Weekend Wrap: D-III West

Brandon Marinelli starts a breakout as goalie Cameron Gray looks on. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

Adrian made quite a statement over the weekend, stunning red-hot Lake Forest in a series sweep while Marian is assured of home ice in the opening round of the Harris Cup after taking care of business against Concordia.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire rolled over another WIAC foe and Wisconsin-Stevens Point kept its hot streak intact. Over in the MIAC, Concordia is surging at the right time of the year and Saint John’s strengthened its hopes of a MIAC tournament berth.

Here are the top storylines from the weekend

Bulldogs cool off Foresters

In a showdown of nationally ranked teams, No. 13 Adrian got the best of sixth-ranked Lake Forest, which came into the matchup riding an 11-game winning streak.

Adrian won the opener 4-1 on Friday night and then went to overtime to edge the Foresters 5-4 on Saturday for a hard-fought series sweep.

The game-winning goal on Saturday was delivered by Zachary Heintz, a freshman who punched in his goal 65 seconds into OT to lift the Bulldogs to the win.

With the two wins over Lake Forest, Adrian has cut the Lake Forest lead in the South Division to two points. Four games are left in the regular season for both teams.

Joe Colatarci assisted on three of the goals and Vinny Post tallied a goal and an assist. Cameron Gray came up with 22 saves for his 10th win of the year.

The Bulldogs held a 41-26 advantage in shots in Saturday’s win. Adrian led 3-2 at halftime after falling behind 2-0.

Adrian continued its dominance of the Foresters, improving to 30-1-1 all-time, including a 17-0-1 mark at home. The Bulldogs have now won their last five games and played in their seventh OT game of the year, the most since the 2013-14 season.

Austin Aksoy tallied a goal and an assist for the Foresters, who dropped their first game of the year after leading after one period of play. Aaron O’Neill came through with a goal and two assists.

Adrian is now 13-5-3 overall and 11-3-2 in the NCHA. Lake Forest falls to 16-4-1 overall and 13-3 in the league.

Sabres assure themselves of home ice

Marian will play the first round of the Harrris Cup on its home ice after completing a sweep of Concordia with a 4-1 win Saturday. The Sabres won the series opener 7-4 on Thursday.

Marian ended a scoreless tie in the second period when Conner Blanck scored his eighth goal of the year. The two teams were tied at 1-1 after two periods.

Ty Enns gave Marian the lead for good in the third when he punched in his eighth goal of the year.

Gianni Vitali scored the final two goals, including one empty-netter. Vitali is having a stellar year and pushed his season goal total to 14.

Hunter Vorva made 36 saves and helped keep the Falcons scoreless on four power-play opportunities.

The Sabres are 14-6-1 overall and sport a 10-6 mark in conference play. They lost just twice in the month of January and are 6-2 in their last eight games.

Pointers take sting out of Yellow Jackets

After a 6-5 win over 12th-ranked Wisconsin-Superior on Thursday, the reigning national champions capped the series with a 3-2 on Saturday.

Two power-play goals in the final 1:11 proved to be the difference for the Pointers, who stretched their unbeaten streak to nine games.

Zach Zech tied the game at 2-2 early in the third and then Carter Roo punched in the game-winner with 15.3 seconds to play in the game.

Roo added two assists to his stat line and Ryan MacKellar also scored a goal for UW-Stevens Point, which stayed in the hunt for the regular-season WIAC title. The Pointers are now 12-6-3 overall and 6-2-3 in the conference.

Eli Billing made 26 saves for the Pointers, who are 7-0-2 in their last nine games. Six of those wins have come against nationally ranked opponents.

Blugolds keep streak intact

UW-Eau Claire dominated Wisconsin-Stout Saturday 4-0 to cap its series against the Blue Devils in dominating fashion.

After a 5-4 win in overtime Friday, the second-ranked Blugolds had no trouble at all winning this one.

Andrew McGlynn scored twice to pace UW-Eau Claire. Jon Richards and Nick Techel scored goals as well while Zach Dyment turned in his fifth shutout of the season. He’s now 13-2-2 on the year.

UW-Eau Claire is 16-3-2 overall and 8-2-1 and will play its final four games of the regular season on the road. The Blugolds are 6-2 away from home this season.

Cobbers surge in standings

Concordia can’t be counted out yet. The Cobbers started the weekend in seventh but now sit in second place in the MIAC after sweeping Bethel. Concordia won the opener 2-1 and capped the series with a 3-1 win.

The Cobbers have swept their last two series and have won five consecutive games in all to improve to 9-8-2 overall and 6-3-1 in league play.

Aaron Herdt scored the game-winning goal with less than a minute to play in the second and Blake Berg added an insurance goal in the third. Tyler Bossert also scored for the Cobbers.

Herdt has scored four game-winning goals this season, tied for the most in the MIAC and the fifth-most in the nation. 

Cam Haugenoe made 28 saves to help the Cobbers secure the win.

Both teams struggled with the power play in the weekend series, combining to go 0-for-16. It’s the first time all year that no power play goals were scored in a two-game series.

Johnnies shine on defense

Saint John’s came to play on the defensive side of the puck, not allowing a goal in either of its two games against St. Olaf.

The Johnnies capped the series with a 2-0 win over the Oles after pitching a 4-0 shutout on Thursday.

Saint John’s is now fourth in the MIAC standings, sitting at 7-7-5 overall and 4-2-4 in the MIAC. 

Neither team scored in the first period on Saturday. The Johnnies got on the board in the second on a goal by Ryan Kero, who scored just over eight minutes into the second period. It’s his team-leading ninth goal of the season.

Jack Johnson also scored, punching in his fourth goal of the year with 1:12 remaining.

Andrew Lindgren came in for Mac Berglove and stopped 23 shots for his third win.