Wesleyan built a 3-1 lead by the opening minute of the third period and the 34 saves of goalie Glenn Stowell '13 (#31, main photo) made it hold up as the Cardinals posted just their fourth ever win over NESCAC rival Hamilton in 31 all-time meetings with a 3-2 home victory Sat., Nov. 20. Geoff Mucha '12 (#6, photo insert lower right) scored what proved to be the deciding goal just 14 seconds into the final stanza, taking a pass from linemate Tom Salah '12 and one-timing a shot into the Hamilton net to spot the Cardinals a 3-1 cushion. Adam Kaiser '13 also got an assist on the play. It was the only goal on the game that didn’t result from a power play.
Hamilton cut the gap to 3-2 at 7:50 of the third period when the Continentals scored their second power-play goal of the day. Hamilton pulled its goalie for the final 1:12 of the contest but the Cardinals held firm to improve their overall record vs. Hamilton to 4-24-3. The teams are 2-2-1 against each other in the last five contests, however, and the margin between the squads over the last eight battles has never been more than two goals.
Wesleyan never trailed in the contest, holding leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before extending the difference early in the third period. Nik Tasiopoulos '14 picked up his first career marker at 1:07 of the second period to begin the afternoon’s scoring as the teams played the initial 20 minutes without lighting the lamp. Tasiopoulos found an open left side of the net after a shot by Todd Keats '11 (#7, photo insert upper right) was stopped by the Continental goalie as the second of three quick shots on net in short order during a Wesleyan power-play. Keith Buehler '14 had the first of the three shots. An unassisted Hamilton tally at 8:27, also on the power-play, knotted the count at 1-1 but Keats untied the game 2:51 before the end of the frame as he hooked up with Nick Craven '13 and Kaiser to give Wesleyan the lead for good, scoring with the man-advantage and giving himself a two-point game.
Hamilton had a slight edge in total shots, 36-31. Wesleyan was 2-for-3 on the power play while Hamilton went 2-for-6.
Wesleyan returned to action Tues., Nov. 23, hosting Stonehill in a non-conference affair. In the first-ever meeting of the teams, Wesleyan recovered from a 2-0 deficit after one period of play with three goals in the second stanza. Newcomers Tommy Hartnett '14 and Keith Buehler '14 tied the count with goals just 3:25 apart, the latter on the power play. Nick Craven '13 completed the flurry with a goal just 2:07 later to give the Cardinals the lead for good at 10:55 of the period. His, too, was a power-play marker. Goalie Matt Hadge '13 made 14 saves over the final two periods to hold Stonehill off the board for the final 44:26 of the contest, giving his teammates a chance to make up the first-period difference. Hadge finished the game with 24 stops. Both Nik Tasiopoulos '14 and Adam Kaiser '13 ended the game with a pair of assists.
Wesleyan continues its non-conference ways in its next encouter, a trip to Wentworth Sun., Nov. 28.
(photos courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)