Special Teams Looms Large as No. 8 Men's Hockey Gains Split at Marian

Trevor Coykendall moves the puck with teammate Vinny Post joining the rush. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Trevor Coykendall moves the puck with teammate Vinny Post joining the rush. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

FOND DU LUC, Wis.--Senior Dino Balsamo scored a hat trick, including both of the Bulldogs' two power play goals, and senior Matt McNair and sophomore Andrew Bellant both contributed two assists, to propel the Adrian College men's hockey team to a 5-4 win Saturday over Northern Collegiate Hockey Association foe Marian.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Adrian College 5, Marian University (Wisconsin) 4

= Location: Blue Line Family Ice Center; Appleton, Wis.

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs, 2-1-1 overall (1-1 NCHA South Division); Marian Sabres 2-1 overall (1-1 NCHA North Division)

= National Rankings: Adrian--No. 8 United States College Hockey Online (171 points); Marian--"receiving votes" by USCHO.com with 12 points

TOP 'DAWGS
= Sophomore Rex Moe also enjoyed a multi-point game with a goal and an assist.

= Freshman goalie Nic Tallarico made 24 saves in his collegiate debut.

= Balsamo finished with a game-high seven shots on goal and led all student-athletes with 16 face-off wins in 27 draws.

THE OPPOSITION
= Ty Enns and Blaine Caton led the Sabres offense with a goal and an assist each. Caton was 13-for-17 in the face-off circle.

= Parker Colley added 7-for-13 on face-offs.

= The Bulldogs got to All-America goaltender Hunter Vorva--who made 21 saves--for four goals.

HOW IT HAPPENED 
= Moe scored what proved to be the game-winning goal midway through the third period when he took a feed from sophomore Grant Baetsen. Classmate Andrew McCann joined Baetsen in getting his first assist of the season to help the Bulldogs take a 5-2 lead.

= Marian made things interesting by scoring two goals in the final 6 minutes and 16 seconds to pull within 5-4. Daylan Marchi found the back of the net 3:40 after Moe scored the game-winner and Caton scored with 33 seconds remaining as Marian had an extra attacker after pulling Vorva.

= But Adrian preserved the victory by getting two face-off wins and not allowing a shot on goal after Caton's tally.

= Enns gave Marian a 1-0 lead at 5:21 of the first period before freshman Alessio Luciani tied it for Adrian at 13:31.

= Adrian won the second period 2-1 to go up 3-2 after 40 minutes. Balsamo scored his first two goals of the afternoon at 1:14 and 10:43. Marian's Nathan Walker scored a goal at 18:53.

= Balsamo began the third period to complete his hat-trick 49 seconds into the stanza and for a 4-2 advantage.

= On the power play, Adrian was 2-for-5 while Marian was 0-for-4.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Adrian improves to 26-4-2 lifetime against Marian, including 11-2-2 on the Sabres' home-ice.

= Balsamo takes over the NCHA goal-scoring lead with six. He also leads the Bulldogs with eight points.

= Adrian's power play unit rises to No. 9 in the nation at 31.8 percent, or 7-for-22. 

= Bellant tops AC with six assists after transferring from NCAA Division I Michigan Tech prior to this season. 

UP NEXT
= Adrian returns to the friendly confines of Arrington Ice Arena next weekend for its home-opening series against NCHA foe Finlandia University. Friday's game for 7:05 p.m., followed by Saturday's at 3:05 p.m. 

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