AC Ice Hockey Downs Finlandia

College Hockey Extra

Junior Dino Balsamo led a balanced offense with two points, and freshman goalie Justin Crawford made a career-high 39 saves in his first start as a Bulldog, as the Adrian College men’s hockey team defeated host Finlandia, 5-3, in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association action on Saturday.

The contest was played in Houghton County Arena; Hancock, Mich. The Adrian Bulldogs entered 14-6-1 overall (9-4-1 NCHA South Division); and the Finlandia Lions entered 8-11-2 overall (6-6-2 NCHA North Division). Adrian is rsnked No. 7 in United States College Hockey Online (154 points) and No. 8 in D3hockey.com (154) polls.

Adrian got goals from junior Matt McNair, senior defenseman Braden Hellems, junior Vincent Paquette and Yim. McNair’s goal came shorthanded and staked the Bulldogs to a 1-0 lead at the 13:02 mark of the opening period. The Bulldogs never trailed on the afternoon.  Finlandia outshot Adrian 42 to 34, but Crawford surpassed his previous career-saves performance (27 saves in a 1-1 tie at SUNY-Canton in his first career start for the Blue Devils earlier this season) with a solid outing.

Adrian swept the regular-season series from Finlandia to improve to 24-1 in the all-time series. The Bulldogs are 11-1 on Lions’ home-ice. With his empty-net goal with 10 seconds left to seal the win, Yim now has 100 career points in a Bulldogs uniform. He has 48+52 scoring totals in 107 games played.

The contest was delayed 33 minutes from its 3:15 p.m. start due to an injury sustained by Finlandia sports information director Michael Bond during pregame Senior Day ceremonies. He fell on the ice and hit his head. He was assisted immediately by First Responders and transported via ambulance to an area hospital.

Adrian will have its final regular season home games this weekend against Lake Forest (Friday, 7:05 p.m.) and Aurora (Saturday, 3:05 p.m.) at Arrington Ice Arena.

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