Laura Wasnick '15 (#10, photo insert upper left) broke a 1-1 tie at 10:23 of the third period with a point shot from the right side that was batted by the blocker of New England College goalie but still found its way into the back of the net, and Wesleyan added an insurance goal on the power play at 18:06 off the stick of Cara Jankowski '15 (#9, main photo), who also assisted on the winner, to skate away with a 3-1 home victory Tues, Jan. 1. The win avenged a 5-1 loss to the Pilgrims in Henniker, N.H. a year ago as Wesleyan picked up its second win in the series led by NEC, 3-2-1.
The teams played even through 50 minutes of action as NEC drew first blood just 2:27 into the first period with a centering pass from the left side that was one-timed inside the left post with a low shot past goalie Ashleigh Corvi '13 (#35, photo insert lower right). Wesleyan evened the count before the end of the period when Kelsey Muller '13 took a center pass from Hannah Jellinek '15, who was behind the net on the left, and knocked home her first goal of the season at 16:57.
The score stayed unchanged well into the third period thanks to a tremendous save by Corvi on point-plank attempt by NEC 1:13 into the final stanza. After Wasnick spotted the Cardinals the lead with her third goal of the season, Corvi again made a big stop on an NEC try in front with 7:30 remaining. Corvi ended the game with 16 saves as Wesleyan held a slim 18-17 edge in shots. When Jankowski poked home a long pass from the right point by Jordan Schildhaus '15, who ended the game with two assists, for her third tally of the campaign as Wesleyan was skating with an NEC player in the box and Corvi on the bench due to another delayed penalty against the Pilgrims, Wesleyan came away with the two-goal triumph.
Wesleyan headed back into conference play in its next start, visiting Middlebury Fri., Jan. 4 in the first of back-to-back game with the Panthers over the weekend. Middlebury generated a 43-8 margin in shots and rolled to a 6-1 victory. Wasnick got the lone Cardinal tally, coming at 19:22 of the second period on the power play after the Panthers had already scored four times in the opening stanza before making it 5-0 just 12 seconds into the second frame. Assists went to Muller and Lilah Fones '15. Corvi was good for 37 saves in the contest.
The teams concluded the series on Sat., Jan. 5 and while the shots again favored the Panthers dramatically, 46-6, Wesleyan made a game of it, thanks to 43 saves by Corvi and the second goal of the season by Hannah Jellinek '15, coming at 8:03 of the second period. Wesleyan held a 1-0 lead for just over 10 minutes as Corvi stopped shot after shot before Middlebury cashed in on its sixth power-play chance at 18:29. Just 49 seconds later, the Panthers took the lead for good. Corvi had 33 saves after 40 minutes of action.
Middlebury made it a 3-1 final with another tally at 12:34 of the third stanza. The Cardinals had two power-play opportunites in the last six minutes but could not convert.
Wesleyan will host Bowdoin in a pair of NESCAC tilts Fri. and Sat., Jan. 11 and 12 in the team's next action.