FOND DU LAC, Wis. – The Marian University men's hockey seniors shined bright in a Senior Night victory and home finale over visiting Concordia University Wisconsin, 4-3, inside Sadoff Gymnasium, this evening, Feb. 15.
Seniors Dakota Dubetz, Mitch Kriz, Andy Kuechler and Brendan Roberts all played a role in the come-from-behind win, led by Kuechler's two goals. The Lomira native found the net and gave the Sabres the lead just 32 seconds into the game and then tied the game in the second period.
Roberts then gave Marian a 3-2 lead just before the second intermission before sophomore Brian Berger broke a 3-3 tie with the game-winner, leaving just 9:15 remaining and handing the Falcons and Head Coach Jasen Wise a loss in his return to Marian.
Concordia entered the game with a slim chance at a playoff spot, needing two wins with two Lake Forest losses as well. Lake Forest did just that with a setback at Lawrence tonight, but the Sabres ended all hopes of a miraculous playoff berth with a win tonight.
Marian improved to 13-10-1 overall, 12-7-0 in the MCHA after its fifth straight win under first-year Head Coach A.J. Aitken. Meanwhile, Concordia fell for the ninth straight time, dropping to 6-18-0 (6-13-0 MCHA).
Kuechler's goal that electrified the crowd came on a sweeping move from left-to-right to squirt the puck past CUW goalie, Jake Hebda.
The Falcons excelled on the power play all night, converting three of their six chances. After going scoreless on the first opportunity, Devin Stuermer made the most of the next, tying the game with 8:34 remaining in the first period and that's how it would stay into the first intermission.
Dan Shilts gave Concordia a 2-1 advantage just 1:45 into the second period with another power play goal, but the lead was short-lived.
Kuechler then lit the lamp once more, scoring his fourth of the year at the 9:50 mark onTanner Burton's second assist of the game.
Tied at 2-2, Roberts put the Sabres back in front with just 3:04 left in the second period asAaron Leonard assisted on the go-ahead score.
CUW's Kevin Michaelcavage tied the game again at the 2:35 mark of the third period, breaking through Marian goalie, Josh Baker, who had made several spectacular saves all night.
Baker's teammates would put the pressure on his counterpart before Berger finally hammered one home at the 10:45 mark. Dubetz came streaking with the puck through the middle of the zone, putting one on net that Hebda could not corral. Berger was there to then put away the rebound and eventually give Marian fifth straight win.
Both teams will play the regular season finale tomorrow night in Mequon. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.