Nicole Bonneau '13 Posts First Career Shutout with 25 Saves During 0-0 OT Affair at Nichols
Making 25 saves and helping the Cardinals survive six short-handed situations, Nicole Bonneau '13 (#30, photo courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) recorded her first career shutout and the initial shutout of the year for the Cardinals during a 0-0 overtime contest at Nichols Wed., Feb. 3.
Twelve days earlier, Ashleigh Corvi '13 shut Colby out for more than 54 minutes before settling for a one-goal outing as Wesleyan prevailed, 2-1, in the NESCAC game Jan. 22. That was as close as the Cardinals came to a shutout this year before Bonneau made it work with her 25 stops, three of those coming in overtime.
Wesleyan nearly took the lead at the midway point of the game. Just 30 seconds after the Cardinals killed a penalty, Wesleyan was awarded a penalty shot due to a flagrant interference call by Nichols. Jill Reynolds '12 tried to cash in on the oppprtunity, but the Nichols goalie made a nifty pad save to keep the game scoreless, and that's the way it stayed in just the second-ever meeting of the teams. Last year when the teams met in Middletown, Wesleyan took a 2-0 decision as Rachel Stemmerman '09 picked up 16 saves in that triumph. It was Stemmerman's fourth career shutout.
Against Nichols this year, Wesleyan got off to a strong start with a 13-4 edge in shots. The Bison evened it out a bit in the second stanza with a 13-6 advantage in shots but Wesleyan used a 9-5 margin during the final period to hold a 28-22 edge through regulation. Nichols picked up three of the five shots recorded in the extra frame.
Wesleyan continued its out-of-conference week Sat., Feb. 6, hosting the only Division I independent team in the country, Sacred Heart. The Cardinals got unassisted goals from Alex Bean 11 and Sena Ito '11 in the third period along with 42 saves from Bonneau but it wasn't enough to prevent Sacred Heart from claiming a 4-2 win. The teams entered the final period with the Pioneers clinging to a 1-0 edge. Wesleyan cut a two-goal gap down to one but Sacred Heart bumped it up to 4-1 before Wesleyan struck last in the final two minutes.
Wesleyan returns to NESCAC action on Fri., Feb. 12, taking on Colby in Maine in a must-win situation to realistically have a shot at the upcoming NESCAC tournament. The weekend closes out Sat., Feb. 13 at Bowdoin.