For the second time in program history, No. 4 Marian University ACHA hockey (27-3-2, 15-0-1 NCHL) earned the Hap Cup after defeating Robert Morris 6-0 in the semifinals and Aurora 3-2 in the championship game.
The Sabres started slow in their Hap Cup opener against Robert Morris but were able to pull away from the Eagles late. Connor Martin scored the lone goal of the opening period with an assist to Paul Kinder, which proved to be the game-winner, with 3:33 left in the period.
Kinder then found the back of the net while on the power play to open the scoring of the second period with an assist to Dan Roe. Bryton Tomko was able to score in the final seconds of the second period to give the Sabres a 3-0 lead into the final period.
Marian was able to put the game away with a pair of goals in the final minute from Kirill Proskurin and Dan Liberko.
Justin Davidson was able to open his Hap Cup on a strong note posting the shutout in goal for the Sabres.
The Sabres then faced No. 9 Aurora for a second straight year in the championship game and once again were able to bounce back after a slow start. The Spartans would take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission after finding the back of the net on the power play.
Marian would be given a big opportunity in the second period after a five-minute major was called on the Spartans, and the Sabres were able to take advantage tying the game. Kinder was able to light the lamp with an assist to Brandon Mills and Roe.
The Sabres then took their first lead of the game shortly after when Miles Giorgione was able to light the lamp with an assist to Jarod Lang. This gave Marian a 2-1 lead headed into the final period of action.
Nikita Sokov was able to dangle around the Aurora goalie on a breakaway to cushion the Sabre lead in the third period, assist to Tomko. The Spartans answered with their second power play goal of the game shortly after, but Davidson stood on his head for the remainder to preserve the victory.
Marian will head to the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. for the ACHA regional tournament Saturday, March 2. The Sabres will play their opening game at 4 p.m. with their opponent to be determined based on the results from the night prior.