Returning their top five scorers from the 2009-10 season, the Cardinals will be out to improve upon last year's final results and again challenge for a home NESCAC playoff game. The 2006-07 squad is the only Wesleyan group to host a NESCAC tournament contest in the 10-year history of NESCAC tournament play.
With the leadership of team co-captains forward Tom Salah '12 (#5, main photo) and defenseman Todd Keats '11 (#7, photo insert upper left), Wesleyan has a veteran group of 18 lettermen including a pair of goalies who combined to start 13 of the team's 23 contests a year ago. Salah and John Guay '13 both cracked 20 points in 2009-10 as the former led the way with 10-12-22 while the latter collected 9-11-20. Next with 15 points was Geoff Mucha '12 while Brett Bandazian '11 and assistant captain Adam Kaiser '13 collected 14 points apiece. Other top returning forwards include AJ Ferraro '12, Don Kleckner '13, Anthony DiPietto '12, Ryan White '13 and Nick Craven '13. Among the players back on the blue-line crew, much is expected from assistant captain Henry Coxe '11, Chris MacDonald '13, Micah Ehiorobo '13, William Choi '13, Dan Sullivan '11 and Ben Stockman '11.
Back to mind the pipes are Glenn Stowell '13 and Matt Hadge '13. Both went 2-5 a year ago as Stowell came away with some impressive numbers, a 2.91 GAA and .907 save percentage, while starting seven games. Hadge started six contests and had a 4.06 GAA and .849 save percentage.
Wesleyan will have its lineup bolstered by the influx of eight newcomers, several of whom are blue-chippers with the ability to add a spark to the squad on offense and defense. Keith Buehler '14, Tom Hartnett '14, Nikolas Tasiopoulos '14 and Brad Improta '14 are the ones likely to garner significant ice time among the freshmen.
On Tues., Feb. 15, 2011, Wesleyan will be a part of the Hockey Fest activitiies at Rentschler Field in East Hartford as the Cardinals will take on Trinity in an outdoor game in the 40,000-seat facility.
In the meantime, the Cardinals got the season going by hosting NESCAC and Little Three rival Amherst on opening day Fri., Nov. 19, followed by a visit from Hamilton Sat., Nov. 20. Wesleyan could not crack the Lord Jeffs' armour as the visitors prevailed, 4-0. Stowell handled the net, making 30 stops. Three of the Amherst goals came from special-teams play as two were power-play markers and one resulted from a short-handed breakaway situation. Wesleyan produced 26 shots in the contest. Amherst is now 12-1 vs. Wesleyan in the last 13 meetings of the squads.