Sabre men's hockey drops Harris Cup quarterfinals opener 2-1

Conner Blanck wraps the puck around.

FOND DU LAC - Marian University men's hockey (13-9-4, 11-5-2 NCHA) made a late push but fell to Northland 2-1 in their NCHA Harris Cup quarterfinals opener.

The LumberJacks would take a 2-0 lead after two periods netting a first period goal at the 15:30 mark and then a power play tally at the 4:33 mark of the second period.  The Sabres would hold a 27-22 advantage in shots after two periods despite the deficit.

Marian finally was able to break through with 27 seconds remaining in the game with an extra attacker.  Freshman Yuri Chernichko scored the goal, his seventh of the season, with assists from juniors Clay Cross and Conner Blanck.

The third period was a defensive battle with Marian outshooting Northland 8-4 to close out the game with a 35-26 advantage.  Junior Hunter Vorva (12-8-4) made 24 saves in the game.

On special teams, Marian was scoreless on a pair of power plays with the penalty kill allowing one goal on three Northland power play opportunities.

Marian and Northland close out their NCHA Harris Cup quarterfinals series tomorrow, Saturday, February 16 at 4 p.m.  The Sabres will need a win to force a mini-game immediately following game two.