Keith Buehler '14 (#13, photo) had a hand in every Wesleyan goal, including scoring the overtime winner, as the Wesleyan rallied from a three-goal deficit to deal Bowdoin its first loss of the season, 6-5, in overtime in Brunswick, Me. Fri., Jan. 11.
Buehler capped a hat trick with the game-winning goal with 50 seconds remaining in the extra session to lift the Cardinals (6-6-1, 2-4-1 NESCAC). The fourth-ranked Polar Bears (12-1-1, 7-1-1 NESCAC) were the lone remaining unbeaten team in Division III and had not lost a home game since December 3, 2011 - a string of 15 consecutive contests. For his performance, Buehler was rewarded by the NESCAC with its Player of the Week honor.
The Polar Bears and Cardinals exchanged puck possession during the opening minutes of play, but Bowdoin was first to make a statement with a quick wrist shot to the right post, and Bowdoin was on the board at 8:56. It took just over one minute for Bowdoin to double its lead.A pass from the high slot connected with the stick of a Polar Bear who one-touched the puck to put Bowdoin up 2-0.
Wesleyan took 11 unanswered shots to open the second period, but some impressive back-to-back saves by the Bowdoin keeper from point blank range held the visitors at zero. At 7:19 into the period Bowdoin picked up a loose puck in the left circle and landed a shot inside the right post, putting the Polar Bears up 3-0. Wesleyan capitalized on a power play at 10:24 when Tommy Hartnett '14 quickly got a shot off from the low left circle, to slip the puck past the Bowdoin goalie for the Cardinals' first goal. Five minutes later Bowdoin answered, making the score 4-1. The Cardinals were able to get an important score with 20 seconds left in the frame when Buehler shoveled the puck into the net for Wesleyan's second goal of the game, ending the period at 4-2.
Wesleyan's power play cashed in again at 7:49 of the third. Buehler went top shelf on the Bowdoin net, with a hard shot from the top of the right circle. The Cardinal's tied the game 24 seconds later with their fourth power-play goal of the game. Micah Ehiorobo '13 took a straight shot on net, which was blocked by the goalie. The puck bounced to the right post, where Buehler had an open net to tally Wesleyan's fourth goal of the game.
With 5:47 to play, Bowdoin stopped the Wesleyan flurry when Bowdoin fired a shot on goalie Nolan Daley '16 that glanced off his chest, and found the net. But the Cardinals tied the game at 5-5 with just 24 seconds remaining, sending the game into overtime. The Cardinals pulled their goalie to put an extra attacker on the ice and Hartnett was able to snap off a shot from the right side past the Polar Bear netminder
The last second heroics continued for Wesleyan in overtime. With 50 seconds remaining on the clock, Keith Buehler took the puck behind the Bowdoin net and came around the right side to squeeze a shot inside of the goalie's skate and the post.
Daley made 27 saves for the Cardinals as Wesleyan generated a 38-32 edge in shots. Buehler finished with six points on three goals and three assists. Nick Craven '13 had four assists for the visitors, extending his point-scoring streak to 10 games.
The Cardinals played at Colby Sat., Jan. 12 to complete its Maine NESCAC weekend, and rallied for three goals in the third period to erase an early 1-0 deficit and come away a 3-1 winner. It is the first time in Wesleyan men's ice hockey history that the Cardinals returned from a NESCAC trip to Maine with a 2-0 record. This was the 10th such trip over the last 16 years.
Adam Kaiser's '13 sixth goal of the season came off an assist from Tommy Hartnett '13 just 59 seconds into the third period to knot the score, before Nick Craven '13 scored his 10th goal from in front off an assist from Eric Casey '16, upping his scoring streak to 11 games. His goal at 8:58 proved to be the winner. The Cardinals added an insurance goal at 14:38 from Jaren Taenaka '16 off a pass from Jay Matthews '16.
Glenn Stowell '13 made 24 stops, 14 of those in the second period alone, as Wesleyan had a slight 30-25 margin in shots.
In the team's next action, Wesleyan hosts a NESCAC weekend starting Fri., Jan. 18 with a visit from Conn. College, followed by Tufts Sat., Jan. 19.