Four Cardinals Post a Goal & an Assist as Men's Hockey Gets Much Needed NESCAC Win over Hamilton, 5-3, Followed by Tough 3-2 Loss to Middlebury
Wesleyan swept the season series vs. Hamilton as five different goal scorers, four of whom also had an assist, lit the lamp for the Cardinals, three times in the first period. As a result, the host skated away with a 5-3 decision Sun., Jan. 29. When the teams met in Clinton, N.Y., back in December, Wesleyan recovered from a 3-1 deficit to post a 4-3 win in overtime. Wesleyan has now defeated Hamilton four straight games and five times in the last seven meetings after Hamilton completely dominated the all-time series since the squads first met in 1974. Hamilton was 22-2-3 over the opening 27 games between the Cardinals and Continentals through the 2006-07 season.
Wesleyan scored three times in the opening 10 minutes of the game as James Albrecht '15 (#10, photo upper right), Tommy Hartnett '14 and Keith Buehler '14 (#13, photo lower right) all found the net to spot the Cardinals a 3-0 edge. Albrecht tracked down a puck in the left circle after a flurry in front of the Hamilton keeper and lifted a wrister into the net at 4:34. Hartnett followed up a point shot with a slapper from the slot on a rebound at the 9:13 mark. Just 40 seconds later, Buehler connected on a point shot during a Cardinal power play at 9:53 of the frame. For Buehler, the goal was his 12th of the year which ranks second on the squad.
Hamilton got one back late in the period when, during a Wesleyan power play, some strong forechecking by the Continentals resulted in a two-on-none break from center ice and a backhander from in tight that hit the twine.
Wesleyan got the only goal of the second period as John Guay '13 (#18, photo upper left) followed up a point shot by William Choi '13 by scoring from in front at 2:10, his eight goal of the season. Wesleyan made it 5-1 when Nik Tasiopolous '14 (#24, photo lower left) netted his team-best 15th goal of the season shortly after a faceoff in the Hamilton end at 11:13 of the third period. Hamilton got the final two goals of the game, both during 4-on-4 skating situations.
Four Cardinals had two-point games as Albrecht, Buehler, Guay and Tasiopoulos all accomplished the feat. Goalie Glenn Stowell '13 finished the game with 31 saves as shots were even in the contest, 34-34.
Wesleyan was back in action Sat., Feb. 4, hosting Middlebury in a NESCAC matchup. The Cardinals were looking to extend their string of wins over the Panthers to three after overtime wins in the last two meetings. After a scoreless first period, Middlebury struck twice in a span of 2:17 to take a 2-0 lead late in the second period. Tasiopoulos cut the gap in half with his team-leading 16th goal at 17:18. A short-handed Panther goal at 1:28 of the third period proved to be the game-winner as Wesleyan again cut a two-goal deficit to one when William Choi '13 received a sharp pass from Geoff Mucha '12 in the left circle and snapped off a goal-scoring wrister at 5:23, making the score 3-2. The score remained unchanged over the final 14:37 as Middlebury hung on for the 3-2 triumph. The Cardinals were uncharacteristically unsuccessful on the power play, coming up empty in seven attempts including a span of 1:34 during the middle stanza when the team had a two-man skating edge.
The Cardinals will look for some redemption when they close out the NESCAC weekend by hosting Williams Sun., Feb. 5