Nick Craven '13 Nets Short-Handed Goal off Keith Buehler '14 Assist, but Cards Fall to Trinity, 3-2 in OT
Visiting Trinity got a goal with :04 left in regulation and another 1:36 into overtime to allow the Bantams to recover from a 2-0 deficit and defeat Wesleyan, 3-2, Fri., Feb. 15. The win improves the Bantams' position in the NESCAC standings as they are in a four-way battle with Middlebury, Williams and Amherst for the #2 seed in the upcoming NESCAC tournament. Bowdoin, currently first, can lock up the top seed with a home victory against Conn. College on Saturday. Wesleyan and Trinity complete their two-game series in Hartford Sat., Feb. 16 before Trinity makes up a game against Bowdoin that was postponed due to snow. That game will be played at the Brooks School in North Andover, Mass. on Monday and could decide the #2 seed.
Wesleyan had built a 2-0 lead, scoring twice in the second period as Jay Matthews '16 got the first, his fourth of the year, as he sent a shot from the right circle that appeared wide of the net but deflected in off a Bantam defender at 3:21 of the period. At 18:52, Nick Craven '13 (#16, main photo) netted his 16th of the campaign, which ranks second in the NESCAC behind linemate Keith Buehler '14 (#13, photo insert upper right), who has 18. Craven chased down a pick sent out of the Cardinal zone by Buehler off the glass at center ice while Wesleyan was killing a penalty, raced up ice, and deked the keeper with a good move before lifting a high backhand into the net for a short-handed goal.
Trinity cut the margin in half at 4:13 of the third period, scoring into an open left side from the edge of the left circle as Stowell was caught out of position trying to cut down the angle on a Bantam, who had the puck in the right circle. Instead, the puck was sent across the slot for a shot before Stowell could adjust.
In tying the game, a Bantam pounced on a rebound of a shot into a wave of players in front of the Wesleyan net, getting a wrist shot inside the right post with :04 showing on the third period clock while Trinity had its keeper on the bench in favor of a sixth skater. Wesleyan had just iced the puck with :10 left, bringing about a faceoff in the Cardinal zone to the right of Stowell. Trinity won the faceoff and threw the puck in front from the left circle before the puck trickled to the right side for a quick tying shot.
In overtime, a centering pass from down low on the left to the slot resulted in a low shot through the pads of Stowell for the winner.
Trinity outshot Wesleyan, 38-22, as Stowell made 35 saves. Trinity improved to 47-26-3 all-time vs. Wesleyan but the teams had split the last 13 meetings, 6-6-1, over the previous seven years.
Wesleyan has already locked up the sixth seed for the upcoming NESCAC tournament regardless of the result on the final regular-season game at Trinity Saturday. Wesleyan will draw the third seed in the first round, but will likely not know what team that is until after Bowdoin and Trinity complete their game on Monday.