James Albrecht '15 (#10, main photo) netted the overtime winner with just 1:12 left to make Wesleyan an instant victor over homestanding Middlebury, ranked #15 nationally, Fri., Jan. 6, 5-4. It was the second year in a row the Cardinals have downed the Panthers in extra time, with both wins coming on the road. Wesleyan moved on to Williams Sat., Jan 7 with an 8-3 overall mark, 3-2 in NESCAC play, to complete its road NESCAC weekend. Williams took its third straight OT victory against Wesleyan, all in Williamstown, with a 3-2 triumph, ending Wesleyan's current win streak at five games.
While Albrecht's second goal of the season at Middlebury provided Wesleyan with its fifth straight win, the first five-game win streak since the 1998-99 campaign, Keith Buehler '14 (#13, photo insert upper left) made overtime possible with his second goal of the contest, scoring high to the glove side with 3:23 remaining in the third period. Goals by Buehler, John Guay '13 and Nick Craven '13 consecutively in the first period erased an early 1-0 deficit and spotted the Cardinals a 3-1 margin after 20 minutes. A pair of Panther goals in the second stanza made it a 3-3 contest heading into the final period. Middlebury broke the tie just 44 seconds in and held the lead most of the frame before Buehler scored on assists by Nik Tasiopoulos '14 and Adam DeSanctis '15. Tommy Hartnett '14 was the only other Cardinal with a two-point night, registering a pair of assists.
In goal, Glenn Stowell '13 posted 32 stops to up his record on the year to 5-1.
At Williams, Buehler and Craven again were goal scorers with Craven's power-play marker at the 6:01 mark of the second period knotting the count at 2-2. Buehler had evened the score at 1-1 with a power-play goal at 16:35 of the first stanza, assisted by Geoff Mucha '13 and John Guay '13. Albrecht was the lone assister on Craven's tying goal. Williams, ranked #13 nationally, got the winner at 2:27 of overtime despite being outshot by a wide 51-20 margin in the contest. Wesleyan held a 38-9 edge in attempts after two period, yet the score was even at 2-2.
Up next for the squad is a home NESCAC weekend with Maine rivals Bowdoin and Colby due in Fri., Jan. 13, and Sat., Jan. 14, respectively. Bowdoin took the initial contest of the weekend, breaking open a tight game in the third period and skating off with a 6-2 triumph.
Tom Salah '12 and Tasiopoulos were second-period goal scorers for the Cardinals vs. Bowdoin after a scoreless opening stanza. Salah began the night's scoring with a deflection from the right side while Tasiopoulos, with his team-leading 11th goal of the year, knotted the game at 2-2 off a Buehler feed at 11:44 of the period. But a pair of Bowdoin power-play goals with the winner coming at 3:20 during a 4-on-3 situation, and the insurance marker at 11:33, turned the tide in Bowdoin's favor during the third period. A pair of Polar Bear markers in the final five minutes put the game out of reach. Stowell, facing 48 shots, registered 42 saves.