Marian’s fortunes are on an upward trajectory, having posted a school-best record last season that earned Jasen Wise MCHA Coach of the Year honors.
The Sabres’ goal is to parlay that short-term success into some post-season revelry. Last season’s 3-2 loss to Adrian in the MCHA championship tilt underscored the frustration of toppling the league’s juggernaut. The Sabres held a one-goal advantage going into the final period, only to see the Bulldogs tie the contest during a two-man advantage and then score the game-winner with 44 seconds left.
The rivals meet Nov. 5-6 for a crucial two-game set in Adrian.
“A team goal of ours is to compete for the conference title,” Wise said. “We have the experience and skill to do so, but it will be up to our guys to work hard every shift of every period of every game.”
A solid cast from last year’s record-setting squad returns, most notably All-MCHA selections Brendan Hull and Dakota Dubetz.
Hull posted a team-leading 21 goals and 21 assists for 37 points while Dubetz led the MCHA in power-play points with 16 on seven goals and nine assists. Dubetz’ fabulous freshman campaign concluded with 16 goals and 20 points for 36 points. Fellow sophomore Brendan Roberts, who tallied eight goals and 13 assists last term, joins Hull and Dubetz on the top line.
Senior Todd Collins, who scored 13 goals and added seven assists last season, returns to center the second line with Lane Boswell and Chris Thompson.
Defensively, the Sabres return four players, including All-MCHA selection Nathan Brummitt, who had six goals and 17 assists last season.
Alex Bjerk, who earned All-MCHA honors with a sterling 3.13 goals-against and a .903 save-percentage as a freshman, is the incumbent in net.
“Our veterans came back in great shape and our newcomers have added size, speed, and skill to our team,” Wise says.