No.8 Bulldogs finish MCHA regular season undefeated

Hamby records shutout win in undefeated season
Hamby records shutout win in undefeated season

ADRIAN, Mich. – The men's hockey team increased the nation's longest winning streak in Division III hockey to 15 games by blanking Finlandia University (7-17, 7-13), 2-0, Saturday afternoon at the Arrington Ice Arena.

The Bulldogs (21-1-3, 17-0-3) complete the conference regular season undefeated for the third time in team history.

The teams played to a stalemate until late in the third period when Adrian scored a pair of goals in about a 30-second span.

Lukas Ciotti scored in the final minute of play to break the deadlock and Zach Graham added an empty-netter for insurance to ensure Adrian as the only undefeated team in conference play for the 2012-13 season.

The team will await the winners of next week's Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association's first-round of playoffs before taking part in the Harris Cup Four the following weekend at Arrington Ice Arena.

Adrian goaltender James Hamby is one of two undefeated netminders and leads the nation in winning percentage. Hamby recorded his first shutout of the season and kept the Bulldogs in the game as the Lions outshot Adrian through the first two periods. In all, Hamby made 27 saves.

The Bulldogs dominated the third and almost took the lead twice before Ciotti's last-minute heroics.

While outshooting the Lions, 18-6, in the third period, Shaquille Merasty and Kevin Balas both rang shots of the post and the Bulldogs would finish the game with 38 shots.

Honoring the seniors before the game, three of the four would factor in the scoresheet. Graham would have a goal, while Andrew Dovey and Shawn Courtney would each add an assist.

Duston Hebebrand and Josh Ranalli would also add assists.

Defensively, Chris Leone would lead the team with six shots and Kyle Gallinger would play his last regular season game as a senior.

The MCHA's Harris Cup Four will begin Friday March 1st, at 5 p.m., with the Bulldogs hosting the lowest remaining seed from next week's play-ins. the championship game will be played the following day, Saturday, March 2nd, at 4 p.m.