The line of Alex Carlacci '16 (#26, celebrating final goal), Jaren Taenaka '16 and Terence Durkin '16 (in photo) accounted for the final four goals of the contest for Wesleyan as the Cardinals avenged an earlier 3-2 loss at Williams this season by defeating their Little Three/NESCAC rivals, 7-3, Sat., Feb. 8. Durkin, named NESCAC Player of the Week, assisted on all four goals while Taenaka and Carlacci each scored a pair of goals and Carlacci added an assist. The seven goals was the most ever scored by Wesleyan against Williams in the 52 all-time meetings of the teams and the win was just the sixth for the Cardinals against the Ephs. Williams holds a resounding 39-6-7 record in the all-time series. Four of the Cardinals' triumphs have come in the last 13 outings.
Wesleyan jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period, putting home four shots in a span of 7:27 against a Williams team that was leading the NESCAC in goals-against average coming into the contest, yielding a mere 1.61 goals a game. Williams had not allowed more than three goals in any game this season before tonight. The first three Cardinal tallies were all high wrist shots from above the circles, coming from Keith Buehler '14, Jay Matthews '16 and James Albrecht '15. The fourth came on a backhand from midrange off the stick of Taenaka to begin the run by his line.
Carlacci made it 5-0 with his first of the night 1:19 into the second period with another backhand. Williams got the next two, cutting the margin to 5-2 with 7:40 to go in the period. One of the goals came on the power play. Williams got the game's final goal at 9:41 of the third, also on the power play.
Taenaka and Carlacci both netted their second of the evening 4:24 apart during the first half of the third period, raising their seasonal goal totals to four each. Buehler got his ninth, Matthews his seventh, and Albrecht his second on the season for Wesleyan.
Williams generated a 39-26 edge in shots as Dawson Sprigings '17 made 36 saves for Wesleyan.
Wesleyan concluded its NESCAC weekend Sun., Feb. 9 by entertaining Middlebury in hopes of avenging another earlier loss this season. It came to pass as Wesleyan pulled off a 2-1 victory with a pair of first-period goals only 21 seconds apart. It was just the third ever win for Wesleyan against the Panthers.
At 10:07 of the first period, Carlacci took the puck deep into the right corner and hit Durkin in the slot for a quick shot and his second goal of the season. Taenaka also got an assist. James Kline '17 made it 2-0 as he took control of the puck in center ice, swept into the Middlebury zone and took a hard forehand shot from the slot while moving to his left that caught the net low inside the right post. Kline is now tied for second on the team in goals with nine.
The Wesleyan defense, anchored by Sprigings, blocked numerous shots on the afternoon, complimented by his 29 saves, getting him close to his first career shutout. Middlebury got on the board with 5:07 left in the third period as the puck was lofted from the Panthers blue line toward the Wesleyan blue line. Defenseman Robbie Harbison '17 went down to knock the puck off its path with his glove and whiffed, leaving the loose puck available for a Panther breakaway and a high shot past Sprigings' glove to make it 2-1.
Middlebury pulled its goalie for the final 1:08 and kept the puck around the Wesleyan zone most of the time but the Cardinals limited the Panthers to just one shot which Sprigings stopped to preserve the win. It was only the second time in the series Wesleyan has held the Panthers to a lone goal, the only other time coming during a 1-1 tie in 2007.
Wesleyan heads to Maine for its next action, visiting Colby Fri., Feb. 14 to start a NESCAC weekend. The weekend finishes at Bowdoin Sat., Feb. 15. Both games will be webcast. Click < here > for Colby and < here > for Bowdoin.