Men's Ice Hockey Posts Valuable NESCAC Win over Williams in Impressive Fashion with 4-1 Victory, Then Falls at Bowdoin, Ties Colby
Wesleyan rallied from a 1-0 first-intermission deficit with four unanswered goals to take a 4-1 victory over Williams, which entered the game ranked 14th nationally in the latest USCHO.com Division III poll. Wesleyan snapped a three-game losing streak to Williams with the victory and improved to 11-8-1 overall and 6-7-1 in NESCAC play. Williams fell to 10-5-5 and 7-5-2 in the conference.
Wesleyan got the game-winner with 4:07 elapsed in the second period off the stick of Tommy Hartnett '14 (#21, photo lower left). Williams blocked a power-play shot by Geoff Mucha '12, but Hartnett corralled the loose puck and fired a shot from the bottom of the right circle past the Williams netminder for his fifth goal f the season.
Chris MacDonald '13 made it a 3-1 game 6:48 into the third, just two seconds after the expiration of a Williams penalty. MacDonald tucked a low point shot inside the right post for his first goal of the season. Nik Tasiopoulos '14 (#24, photo upper right) added an empty-net tally with 1:05 remaining for his team-high 17th goal to conclude the scoring and give him a three-point game as he assisted on both the first and second goals. He leads Wesleyan with 17-12-29 this year.
Wesleyan had tied the game at 2:14 of the middle frame when Tom Salah '12 (#5, photo upper left) scored his third goal of the campaign by connecting from the slot with a shot to the top left corner of the net. Hartnett and Salah both had a multiple-point game with an assist to complement their goals.
Glenn Stowell '13 (#31, photo lower right) recorded 32 stops for Wesleyan, 14 of which came in the first period as he allowed just a lone power-play goal to Williams while holding the Ephs off the board for the final 45:48 of the game.
The win was just Wesleyan's fifth all-time against Williams, as the Ephs hold a commanding 37-5-6 lead in the all-time series. Williams had won the last three meetings, all of which came in Williamstown, Mass., by 3-2 overtime scores, including the most recent meeting on Jan. 7. Wesleyan has won two straight at home against the Ephs by a combined score of 10-3 after going 0-17-4 in its first 21 home games against Williams.
Wesleyan traveled to Bowdoin for a game Fri., Feb. 10 for its next action. The game went the Polar Bears' way, 6-4, as Wesleyan could not recovered from a 4-0 deficit in the second period. Thus, Bowdoin swept the season series. Wesleyan, with John Guay '13 scoring twice along with markers from Keith Buehler '14 and Mucha, each of whom also had an assist on the evening, did cut the gap to two goals, 4-2, and eventually, 5-3 with 10 minutes to play, but the teams traded goals in the last stages of the outing for the final outcome. Shots were even on the night, 34-34.
The Cardinals played at Colby Sat., Feb 11 to close out the weekend in Maine. It took an extra-man goal from Hartnett with just 15 seconds left in regulation to come away with a tie, 2-2. Wesleyan pulled goalie Stowell with 1:05 to go and cashed in 50 seconds later. Colby had moved ahead, 2-1, at 12:07 of the third period and despite 15 Cardinal shots in the frame, Colby made it stand up until Hartnett connected with Tasiopoulos and Buehler for his sixth goal of the year. Wesleyan led, 1-0, on an Adam Kaiser '13 tally at 6:25 of the first period with Guay and Casey Fratkin '14 picking up the assists. That lead lasted about 10 minutes before the Mules evened the count late in the period. The second period passed without a goal as the Cardinals successfully killed off a five-minute short-handed situation. Stowell ended the game with 30 saves as Wesleyan generated a slight edge in shots, 40-32.
Wesleyan has two games left during the regular season and has clinched a NESCAC playoff spot with its 6-8-2 conference mark. The Cardinals sit in sixth place heading into the final weekend of regulation play with two games against travel partner Trinity remaining. Trinity trails Wesleyan by two points in the standings. The opening game of the series is Fri., Feb. 17 at Trinity, followed by the second game at Wesleyan Sat., Feb. 18.