MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The fans who came out to Spurrier-Snyder Rink on Sunday afternoon were treated to an exceptional back-and-forth game of hockey between Wesleyan University and Plymouth State.
After three lead changes and a trio of ties, the Cardinals and Panthers needed to settle for a 3-3 draw during non-conference action in Middletown, Conn., as junior defenseman Chad Malinowski tallied the game-tying goal for Wesleyan at the 5:59 mark of the third.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Wesleyan (1-1-2, 0-1-1 NESCAC) appeared to be in a good position heading into the third, as they held a 2-1 advantage after falling behind, 1-0, in the first period. However, the Panthers (5-2-1, 3-1-0 MASCAC) showcased their offensive firepower with a pair of goals in a span of 30 seconds during the opening minutes of the third.
- Senior forward Chris Zuccaro equalized the score at 2-2 with a man-advantage tally at the 1:12 mark, assisted by junior forwards Matt Volonnino and Ryan Stevens, and then sophomore defenseman Victor Bergstrom found the back of the net with the go-ahead tally at the 1:42 mark, with assists given to freshman forward JR Barone and Stevens.
- Malinowski made sure Wesleyan did not leave the arena with a loss, as he tied the game at 3-3 with 14:01 left on assists by junior forwards Luke Babcock and Andy Espinoza.
- Plymouth State opened the scoring at the 7:34 mark of the first on freshman forward Peter Laviolette's second goal of the season, as the play developed nicely with fluent passes by freshman forward Jake Gerbner and sophomore forward Tim Larocque.
- Wesleyan knotted the game at one apiece with 7:38 left in the second on a power-play tally from the left attacking point by junior defenseman Sean Ross, as the San Diego, Calif. native registered his third career goal and first of the 2017-18 campaign. Junior defenseman Mike Yablong picked up an assist, sliding a pass over from the right point, and sophomore forward Spencer Fox was credited with the second assist.
- The Cardinals claimed their first and only lead of the afternoon with 4:11 on the clock in the second on senior forward Dylan Holze's team-leading fifth goal of the season, with sophomore forward Tyler Wyatt and Fox earning their team-best fourth assists.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The matchup was an even one throughout the couse of the game, with Wesleyan holding a 35-33 advantage in shots on goal. The hosts led by marks of 9-7 and 12-9 in the first and second, respectively, but then Plymouth State led the shot category, 14-12, in the third frame during its two-goal push. The visitors compiled three shots in the five-minute overtime session, and Wesleyan fired two shots on net.
- Wesleyan was efficient on the man advantage, going 2-for-5, and Plymouth State capitalized on one of its three power-play scenarios, while the Panthers won 37 of 70 faceoffs.
- Wyatt led the way for Wesleyan with a team-high five shots, and sophomore forward Walker Harris and Holze each chipped in with four shots on net. Freshman defenseman Marc Happy of Plymouth State led all players with six shots on target.
- Sophomore goalie Tim Sestak earned his second tie of the season with a 30-save outing, as he was also in net during the Cardinals' 3-3 draw against Tufts on Nov. 18. Sophomore goalie Thierry Messervier (0-1-1) tallied a game-high 32 stops for the Panthers.
- The Cardinals will hit the road for the first time this season on Saturday for a 7 p.m. NESCAC tilt against Little Three-rival Amherst.