Marian University men’s hockey (16-6-1, 10-6-0 NCHA) clinched a berth into the NCHA Harris Cup Playoffs with a 5-1 win over Lawrence.
The Sabres were outshot by the Vikings in the opening period 8-6 but half of those Sabre shots found the back of the net as Marian led 3-0 after the first period. Senior Braden Crone opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the year at the 9:17 mark of the period, assist to sophomore Chris Deprez, to open the scoring. Junior James Mathias then lit the lamp at the 15:08 mark, assists to seniors Cole McCaig and Curtis Lewington, for his first goal of the season. Just 1:48 later, junior Jake Howie found the back of the net for the seventh time this year with assists to sophomores Clay Cross and Brock Weston.
Marian continued to control play in the second period outshooting the Vikings 16-8. Senior Gianni Mangone lit the lamp for the seventh time this season just 1:03 into the period, assists to junior Nick Monfils and Cross, before Lewington tipped in a power play goal in front of the net, assists to seniors Hunter Stewart and Derek Thorogood, to give MU a 5-0 lead heading into the third.
The Vikings tallied their lone tally in the final stanza but the Sabres were able to hold on for the 5-1 final.
The Sabres finished with a 31-25 advantage in shots led by Stewart who had a game-high five shots on frame. In the faceoff circle, Thorogood finished 7-3 on the night, while Howie went 11-7 and Deprez went 5-2.
In goal, sophomore Hunter Vorva tied a Marian single-season record for wins in a season stopping 24 of the 25 shots he faced. He also helped lead the Marian penalty kill, which held Lawrence scoreless on six opportunities.
All six Sabre seniors would record at least one point as they were honored during pregame for playing in their final home game of the regular season.
Marian hits the road for the final weekend of the regular season traveling to St. Scholastica for a 7 p.m. puck drop Friday, Feb. 9.