A pair of Middlebury goals 2:02 apart in the third period overshadowed an outstanding individual effort by Keith Buehler '13 (#13), who came through with a hat trick while extending his point-scoring streak to each of the Cardinals' 11 games this season. He leads Wesleyan in scoring with nine goals and eight assists for 17 points. Buehler twice tied the game, once at 9:27 of the first period and again at 13:05 of the second period. His second goal countered a Panther tally with 2:11 left in the first period. Buehler's goal with 5:52 remaining cut the margin to one goal and finished off his hat trick. Nick Craven '13 had a pair of assists for the Cardinals to push his streak of scoring at least one point to eight games. Wesleyan pulled its keeper Nolan Daley '16 (33 saves) for the final minute but could not get the equalizer as the Cardinals fell to Middlebury, 4-3, Fri., Jan. 4. The NESCAC weekend concluded with a home game against Little Three nemesis Williams Sat., Jan. 5. In that game, Williams prevailed, 2-1
Buehler whistled a shot past the Middlebury keeper's glove (photo) after receiving a perfect centering pass from Craven from down low on the left for the last goal of the game. His opening goal came as a result of good forechecking and a steal in the Panther zone for an unassisted tally. Buehler's second-period marker came after a give-and-go with Alex Carlacci '16, and a good juke in front to fake out the netminder. Carlacci, like Craven, finished the game with two helpers.
Middlebury had a slight edge in total shots, collecting 37 while the Cardinals came up with 31.
On Saturday, Williams broke a 1-1 deadlock at 3:22 of the second period and proved to be the final goal of the game as the Williams goalie and Cardinal keeper Glenn Stowell '13 kept the nets clear for the final 36:38 of the game.
A one-timer from the top of the left circle beat Stowell high to the stick side on the Eph power play for the deciding tally.
Williams had drawn first blood at 3:42 of the opening period when the Ephs put one home from the slot on a fast-break opportunity. Wesleyan evened the count at 17:22 of the first period when Craven extended his string of consecutive games with at least one scoring point to nine by redirecting a shot by Donald Klecker '13 into the net on the power play. Micah Ehiorobo '13 began the play and also picked up an assist. Buehler's point-scoring streak was snapped at 11.
Wesleyan had a 27-23 edge in shots on goal and pulled Stowell in favor of a sixth skater for the final minute but to no avail. Williams nearly had an empty-netter in the closing moments but rang a shot off the post instead.
Wesleyan and Williams will face each other again in Williamstown, Mass. Sat., Feb. 2, preceeded by the rematch with Middlebury Fri., Feb. 1. Next up for Wesleyan is a visit to NESCAC leader Bowdoin Fri., Jan. 11.