Top-Ranked Bulldogs Take Bite Out of Lions Roar at Finlandia, 10-1

Senior Dillon Kelley made 16 saves at Finlandia, 10-1, for his sixth straight win. (Action photo: Bulldog  SID archives)
Senior Dillon Kelley made 16 saves at Finlandia, 10-1, for his sixth straight win. (Action photo: Bulldog SID archives)

HANCOCK, Mich.--Nationally-ranked Adrian College (#1 D3hockey.com, #2 US College Hockey Online [USCHO.com]) used another explosive performance in the second period to roar past the host Finlandia Lions, 10-1, in a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association men's hockey game on Friday. Bulldogs senior captain Mathew Thompson scored a hat trick on the way to a career-best five-point night to lead all scorers.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Adrian College 10, Finlandia University 1

= Location: Houghton County Arena; Hancock, Mich.

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs 3-0 overall (3-0 NCHA South Division), Finlandia Lions 0-3 overall (0-3 NCHA North Division)

= National Rankings: Adrian--#1 D3hockey.com, #2 in USCHO.com polls

TOP 'DAWGS
= Senior goalie Dillon Kelley recorded 16 saves for his sixth consecutive victory dating back to his 2015-16 sophomore season.

= Thompson also had two assists to go along with three goals on four shots and a plus-3 rating.

= Senior assistant captain Taylor McCloy also enjoyed a multi-goal night with a pair--both in the third period.

= In addition to Thompson and McCloy, other Adrian skaters with multiple points included senior Kyle Brothers (1 goal, 2 assists), juniors Cory Dunn (3 assists), Braden Hellems (2 assists), and sophomores Matt McNair (3 assists), Ryan Cusin (1 goal, 1 assist), Vincent Paquette (2 assists), Vinny Post (1 goal, 1 assist). 

THE OPPOSITION
= Bryce Mitzel scored the Lions' lone goal in the second period.

= Matt Arnold had 23 saves in goal.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Adrian outshot Finlandia by a 33-17 count, including a 13-7 margin in the second period when it scored five goals.

= After Brothers scored off a scrum in the first period, Adrian erupted for five goals in the second to take a commanding 6-1 advantage. Thompson scored what proved to be the game-winner with 2 minutes and 47 seconds gone when Paquette passed the puck off the boards in his zone off a turnover and Thompson collected at center ice, using his speed to skate in on the goalie and wrist a low shot past Arnold's stickside just inside the left circle. About seven minutes later, Cusin scored his first goal as a Bulldog. Junior Brian Bachnak made it 4-0 before Thompson rifled a slap shot at the top of the right circle for his second tally of the game.

= Mitzel ruined Kelley's shutout bid at the 15:44 mark of the second period on the power play, with Blake Peavey credited with the assist.

= Thompson's third goal came later in the stanza, ignited a 5-0 run that also saw reigning D3hockey.com Team of the Week honoree Austin Rust score shorthanded and McCloy bookending goals around Post over the final 22 minutes.

= Adrian was 2-for-5 on the power play; Finlandia: 1-5.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= The Bulldogs now have a 21-1 lifetime record against Finlandia, including a 10-1 mark on the road.

= Thompson becomes the first Bulldog to net a hat trick since Bryan Yim (Jan. 6, 2017 vs Aurora) and record five points in a game since Dunn (Jan. 6, 2017 vs Aurora). Thompson also reached the 100-point milestone to become the 13th player in program history to do so.

= Brothers moved into the top-10 all-time scoring list for Adrian, surpassing Quinn Waller (15g+108a=123, 2007-10) for 10th. With 43+82=125 scoring totals in 85 career games, Brothers is one point behind Sam Kuzyk for ninth place.

= Adrian allowed its opponent to score a power play goal for the first time, killing off eight consecutive shorthanded opportunities. For the season, the team is 10-for-11 at 90.9 percent.

= Rust has already equaled his goal output from last season (4 in 16 contests) with 21 regular-season games left on the schedule.

= For his 14-game career between the pipes, Kelley has compiled a 10-1 record, 2.09 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.

UP NEXT
= Adrian wraps up a five-game road swing to open the season at 8 p.m. ET Saturday in De Pere, Wis., against nationally-ranked and NCHA archrival St. Norbert.

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