In a first-ever meeting of the squads, Wesleyan opened up a 3-0 lead 10 minutes into the contest and never looked back en route to a 9-2 victory over SUNY Canton in a non-conference contest Sat., Nov. 24. Both teams returned to action Sunday playing at Trinity College. There Wesleyan took on Stonehill while Canton faced the host. Wesleyan made it a 2-0 weekend by dominating the Skyhawks, 6-0. Ahead was a key NESCAC/Little Three matchup with Amherst Fri., Nov. 30 and the game came down to the wire as a short-handed goal with 6:20 to play lifted the Lord Jeffs to a 3-2 victory. The NESCAC weekend finishes up with Hamilton in town Sat., Dec. 1.
With Wesleyan holding a 4-1 lead late in the second period against Canton, Nick Craven '13 (#16, main photo) scored a natural hat trick for Wesleyan in a span of just 3:18 to open up a 7-1 advantage. It is believed to be the fastest hat trick in the 41-year history of varsity men's ice hockey at Wesleyan. Craven had also assisted on the Cardinals' fourth goal, giving him a four-point evening. Also with a four-point game for Wesleyan was Donald Kleckner '13 (#19, photo insert upper left), as he got Wesleyan on the board at 5:34 of the opening period, then assisted on Craven's final two goals as well as the goal by Ryan White '13 at 1:15 of the third period, making the score 8-2. Each of the goals on which Kleckner registered an assist came during a five-minute Wesleyan power play. Canton had just three man-down situations during the game but Wesleyan took full advantage of its five-minute bounty to put the game out of reach. In addition to Craven and Kleckner, seven other Cardinals had a multiple-point game, all with two apiece. Coming up with a goal and an assist were Adam Kaiser '13, Jaren Taenaka '16, Eric Casey '13 and William Choi '13. Posting a pair of assists were Terence Durkin '16, John Guay '13 (#18, photo insert upper right) and Micah Ehiorobo '13.
Wesleyan generated a significant 36-13 edge in shots as Matt Hadge '13 made 11 saves for the Cardinals.
Against Stonehill, Glenn Stowell '13 (#31, photo lower right) turned aside 22 Skyhawk scoring bids to post his second career shutout in 41 starts. His first came during the 2011-12 season against Salve Regina. Kaiser got the scoring started for the Cardinals as he did the night before with a great individual move at the blue line, skating in one-on-one and flipping a backhander into the goal at 12:14 of the first period. The score stayed that way unti Craven and Buehler scored within a span of 1:36 late in the second period to pad the Cardinals' lead to 3-0. Buehler's goal came with just :04 showing on the clock. In the third period, Guay picked up a pair of goals to give him a three-point day as the team's top scorer in the game. Kaiser whipped in the final goal with :45 left in the contest for the 6-0 final. Craven finished with a goal and an assist for a six-point weekend.
Amherst never trailed in the game as the Cardinals came back to tie the score twice. The final tie came at 4:38 of the third period as Craven netted his fifth goal of the season with a backhander from in front. But the short-handed marker for Amherst proved to be the difference as the final Wesleyan power-play of the night ticked down to the final 12 seconds. Wesleyan's opening goal had been on the power play as Tommy Hartnett '14 converted for his fourth goal of the season at 9:23 of the second period off a rebound, countering the initial go-ahead goal for the Lord Jeffs at 6:53 of the opening stanza. Amherst regained the lead at 11:44 of the middle period with a man-advantage goal as an air-born puck was batted into the goal about the same time the net dislodged from its moorings. The goal counted and Amherst had a 2-1 edge.
Though Wesleyan was unable to capitalize on a two-man advantage for almost a minute near the end of the second period and another 3:46 of power-play time to start the third period due to a five-minute major against Amherst, Wesleyan did knot the count less than a minute after Amherst resumed skating at full strength. Wesleyan held a slender 30-28 edge in shots as Stowell finished with 25 stops.