net goal at the 19:21 mark, assist to freshman Ty Mosimann.
The Saints led in shots for the game at 37-32 but sophomore Colby Muise (9-4-0) was up to the task making 34 saves on the night. From the three goals Muise allowed, two came while the Saints were on a power play.
Marian is set to host the NCHA Harris Cup championship against MSOE with times and dates for the two-game series to be announced. This is the first time Marian will host the conference championship since the 2004 season.