ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – The Marian University men's hockey team took an early lead on two-time defending national champion and host St. Norbert College on day one of the MCHA/NCHA Thanksgiving tournament, but in the end, it was three unanswered Green Knight goals that proved to be the outcome at Cornerstone Community Center, tonight, Nov. 23.
Tyler Klein scored to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead at the first intermission, but St. Norbert got two in the second period and added an insurance goal in the third for the 3-1 victory at home. The Sabres will take on St. Scholastica in the early game at 3:30 p.m., while the Green Knights will host Lawrence at 7 p.m. to conclude the tournament.
St. Norbert improved to 7-2-1 with the win, while Marian fell to 4-4-1 with the loss.
An evenly played first period boiled down to a Marian power play with just under three minutes left and the Sabres would convert. The junior, Klein, broke free of his defender and followed up his initial shot to put home the rebound, giving Marian a 1-0 lead. Brian Berger and Matt Berger were credited with assists on the score.
Over its first seven games, the Green Knights had turned aside all 24 power play attempts by opponents, but the Sabres were able to break through for the early lead despite being outshot in the opening period, 14-10.
At the 5:40 mark of the second period, Tyler Zepeda tied the game with a breakaway tally, sneaking one past the stick side of Josh Baker for his fourth goal of the year thanks to assists by Sam Higgins and Zach McDonald.
At the 9:31 mark, Joe Perry gave the Green Knights a 2-1 lead after Kyle Stroh and Reid Campbell were able to set the play up for the eventual game-winner.
The Green Knights added an insurance goal 8:09 into the third period when Stroh cleaned up the rebound on Marian Fiala's shot. Perry was also given an assist on the play.
St. Norbert outshot the Sabres 41-23 in the game, including 13-3 in the two-goal second period that made the difference. SNC's David Jacobson made 22 saves in earning the win, while Baker made a season-high 38 in the loss.
Both teams had three penalties adding up to six minutes. Marian was 1-for-3 on the power play and was able to kill all three power play tries for the Green Knights.
The Sabres will take on St. Scholastica at 3:30 p.m. Saturday to conclude the MCHA/NCHA Thanksgiving tournament.