Marian University men’s hockey (7-3-0, 4-3-0 NCHA) won their fifth straight game defeating Aurora 2-1 in overtime to open their final NCHA series of the first half.
The first period was quiet with neither team finding the back of the net and Marian holding an early 17-9 advantage in shots. The Sabre penalty kill highlighted the penalty with a 5-on-3 kill to keep things scoreless.
The Sabres were then able to strike first when freshman Daylan Marchi helped the Sabres take advantage of an Aurora double-minor. Marchi would light the lamp from the left circle for his second score of the year with assists from junior Dylan Hutton and sophomore Yuri Chernichko. Marian dominated the period outshooting the Spartans 17-9.
The Marian penalty kill had a busy third period spending 7:47 of the period on the ice. Marian was able to fend off a minor and major penalty in the first 12 minutes of the period before Aurora converted on the power play with 4:11 left in regulation. Aurora finished the period with a 14-5 advantage in shots.
The extra period saw Aurora jump out fast using their momentum from the end of the third period. Sophomore Gianni Vitali was able to send the Sabre fans home happy, however, when he caused a turnover in the slot and snuck a shot through the five-hole of the Spartan goalie for the overtime winner. The goal was number five on the season for Vitali.
The Sabres finished with a slim 34-33 advantage in shots with Vitali, seniors Conner Blanck and Clay Cross, and freshman Ty Enns all recording four shots. Senior Hunter Vorva (5-2-0) stood on his head once again only allowing one goal with 32 saves. Vorva had 13 saves come in the third period and stopped all four shots he faced in overtime.
The Marian special teams went 6-10 on the night with the penalty kill holding Aurora to one goal on six chances, while the power play scored once on four opportunities.
Marian closes out their series with Aurora on the road tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 7, for a 7 p.m. puck drop.