Marian men’s hockey sends four overseas to play professionally

December 2, 2020

Four members from the Marian University men’s hockey class of 2020 have signed professional contracts to continue their playing careers overseas.

After an illustrious career in a Sabre sweater, goalie Hunter Vorva signed to play for Marseille Hockey Club who competes in France 2.  Vorva appeared in net 78 times over his three seasons at Marian posting 48 wins, the second-highest total in program history.  He also had 1,962 saves, third in program history, eight shutouts, tied for tops in program history.  His 2.00 goals-against average was the second-highest in Marian history over a career, while his .928 save percentage was the highest of any goalie in Marian history.

The 2018-19 season was a historic campaign for Vorva that saw him become the first goalie in program history to be named an All-American.  He would also be named the NCHA Player of the Year becoming the fifth Sabre in program history to earn the honor.  Vorva had the seventh-best save percentage in the nation that year at .937 and his 1.84 goals-against average was the 13th lowest total in the country.  In the Sabre record books, his 13 wins were the fourth-most in a single season and his 696 saves were the second-most in a single season in program history.

Vorva was also an integral part of the 2017-18 season that saw the Sabres reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history.  Vorva would go 20-8-1 setting a program record for wins in a single season and earned NCHA player of the week honors three times.  He also posted a 1.93 goals-against average in that first season with Marian to go with a .924 save percentage and 673 saves.  His four shutouts were also the second-highest amount for a goalie in a single season in program history.

“I couldn’t be prouder for Hunter seeing him fulfill his dream of playing overseas,” commented Marian men’s hockey head coach Zach Gaynor. “He made such an impact on our program and his personality was contagious. Hunter’s personal accomplishments of being an all-conference player, conference player of the year, and an All-American solidify his legacy as a Sabre. We will truly miss ‘The Big Cat’ and I am so excited to go from being his coach to now following his pro career for years to come.”

Davis Ross joins Vorva in France competing for Morzine-Avoriaz as part of France 3.  Ross, D. spent his final season at Marian and led the Marian defenseman in scoring playing in 28 games with three goals and 19 assists for a total of 22 points.  His 19 assists were the fourth-most assists in a single season by a defenseman in program history.  Two of his goals were power play scores and he also scored the game-winner against Bethel to open the Superior Showdown.  Ross, D. also left his mark in the record books after a five-point game against MSOE on Jan. 18.  The five points in a single game were the most by a defenseman in a single game in program history and came from a goal and four assists.  The four-assist performance was only the fourth time in program history a defenseman has recorded four assists in a single game.

“Davis made his mark on our program immediately,” commented Gaynor.  “From the moment he came to Marian he commanded the ice and made his presence felt. Our special teams took a major step forward last season and Davis was a big reason for this improvement. His high hockey IQ, skating ability, and stick skills allowed him to lead all defensemen on our team in points. Davis was an outstanding teammate and a great leader. I will miss Davis’s work ethic, high compete level, and infectious personality. I know his future is very bright and he will be a better pro player than he was in college.”

Nolan Ross heads overseas with his brother but has signed with Ockelbo of the Sweden 3 division.  Ross, N. closed out his collegiate career playing his final season at Marian playing in 24 games with five goals and seven assists for 12 points.  He had three scores on the power play and posted four multi-point games on the season.  His top game of the season came during the NCHA Harris Cup where he posted a multi-goal game in a must-win game two against St. Scholastica in the opening round of the playoffs.  The Sabres would go on to defeat the Saints in overtime of a mini-game and advance in the NCHA Harris Cup playoffs following his game two heroics.

“Nolan’s work ethic is second to none and I never once saw him take a practice off or play a game at any less than his very best,” commented Gaynor.  “Nolan competed every day and worked for everything that he has ever had and never took a day for granted. Pound-for-pound, he was the hardest on pucks of any player I have ever coached. Nolan was a staple on the PK and set the standard for all special teams players because of his takeaway skills and high hockey IQ. I wish I could have coached him for three more years. I am so excited to watch him climb the pro ranks.”

Brett Radford also joins Ross, N. with Ockelbo of the Sweden 3 division.  Radford would also only play one season in a Sabre sweater but played a big role in finding his way onto the ice for all 28 games scoring nine goals with four assists for a total of 13 points.  He would prove to have clutch goals as he scored three times on the power play and scored game-winners against MSOE at home and on the road at Lawrence.  Radford also posted a multi-point game in that victory at Lawrence and opened the second half of the season with a six-game point streak.

“I am so proud of Brett and he is absolutely deserving of this opportunity,” commented Gaynor.  “Brett, a senior transfer, made his presence felt from day one and I am so glad he came to Marian for his last year of college hockey. Brett was such a talent and his smile and witty personality will truly be missed. It has been exciting to follow his pro career and to watch him lead his team in points as a first-year player. Brett will have the ability to climb the ranks and play pro hockey for many years to come and I look forward to following his career.”

Marian University men’s hockey has now sent seven players to the professional ranks in the past two years.