Playing to the fourth overtime game between the squads in the last eight meetings, Wesleyan and Skidmore produced a 1-1 result in overtime Fri., Jan. 7 in the opening league game of 2011. It was just the third tie in the series which favors Skidmore, 12-7-3, as the Thoroughbreds have not lost in the last five meeting vs. the Cardinals (3-0-2).
Wesleyan scored first in the contest as Chris MacDonald '13 (#17, photo insert upper left) took a pass from Tom Salah '12 in center ice, beat a Skidmore defender at the blue line and went in on the Skidmore keeper alone. His wrister from the slot caught the net at 8:33 of the opening period, giving MacDonald his initial tally of the season.
Skidmore knotted the game at 11:43 of the second period with a power-play marker, skating five-on-three at the time due to four Cardinal penalties in a span of less than two minutes. Though Wesleyan got a player back five seconds before the goal was scored, a new penalty started to keep the Cardinals two men down. An initial shot by Skidmore went wide to the left, but bounced off the boards back in front of the net on the left. The puck was sent across to the right where a wide-open player had little to do but push the puck into an open net from six feet away.
Wesleyan had three good scoring chances in the third period despite being outshot 34-25 for the game. Cardinal Micah Ehiorobo '13 hit the right post after a flurry with about 15 minutes to go. With about 11 minutes left, Anthony DePietto '11 hit the right post in trying to finish off a 2-on-1 break. The best of the three chances came with 3:34 left as Brett Bandazian '12 was awarded a penalty shot after being taken down in front of the net on a rush with Wesleyan already on a power play. Bandazian took the puck to the left and tried to go high to the right side, but the goalie stopped the shot with his shoulder to keep it a 1-1 game. Each team had one shot in overtime.
In the Wesleyan net, Matt Hadge '13 (#33, main photo) had a solid performance, coming up with 33 stops.
Wesleyan entertained #12-ranked Castleton St. Sat., Jan. 8 to close out its home league weekend. The teams battled to the wire with the Spartans holding on for a 3-2 win. Castleton built a 2-0 lead early in the second period and held a 3-1 lead at 2:48 of the third period.
Wesleyan countered the Castleton attack with a pair of power-play goals, the first at 12:27 of the middle period to cut the margin to 2-1. That came off the stick of Ehirobo on a give-and-go on the left side with Nik Tasiopoulos '14. Tasiopoulos also got an assist on the Cardinals’ second goal, coming at 11:28 of the third period as he was part of a flurry finished off by Keith Buehler '14 with Tommy Hartnett '14 also getting an assist. Wesleyan fired three shots at the Castleton keeper, who stopped the first two in the series.
In the Wesleyan net, Glenn Stowell '13 came through with 36 stops. He was pulled several times in the final two minutes in favor of a sixth skater, but Castleton held firm to preserve its fifth conference victory. Castleton now leads in the young overall series, 4-3-1, having lost the first three meetings with Wesleyan, tying the fourth, and now winning for the fourth straight year.
Wesleyan plays again Fri., Jan. 14 at NESCAC and Little Three rival Williams. The contest will feature a webcast (for a fee) and can be viewed by clicking < here >. After that, the Cardinals will be at Middlebury Sat., Feb. 15 for a game that also features a webcast (for a fee). It can be viewed by clicking < here >.