SUPERIOR, Wis. – For the second time in three years, Marian University men’s hockey (8-4-1, 4-4-0 NCHA) won the Superior Showdown championship game winning in a shootout after skating to a 4-4 tie against UW-Superior.
Marian was able to get out to a strong start when senior Brett Radford scored his fourth goal of the season at the 10:30 mark of the first with assists from senior Chris Deprez and freshman Brady Pupp. The Sabres then scored at the 16:58 mark when freshman Blake Kleiner scored his first-career goal. He was assisted by sophomores Troy Ring and Gianni Vitali.
UW-Superior then tied the game scoring with just 58 seconds remaining in the first period and 36 seconds into the second period. Marian reestablished a two-goal lead with back-to-back unassisted goals that were separated by only seven seconds.
Sophomore Yuri Chernichko scored the first goal for his third tally of the year before senior Nolan Ross scored his first goal as a Sabre. The Yellow Jackets wouldn’t go away quietly scoring short-handed with 3:56 left in the second to put the score at 4-3 heading into the third.
The final period of regulation was quiet before four penalties were called in a span of 2:29 inside the final five minutes. UW-Superior found the tying goal with just 47.1 seconds remaining while on a 4-on-3 power play and with an empty net leading to a 5-on-3 situation.
Each team recorded one shot in overtime but neither squad was able to find the back of the net. The tie then led to a shootout where Marian was able to tally the lone goal when Vitali lit the lamp on the second Sabre attempt. Junior Hunter Vorva would stop all three shots he faced to complete the shootout victory.
Marian was outshot 45-30 in the defeat with senior Clay Cross recording a team-high five shots. Vorva (6-3-1) finished with 41 saves making 20 of his stops in the second period.
Marian returns home to take on St. Scholastica in an NCHA series January 10-11.