Fourth-Ranked Men's Hockey Uses Quick Start to Conquer Aurora Spartans, 6-1

Sophomore Dino Balsamo factored into four of Adrian's six goals during a 6-1 victory over Aurora Saturday. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Sophomore Dino Balsamo factored into four of Adrian's six goals during a 6-1 victory over Aurora Saturday. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

 ADRIAN, Mich.--Sophomore Dino Balsamo posted a career-high four points to lead all skaters to lead nationally-ranked Adrian College to a 6-1 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association South Division men's hockey victory over visiting Aurora on Saturday afternoon.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Adrian College 6, Aurora University 1

= Location: Arrington Ice Arena; Adrian, Mich.

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs 13-4 overall, 9-1 NCHA-South; Aurora Spartans 4-9-4 overall, 3-6-1 NCHA-South

= National Rankings: Adrian--#4 USCHO.com (217 points) and #4 D3hockey.com (220) polls

TOP 'DAWGS
= Balsamo finished with two goals, two assists, a plus-4 rating, four shots on goal and he was 15-for-19 on face-offs.

= Junior Trevor Boyd scored twice and had an assist, along with plus-3 and four shots on goal.

= Sophomore Ryan Cusin chipped in three assists.

= Senior captain Mathew Thompson had two assists and won 17 of 21 face-offs.

= Senior goalie Dillon Kelley made 20 saves to improve to 5-1 on the season, matching his career high for victories.

= Junior Chase Matson (7-8) and sophomore Matt McNair (8-12) also shined on face-offs.

THE OPPOSITION
= Brendan Logan scored the Spartans' lone goal while on the power play.

= Backup goalie Josh Boyko made a game-high 29 saves in 49 minutes and 27 seconds of action.

= Liam Stirtzinger was 9-for-18 in the face-off dot.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= For the second straight game, Adrian jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period. Boyd, senior Kyle Brothers and junior defenseman Cameron Cooper scored 6:57 apart beginning at the 3:24 mark into the stanza. Brothers scored what proved to be the game-winning goal on the power-play at 6:06 on assists from senior assistant captain Taylor McCloy and Thompson.

= Kelley lost his shutout bid in the second period when Aurora took advantage of a turnover in AC's defensive end, as Logan scored at 14:23 on assists from Rudolfs Kalvitis and Lordanthony Grissom. Adrian led 4-1.

= Balsamo scored two goals during a 72-second span in the third period to put the game away for Adrian.

= Adrian dominated the face-off circle by winning 55 of 75 draws.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Adrian moves to 5-0 all-time against Aurora, outscoring the Spartans 40-6.

= The Bulldogs are outscoring opponents 21-5 during their season-high five-game winning streak.

= Kelley returned to qualifying for national statistical rankings as he is second in goals-against average (1.28), sixth in save percentage (.941) and seventh in win percentage (.833).

= The Three Stars of the Game, all from Adrian, were #1 Dino Balsamo, #2 Trevor Boyd and #3 Ryan Cusin.

= Brothers moved past Chris Stansik (33g, 102a from 2007-09,11) for sole possession of sixth place among Adrian's all-time leading scorers with 136 points.

= McCloy is now all alone atop the Bulldogs scoring column with 20 points on 11 goals and nine assists. He has 10 goals in 10 conference games.

UP NEXT
= Adrian travels to NCHA foes Milwaukee School of Engineering (Friday, 8:05 p.m. Eastern) and Concordia-Wisconsin (Saturday, 5 p.m. Eastern).

#GoldStandard #AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #GDTBAB