Men's Ice Hockey Rallies for 3-2 Win Over Conn as Geoff Mucha '12 Nets Tying & Winning Goals in 3rd Period - Team Then Falls at Colby
After a three-day delay to get the game in, Wesleyan got the game-winner off the stick of Geoff Mucha '12 (#6 main photo) at the 8:43 mark of the third period during 4-on-4 action to bring the Cardinals back from a 2-0 first-period deficit and make a 3-2 winner of the team over Conn. College Tues., Feb. 8. Following a Conn. College penalty at 8:38, John Guay '13 won the offensive-zone faceoff and tipped the puck to defenseman Chris MacDonald '13. MacDonald sent it to defenseman Todd Keats, who one-timed it. Keats' shot was stopped by the Conn netminder, but Mucha tipped in the rebound for his eighth goal of the season, giving him the team lead in that category.
Mucha had tied the game for Wesleyan early in the third period. Following a shot that went high over the net, Donald Kleckner '13 sent the puck to Mucha, who flipped it in at 1:02 for his seventh goal of the year.
Conn. College had held a 2-0 lead at the first intermission following a pair of late goals. Wesleyan halved its deficit at the 6:29 mark of the second courtesy of Brett Bandazian '12. Nick Craven '13 outfought a Conn defenseman in the neutral zone for the puck and passed to Bandazian along the right boards. Bandazian beat a Conn defenseman and sent the puck over the goalie's right shoulder for his third goal of the season and second in the last two games.
The teams survived a wild finish that saw each side earn a two-man advantage. A major penalty on Conn with 3:31 to go followed by a holding minor 35 seconds later gave Wesleyan a 5-on-3, but a Wesleyan goal was disallowed as the net had become dislodged. Wesleyan kept the pressure on, but a slashing minor on the Cardinals with 1:48 remaining, followed by a holding penalty with 1:10 to play, gave the visitors a power play of their own. Conn pulled its goalie with a minute to go in favor of an extra skater, giving the Camels a 5-on-3 to end the game. The Wesleyan penalty kill held firm and Glenn Stowell '13 made three of his six third-period stops in the final minute to preserve the one-goal victory. Stowell finished with 28 saves for Wesleyan as the Cardinals forged a 40-30 shot margin, including a 18-6 count in the final stanza.
It the second meeting between the two teams this season, as they had also battled in the consolation round of the Ben McCabe Tournament at Amherst College on Jan. 3. The teams skated to a 2-2 tie in that tilt, as Mucha netted the tying goal for Wesleyan at the 8:32 mark of the third.
The win over the Camels kept the Cardinals in the thick of the NESCAC playoff race. Wesleyan then traveled to Colby for a NESCAC battle in its next start Fri., Feb. 11. Though the Cardinals again battled back, this time from a 3-0 deficit on third-period goals from Nik Tasiopoulos '14 and Anthony DePietto '11 just 2:17 apart, the Cardinals couldn't come up with the equalizer over the final 12 minutes. Colby added a insurance marker with 4:52 remaining to skate off with the 4-2 triumph despite being outshot, 38-27. That ended Wesleyan's two-game win streak over Colby, started in Waterville, Me., in 2009, after going 0-18-2 in its first 20 contests vs. Colby.
The league weekend concludes with a meeting in Brunswick, Me., Sat., Feb. 12, against Bowdoin in a game that will feature both a webcast and livestats. To see the transmissions, click < here >.