Nick Malone's '17 First Career Goal Gives Men's Ice Hockey a Tie vs. Hamilton, 2-2, Followed by Setback to Amherst
Nick Malone '17 (#3, left side photo) ripped in a slapshot from the left circle with 7:21 remaining in the third period to even the score at 2-2 as Wesleyan and Hamilton stayed scoreless the final 12:21 of the game, including overtime, to end in a deadlock Sat., Feb. 1. Hamilton captured the season series between the teams, having taken an 8-5 decision when the team met in Clinton, N.Y. back in November.
Hamilton netted a pair of goals just 1:58 apart early in the first period as the first goal came after a shot was deflected behind the net, where a Continental gained control and whisked in front to put Hamilton ahead at 4:14. The second goal came on a slapper from the high slot at 6:12.
Wesleyan got one back off the stick of James Kline '17 (#25, right side photo) at 5:32 of the middle stanza as he skated up the left side and fired one in from the left circle for his eighth goal of the campaign. Eric Casey '16 fed Kline the puck before his run up ice. Hard work behind the net by Connor Ryan '15 and then Kline near the blue line set up Malone's game-tying shot in the third period.
Wesleyan had a 32-25 edge in total shots as keeper Dawson Sprigings '17 made 23 stops for the Cardinals. Both teams had a two-man advantage due to opposition penalties in the game, Wesleyan for 49 seconds and Hamilton for 1:22, but neither team could capitalize on the chance.
The power play proved to be a pivotal factor in the Cardinals' next game as they hosted Amherst in NESCAC/Little Three play Sun., Feb. 2. After a well-played scoreless first period, Wesleyan drew a five-minute major penalty at 4:10 of the second. Amherst capitaized twice during the power-play chance, scoring goals 2:13 apart. Point shots from the left side led to both goals as one was redirected from the slot past Sprigings while the other shot was saved but the rebound sat in front and the Lord Jeffs flipped the puck in for the 2-0 lead at 8:41. The score stayed unchanged for the next 25 minutes before Amherst connected on a 3-on-2 break to make it 3-0 at 14:27 of the third stanza. A defensive giveway by Wesleyan a minute later led to Amherst's fourth goal. Wesleyan avoided a shutout when Dylan Niehoff '16 fired in a shot from the top of the left circle through a screen, finding space inside the right post at 18:06. Sprigings ended the contest with 40 saves as Amherst enjoyed a 44-27 edge on total shots.
Wesleyan continues its NESCAC four-game home stand with Williams coming to town Sat., Feb. 2, in a game slated for a webcast.