In a game filled with special teams, Marian University men’s hockey (20-6-1, 12-6-0 NCHA) defeated St. Scholastica 3-2 to earn a spot in the NCHA Harris Cup Semifinals.
Sophomore Brock Weston opened the scoring with a power play goal at the 6:21 mark of the opening period for his second goal of the game. Junior Jake Howie and fellow sophomore Conner Blanck assisted the goal to send Marian into the first intermission ahead 1-0.
The Sabres dominated the second period as they outshot the Saints 17-13. The Saints opened the period with an equalizing goal before senior Curtis Lewington scored his eighth goal of the year to break the tie at the 7:42 mark. The Lewington goal also came on a power play and he was assisted by fellow seniors Derek Thorogood and Hunter Stewart.
While the Marian penalty kill unit was on the ice, Blanck made the most of a breakaway opportunity netting his 10th goal at the 11:38 mark of the second period. His goal proved to be the game-winner after the Saints netted an extra-man goal with just 2:59 remaining in regulation.
The Sabres were outshot in the game by a slim 30-28 margin led by Blanck who had four shots on frame. Sophomore Hunter Vorva had a strong outing stopping 28 of the shots he faced.
In the faceoff circle, each team won 35 draws with MU being led by Howie who went 16-8.
Marian takes on the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between No. 2 St. Norbert and Lawrence in a winner-take-all game Saturday, Feb. 24.