Keith Buehler '14 (#13, main photo) became the third Wesleyan athlete this year to earn NESCAC Player of the Year honors as he led the conference in goals, assists and points during the Cardinals 10-11-4 men's ice hockey season. Buehler nearly dubled his career scoring as he became just the fifth NESCAC player in the last seven seasons to reach the 40-point plateau in scoring. He now has 86 career points over 74 games played with 41 goals and 45 assists. Earlier this year, he was named one of 20 finalists for the Joe Concannon Award, presented annually by the New England Hockey Writers Association to the top American-born Division II/III player in New England.
Joining Buehler on the all-NESCAC first team is linemate Nick Craven '13 (#16, photo insert upper right), as he finished second in the NESCAC in scoring with 16 goals and 17 assists for 33 points. Craven currently has an Amateur Try-Out (ATO) with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL, an affiliate of the Ottawa Senators, for a shot at a pro career.
Buehler began the 2012-13 season by scoring at least one point in the opening 11 contests and went on to register at least one point in 20 of the Cardinals' 25 games. Wesleyan foinished 6-8-4 in conference play and earned thr sixth seed in the post-season tournament. Wesleyan built a 4-2 lead at Trinity in the third period of its first-round tournament game only to be tied with 1:09 remaining as the Bantams scored an extra-attacker goal, and Trinty went on to win on overtime, 5-4. Buehler had a goal and two assists in that contest. During the year, Buehler had three hat tricks, all against NESCAC rivals (Middlebury, Bowdoin and Hamilton) including an amazing six-point game as Wseyan came back from a 41 deficit at Bowodin to win 6-5 in overtime on Buehler's game-winner. He had three goals and three assists in the contest.
Craven enjoyed a streak of 15 games during which he picked up at least one scoring point during the 2012-13 season. He ended his career with 62 points (29-33-62) as he more than doubled the production of his first three seasons. He played in 88 games for Wesleyan. He tied for the NESCAC lead in power-play goals this year with seven. Craven had one hat trick in 2012-13 as he netted three goals and addad an assist in a 9-2 victory over SUNY Canton. He also had four assists in the conquering of Bowdoin.
Buehler joins Adam Purdy '13, who was named NESCAC Player of the Year in men's soccer, and Laura Kurash '13, the women's soccer Player of the Year in the NESCAC, as the third Cardinal to pick up the honor in 2012-13. Prior to 2012-13, only three other Cardinals had been NESCAC Players of the Year since 2000 - John Landay '01 in men's lacrosse (2001), Alexis Keeler '02 in women's volleyball (2001) and Lisa Drennan '09 in women's volleyball (both 2006 and 2008).
Buehler also received a nod to the American Hockey Coaches Association Division III second-team All-America East squad. He was one of just two NESCAC players to make any of the three teams as Tim McGarry of Bowdoin was a third-team pick. The USCHO.com also honored Buehler as an All-American, selecting him to its third team. The New England Hockey Writers Association also recognized Buehler with a spot on its Division II/III all-star squad while d3hockey.com chose Buehler as third-team All-East region and third-team All-America.