Blue Demons split weekend series with Knights, improve to 18-4


Christina Hammersmith

Sophomore Winger Danny Mannarino looks for the puck on offense during Friday’s 7-4 win against Marian. Mannarino recorded two goals against the Knights.

DePaul men’s hockey continued its historic season after defeating Marian by a score of 7-4 Friday night, led by sophomore winger Danny Mannarino’s two-goal night. DePaul’s victory over Marian is its first in club program history.

“I was proud of the way everyone played,” said head coach Dan Wood. “They scored two [goals] real early, and it could’ve been real easy for us to get kind of down, but there was no panic on the bench and we responded to it right away. I was really happy with the way that we worked and our power play looked good today.”

Marian started off the game strong, scoring two goals early to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Junior goalie Asher Motew stayed composed after the early goals and only allowed two more throughout the next two periods.

“I thought I played well,” Motew said of his performance. “I shouldn’t have given up the first one [goal], and they came down on a breakaway. It was a little bit of a broken play, but I just reset myself and did a lot of meditation and I got right back into it. The boys picked me up and then I picked them up, and that’s how it works.”

DePaul’s offense was much more active during the first period than Marian’s after 19 shots on goal compared to their 14 shots on goal.

The Blue Demons’ offense controlled the entire second period, scoring three goals by three different players. DePaul scored all three consecutively, which started off with sophomore Zander Plotkin and were followed by senior center Jackson Leptich and Mannarino finding the back of the net, in all three DePaul beat Marian’s goaltender in the top right corner of the net. 

Mannarino has stepped up as of late. The sophomore has been known primarily as a defensive player, but as of late, he’s become one of the team’s most reliable offensive threats. His two goals Friday were unassisted and came off the breakaway.

“Danny [Mannarino] is one of those players that does everything right,” Wood said. “He works hard, plays hard and backchecks hard. He’s scoring a lot, which I’m happy that he’s finally getting the recognition for, but he’s a guy you’re always pulling for.”

From start to finish, the game was nothing if not physical. Both teams don’t like each other, and the rivalry between the two resulted in three fights that the officials had to break  up. 

“We don’t like them, and they don’t like us,” Motew said. “This is a big conference game, and they’ve never lost to us. They got embarrassed.”

The third period was similar to the first, but after Marian scored two goals, the Blue Demons bounced back with two of their own, which were scored by junior defensemen duo Chris Lee and Josh Maloney.

As usual, the offense stepped up in a big-time game, scoring seven goals for the 11th time this season. Over the recent years, DePaul has not been known as a defensive unit, but this season under Dan Wood, the offense has become their new identity.

“It’s been a great game offensively,” Wood said. “It could’ve been 13 [goals], but their goalie played outstanding. We had seven icebreakers, and I was really happy with the way we worked. Our powerplay looked really good and passing was really, really crisp. When we’re flying through the neutral zone like that, we can put up a whole lot of points.”

The Blue Demons lost to the Knights on Saturday afternoon by a score of 5-4.

DePaul (18-5) will be back in action on Friday when they host Concordia University at Johnny’s IceHouse West, with faceoff scheduled for 8:30 p.m. CST.