With a chance to clinch a NESCAC playoff spot with a victory during its historic game vs. Trinity Tues., Feb. 15 at Rentschler Field as part of Whalers HockeyFest, Wesleyan battled the Bantams to a stalemate through 40 minutes. The squads were even on the scoreboard, 1-1, heading into the final period. Trinity had scored first, at 10:15, before Geoff Mucha '12 (#6, photo) knotted the count with his team-leading ninth goal of the season. He finished off a nifty three-way passing rush with Donald Kleckner '13 and Keith Buehler '14 by slipping a low shot from the left circle past the outstretch glove of the Bantam keeper with 1:28 remaining in the frame.
But the Bantams broke the tie at 1:31 of the third period and added an insurance goal with 13:06 remaining. Wesleyan had four power-play opportunities after falling behind by a pair of scores but could not get any closer to the Bantams. Wesleyan had a two-skater edge for the final 1:16 with goalie Matt Hadge '13 on the bench during the final power-play. Hadge finished with 26 saves as Trinity, which won its sixth straight game, held a modest 29-26 margin in shots.
With two games left during the regular season, Wesleyan stands eighth in the NESCAC standings, two points ahead of ninth-place Conn. College and three points behind seventh-place Colby. Wesleyan will clinch the final slot in the upcoming NESCAC tournament with a win in either of its last two games, both at home. Fri., Feb, 18, the Cardinals take on Southern Maine, then end the regular season Sat., Feb. 19 vs. U. of New England. Wesleyan also secures the last playoff spot if Conn. College falls to either Norwich or St. Michael's on the road in its last two games. A pair of Cardinal victories coupled with losses by Colby at both New England College and St. Anselm would elevate Wesleyan to seventh place in the NESCAC standings.