Bulldog Men's Hockey Takes Over NCHA Lead With 4-2 Win at Aurora

Bryce Van Horn moves the puck. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Bryce Van Horn moves the puck. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

GENEVA, Ill.--Senior Bryce Van Horn had his first multi-goal game of the young season to lift the nationally No. 8-ranked Adrian men's hockey team to a 4-2 win Sunday over host Aurora, sweeping the weekend series and vaulting past the Spartans for the overall lead in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association standings.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Adrian College 4, Aurora University 2

= Location: Fox Valley Ice Arena; Geneva, Ill.

= Updated Records:  Adrian Bulldogs, 6-1-1 overall (5-1 NCHA South Division); Aurora Spartans, 7-3-1 overall (4-3-1 NCHA South Division)

= National Rankings: Adrian--No. 8 United States College Hockey Online (143 points); Aurora--"receiving votes" category in USCHO poll with 30 points.

TOP 'DAWGS
= One of Van Horn's two goals of the night came on the power play, finishing with a game-high five shots. 

= Junior goalie Cameron Gray made 30 saves to move to 4-1-1 on the season.

= Sophomore defenseman Brandon Marinelli tied Van Horn for game-high honors with two points on a goal and an assist.

= Adrian was led in the face-off circle by sophomore Sam Ruffin (9-for-16) and senior Dino Balsamo (12-for-22). 

THE OPPOSITION
= Connor Chilton and Liam Stirtzinger scored goals for Aurora.

= Riley Doyon led the team with five shots on goal.

= Drew Doyon won 9 of 18 face-offs to go with an assist and Chilton won 12 draws in 33 attempts.

HOW IT HAPPENED 
= The first stanza featured a frenetic pace as both teams scored two goals. Sophomore Andrew Bellant got it going first for Adrian with an unassisted tally just 72 seconds after the opening face-off.

= Aurora then took a 2-1 advantage on goals by Chilton on the power play and Stirtzinger 3 minutes and 21 seconds apart starting at the 10:58 mark.

= Adrian, however, responded in kind with a power-play marker of its own as Van Horn scored 1:50 later after Stirtzinger's go-ahead goal. Marinelli and sophomore Rex Moe picked up the assists.

= After the teams played a scoreless second period, Adrian took control in the third with goals by Van Horn at 6:57 and Marinelli on the power play at 18:02. The former's game-winning tally was assisted by Ruffin and freshman defenseman Terry Ryder. The latter's insurance goal came via freshman Zachary Heintz.

= Aurora outshot Adrian 32 to 30, but the Bulldogs went 2-for-7 on the power play and held the Spartans to one goal on seven extra-man chances.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Adrian has never lost to Aurora in their 10-game history (10-0), including a 6-0 mark on Spartan ice.

= Aurora is 2-3 at home, but 5-0-1 on the road. 

= Bellant leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 12 points on four goals and a team-high eight assists.

= Adrian is 3-1 on the road this season and enjoying a five-game winning streak overall.

= The Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring offense with 5.0 goals per game and the power play unit is fourth at 34.1 percent (15-44). 

UP NEXT
= Adrian returns home to the Arrington Ice Arena on Friday (7:05 p.m.) and Saturday (3:05 p.m.) against NCHA foe St. Scholastica.

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