FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Marian University men's hockey (8-7-1, 6-5-0 NCHA) defeated Concordia Wisconsin 2-1 to open a home-and-home series.
In an anticipated defensive struggle, the Sabres were able to take the early lead on their first power play opportunity. Senior Derek Perl hid behind a flurry of players at the point and sent one to the net that CUW goalie Jack Romanuik couldn't spot to put the Sabres up 1-0. The goal was number three on the year for Perl who was assisted by sophomore Gianni Mangone and junior Hunter Stewart.
The Falcons finished the period with a 13-6 shot advantage but couldn't light the lamp and MU would head to the locker rooms with their 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
CUW answered at the 6:35 with an even-strength goal to knot the game up at 1-1, but 1:26 later MU responded to take the lead for good. Sophomore Jake Howie was able to force a turnover and skated to the left circle where he sent a shot. Fellow sophomore Nick Monfils was able to control the rebound and sneak the puck five-hole for his sixth goal of the season.
The remainder of the game was a defensive battle with neither goaltender budging but in the end the Marian defense was able to hold off an extra attacker for the final 1:29 to seal the 2-1 victory.
Howie led the offense with a game-high six shots, while freshman Lawson MacDonald went 10-14 from the faceoff circle.
Senior Mike Baldwin stood on his head to improve to 7-4-1 on the year making 30 saves in the win.
Marian and Concordia Wisconsin close out the home-and-home series tomorrow, Saturday, January 14, at Ozaukee Ice Arena in Mequon, Wis. for a 7 p.m. puck drop.