Wesleyan scored three goals in a span of 59 seconds of the second period to turn a tight game into a 4-1 lead on the way to a 5-2 victory over Colby in the first game of a NESCAC weekend in Maine Fri., Feb. 14. The action concluded at Bowdoin Sat., Feb. 15, with a tough 4-3 overtime loss after Wesleyan built a 3-1 lead in the second period.
Wesleyan is now 11-9-2 overall and 6-9-1 in the league, in the thick of the race for the NESCAC playoffs. With two games still to be played on Sunday, Feb. 16, the seedings in the tournament are still totally up for grabs behind Trinity, Amherst and Williams, who have all clinched home games in the first round. The final weekend of play Feb. 21-23, during which Wesleyan will have a home-and-home series with conference leader Trinity, winner of 11 of its last 12 contests, will decide the outcomes. Wesleyan will be at Trinity Fri., Feb. 21 in a game slated for a webcast. Then the attention turns to Middletown for the final regular-season game Sat., Feb. 22, with the game also being webcast.
Wesleyan scored first at 18:28 of the first period and never trailed in the contest at Colby. Keith Buehler '14 (photo) made a nice individual effort to beat a defender as he went around the goal and crossed the puck in front. Brad Improta '14 was there to score his second of the season.
Colby tied the game at 1-1 at 3:42 of the second period with a 4-on-4 score before the Cardinal eruption.
Wesleyan started the stunning scoring binge at 15:22 of the second period when Buehler picked up his 10th goal of the season from James Albrecht '15 and Tommy Hartnett '14.
The Cardinals made it 3-1 at 16:05 on the 10th goal of the year from James Kline '17 off assists from Jay Matthews '16 and Connor Ryan '15.
Just 16 seconds later, the Cardinals broke it open at 4-1. Cole Morrissette '17 got the puck to Jaren Taenaka '16 on the right boards. Taenaka broke in and made a quick crossing pass to Terence Durkin '16 for the one-timer, his third goal of the year.
Buehler made sure there would be no comeback with his second goal of the game, and third point, on the power play at 9:21 of the third. Albrecht had his second assist of the night and Eric Casey '16 had the other assist.
The Mules closed out the scoring at 16:50 of the third period to make it a 5-23 final.
Dawson Sprigings '16 made 22 saves in net for Wesleyan, with 10 coming in the third period as shots favored the Cardinals, 31-24. The Wesleyan win avenged an earlier overtime loss at home to Colby this season.
At Bowdoin, the Cardinals forged a 3-1 lead at 4:18 of the second frame when Taenaka put home a pass from Durkin for the squad's third goal. Earlier, Buehler and Robby Harbison '17 had lit the lamp in producing a 2-1 first-period edge. But Bowdoin, which outshot Wesleyan, 39-30, got the final two goals of regulation to send the contest into overtime. With six shots in the extra frame, the Polar Bears capitalized on the final blast with just :16 remaining to claim the victory. Sprigings collected 35 stops during the outing.