HANCOCK, Mi. The atmosphere was electric as the Finlandia University men’s hockey team (5-17-2, 3-14-2 NCHA) knocked off #18 Marian (16-7-1, 12-7 NCHA), Friday night at the Houghton County Arena.
Finlandia came out quick as sophomore Cory Richardson had two potential goals robbed in the first two minutes. Freshman Ben Kelsch made several great saves to keep the game deadlocked.
The Sabres got on the board first with 7:50 left in the first period. At the 4:33 mark of the second period, sophomore Tyler Watungwa knocked the puck in to tie it up. 87 seconds later, senior Blake Peavey put it past the goalie to put the Lions up 2-1.
In the third period, Hunter Vorva and Kelsch put on a clinic with amazing stop after stop. With under four minutes to go, Marian pulled the goalie. FinnU responded with an empty net goal by freshman Tyler Vanuden at the 16:37 mark.
The Sabres kept the goalie out and scored with 1:40 left to make it 3-2. Finlandia pressured Marian and did not allow a single shot the rest of the way.
On face-offs, Peavey had 17 wins and Watungwa had 16. Kelsch finished the night with 36 saves.
Finlandia closes the season, Saturday, Feb. 15 at the HOCO playing Marian (Wis.). The game is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m.