Berger Leads Marian to 3-2 Win Over Finlandia

HANCOCK, Mich. (SabreAthletics.com) – Sophomore forward Brian Berger scored twice and led the Marian University men's hockey team to a 3-2 victory over host Finlandia University inside the Houghton County Arena, this evening, Jan. 25.

Berger put the Sabres on the board and broke a scoreless tie with just over five minutes remaining in the second period. He then tallied the game-winner midway through the third to lead Marian to a game one victory. Josh Baker made 21 saves in net for the Sabres.

Marian improved to 8-9-1 overall, 7-6-0 in MCHA play with the win. Meanwhile, Finlandia dropped its 12th straight to fall to 3-15-0 (3-10-0 MCHA) with the loss.

After a scoreless first period, Berger took advantage of a rare short-handed opportunity and deposited into the back of the net past the Finlandia goalie to put Marian up 1-0. Tyler Klein was credited with the Sabre assist.

Late in the period, the Lions evened the score when Mike Montrose scored with just 3:23 remaining before the second intermission.

At the 8:29 mark of the third period, senior captain Dakota Dubetz registered his third goal of the season on assists by Brendan Roberts and Mitch Kriz.

Then, with 9:30 left in regulation, Dubetz and Roberts assisted on Berger's game-winner. It was Berger's sixth goal of the season, which ranks second on the Sabres only to Tyler Klein's team-leading nine. His two points put him one point ahead of Klein for the team lead in points with 15.

Finlandia's Cody Essel added his third goal of the year on a power play at the 16:49 mark, but it was too little too late as the Sabres held on despite a desperation attempt during the final 28 seconds when FU pulled its goalie.

The Lions finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Sabres went 0-2. Marian outshot Finlandia 27-23 in the winning effort.

Both teams will close out the series with a 3 p.m. central time start tomorrow.