Cards Forge 1-1 OT Tie vs. NEC Thanks to Kelsey Muller '13 Late Goal, But Three Losses Follow Including NESCAC Games at Bowdoin & Colby
With goalie Ashleigh Corvi '13 (#35, photo insert upper left) on the bench in favor of a sixth skater in the final 1:25 of the third period, Wesleyan got the equalizer with 1:04 remaining in regulation off the stick of Kelsey Muller '13 (#15, main photo) to come away with a 1-1 tie in overtime vs. visiting New England College Thurs., Jan. 13. The game was played one day later than originally slated due to the heavy snowfall in the Northeast Jan. 11-12.
With Jill Reynolds '12 and Julia Mulhern '12 getting the helpers, Muller finished off a strong Cardinal rush with a rising backhander from in close on a slight angle from the left. Wesleyan had been buzzing for about two minutes including a shot off the post by Jaime Bonner '12 with 2:40 to go. Prior to the final three minutes, Wesleyan's best chance to score came during the team's initial power play early in the third period. Reynolds got a feed on the right side and lofted a shot but just missed an open right corner with her rising wrister.
Great stops by Corvi, who finished the game with 26 saves, kept the game scoreless through 20 minutes. She made a terrific pad save on a 3-on-1 NEC break, then followed with a second save on the rebound. At 5:53 of the second frame, the Pilgrims got on the board with a good feed to the slot for a one-timer past Corvi.
During overtime, the Cardinals escaped disaster with just :02 left as a loose puck in center ice turned into a final breakaway for NEC, but the low shot hit the right post along the ice and caromed to the corner as time ran out.
Wesleyan continued its scheduled series of three straight out-of-conference games by visiting Sacred Heart Sat., Jan. 15 for its next start. The teams were to meet again in Middletown Tues., Jan. 18, after which the Cardinals end the season with 10 consecutive NESCAC matchups.
At Sacred Heart, the Div. I independent Pioneers generated a 49-31 shot differential and kept the Cardinal attack at bay with 31 saves from its keeper as Sacred Heart skated off with a 5-0 win. The Pioneers scored twice in the first and second periods and tacked on its fifth tally in the third. Minding the Cardinal net, Nicole Bonneau '13 stopped 44 Pinoerr scoring bids. The game was played virtually free of penalties as Wesleyan was whistled down just twice and Sacred Heart played down a skater only once. The rematch in Middletown was postponed due to weather and may be rescheduled for Feb. 6. Confirmation is TBA.
A NESCAC weekend in Maine lay ahead for the Cardinals as they traveled to Bowdoin for a game Fri., Jan. 21, followed by a visit to Colby Sat., Jan. 22. Brunswick proved a bit inhospitable as the Polar Bears knocked off the Cardinals, 6-1, extending their unbeaten straing vs. Wesleyan to 23 games (22-0-1). Despite a 41-4 shot differential through the opening 40 minutes, Wesleyan was still in the game as Corvi turned aside 38 attempts to keep it a 3-0 game. Bowdoin cashed in quickly on each of the Cardinals' three penalties in the third period to run away with the decision. Molly Friedemann '11 netted the Wesleyan goal at 8:12 with assists from Julia Mulhern '12 and Jenna Vanderlinden '14. Bowdoin scored :36, :17 and :24 into its power-play chances during the final 20 minutes after Wesleyan had killed off two short-handed situations in the second stanza. Corvi finished the game with 48 saves.
Corvi had an indentical save effort at Colby during a tight 2-1 setback. With a 50-15 shortfall in the shots area, Wesleyan got another steller outing from its keeper as she racked up 38 stops over the first two periods alone, helping the Cardinals carry a 1-0 edge into the final frame. Jill Reynolds '12 lit the lamp with 1:06 left in the first period with assists going to Jaime Bonner '12 and Ann Wheeler '13. It was the team-leading fifth goal of the season for Reylnolds. Corvi and the Cardinals withstood four minutes of short-handed play in each of the first two stanzas. The Mules broke through the Wesleyan armour at 2:47 of the third period to knot the count, then got the game-winner at 6:48. Despite a minute of extra-skater action to end the contest, Wesleyan could not even the score.
Wesleyan will be at home for its next NESCAC weekend, hosting Middlebury Fri., Jan. 28, then Williams Sat., Jan. 29.