Pair of Losses to Trinity on Final Weekend, Coupled with Colby Win over Hamilton, Knocks Cards from NESCAC Playoff Picture
Trinity erupted for three third-period goals, two of them in a span of 2:18 midway through the frame to improve upon a tenuous 1-0 edge, and go to take a 4-1 win at Wesleyan Fri., Feb. 17. With its win, Trinity clinched the fourth seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championship and will host fifth-seeded Hamilton College in the first round Saturday, Feb. 25. Trinity now stands 8-7 in NESCAC play and 13-10 on the season and has won 12 of 16 games since starting the season 1-6. Wesleyan fell to 4-19 and 3-12 in NESCAC action, but the Cardinals' playoff hopes were still alive heading into Saturday's rematch in Hartford for the regular-season finale.
With the victory, Trinity earned a home quarterfinal game for the fifth straight season. The Bantams finished second in the conference standings in 2009-10 and third in the other three years. Trinity also won its 10th straight against Wesleyan and improved to 14-1 in its last 15 games against its in-state foe after going 0-11-1 in the first 12.
Wesleyan can still earn its first NESCAC Championship berth since the 2003-04 season, depending on Saturday's results. A Wesleyan win or Colby loss (to Hamilton) would clinch the eighth seed for Wesleyan. The Cardinals also clinch the eighth seed with a tie and Colby loss or tie.
Trinity got on the board with 12:03 gone in the first period as the Bantams poked in a rebound for the 1-0 lead. It proved to be the only goal until the 9:09 mark of the third period when the visitors made it 2-0. When the Bantams struck again at 11:27, Wesleyan faced a three-goal margin, and a power-play goal by Trinity upped the gap to 4-0 at 13:27.
Cara Jankowski '15 (#9 photo) gave Wesleyan its lone goal at the 15:49 mark of the third. Jankowski fired a high shot from the slot with Wesleyan on the power play that found the top-right corner of the net for her fourth tally of the season.
Ashleigh Corvi '13 finished with 30 saves in the Wesleyan net. The teams were separated by just five shots on goal in the game as Trinity generated a slim 34-29 advantage. That was gained by a 13-7 edge in the opening 20 minutes as Wesleyan outshot Trinity, 22-21, over the final 40 minutes.
In the rematch Saturday, defense again was the general order of the day as the teams were scoreless heading into the final 10 minutes of play. The Bantams ended the tie at 11:10 of the final period, then tacked on a pair of power-play markers in a span of just 1:37 during the final five minutes of action to come away with a 3-0 victory. Coupled with Colby's win over Hamilton on the final day of the regular season, the loss left Wesleyan one point behind the Mules for the eighth and last spot in the NESCAC playoffs.
Wesleyan demonstrated significant improvement over the 2010-11 campaign, upping its goal production by 14 while reducing its goals-against by nine. The team doubled its win total and raised its power-play goals from just two a year ago to 11 in 2011-12, led by Jankowski with three. Freshmen scored 15 of the Cardinals' 37 goals this year, led by top scorer Jordan Schildhuas '15 with eight goals and five assists for 13 points. Kelsey Muller '13 tied for the team lead in goals with eight. Corvi ended the year with a .903 save percentage and a 3.62 GAA.