Marian University men’s hockey (9-7-0, 5-3-0 NCHA) scored more than five goals for the third time this season defeating St. Scholastica 6-3 in the opener of the NCHA Harris Cup semifinal series.
The scoring started early in this one with St. Scholastica scoring at the 1:59 mark while on the power play. The Sabres didn’t take long to respond when junior Nathan Walker scored his second goal of the season at the 3:19 mark, assists to juniors Gianni Vitali and Blaine Caton. Marian then took the lead at the 10:08 mark with a goal from sophomore Ty Enns, his ninth of the season, and assists to sophomore Brady Pupp and Caton. This gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.
The Saints once again struck early in the second period tying the game just 2:55 into the second period. Junior Parker Colley then netted his sixth goal of the season with assists to freshman Mason Richey and Walker to put Marian ahead for good at 3-2 with 8:59 left in the second. Marian was able to get a power-play goal from sophomore Blake Kleiner at the 18:51 mark of the second, assist to Vitali, which proved to be the game-winner.
Caton opened the scoring in the third period with an assist from Vitali, his third helper of the game, at the 5:30 to give the Sabres some extra cushion. A power-play goal with an extra attacker put the Saints down just two in the final minutes, but Caton was able to put the game away with his fifth goal of the year, second of the game, which came with an empty CSS net.
The two squads were tied for shots in the first and second periods, but Marian was able to outshoot the Saints 16-10 in the final period to lead for the game at 39-33. Sophomore Colby Muise (8-4-0) made double-digit saves in the first pair of periods and finished with 30 stops in the win.
Marian closes out their NCHA Harris Cup semifinal match-up against St. Scholastica tomorrow, Saturday, March 13, for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop. If the Sabres win or tie the game, they will advance to the NCHA Harris Cup championship series, but if CSS is able to earn a win there will be a mini-game immediately after.