MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Junior defenseman Sean Ross buried the game winner from the left point with four seconds remaining in regulation for the Wesleyan University men's ice hockey team on Friday evening, as the Cardinals outlasted NESCAC-foe Bowdoin, 2-1, at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The game appeared to be heading for a five-minute overtime session in the final moments of regulation, but Ross sent an elevated shot from the point, which navigated through traffic, and deflected off Polar Bears junior goalie Erik Wurman before finding a place in the back of the net. Ross then jumped into the boards to celebrate his second career game-winning goal, as the Cardinals left the ice to a standing ovation from their loyal fans. Junior captain Chad Malinowski provided the assist on the game-clinching marker.
- Neither team was able to find the back of the net during the opening 40 minutes, despite posting a combined 43 shots on goal. Bowdoin (4-10-0, 2-7-0 NESCAC) struck first at the 5:35 mark of the final frame, as senior forward Spencer Antunez went hard to net on the right wing, and snuck a shot pass the goal line, despite having a difficult angle to work with. Junior forward Austin Ricci was credited with his second assist of the season on the play.
- Wesleyan (7-2-3, 3-2-2 NESCAC) equalized the game at 1-1 with 10:18 remaining on junior forward Vincent Lima's third goal of the year off a nice feed by freshman forward Cameron Peritz. Lima has found a nice rhythm of late, as he has posted all three of his goals during the last three games. A key component to the goal was the Cardinals' ability to gain a great deal of momentum from a two-minute power play, which started at 7:11 mark. Wesleyan did not score on the advantage, but moved the puck around in a fluid manner and sent four shots on target.
- The Cardinals nearly went on the board at the 4:37 mark of the first, as sophomore forward Tyler Wyatt weaved his way through the defense in the offensive zone during a short-handed situation, but his driving wrist shot in the right slot was denied by Wurman.
- Freshman forward Jordan Rose registered a strong bid at the 5:43 mark of the second, but was unable to put the puck behind the goal line from the left wing off an exceptional feed by sophomore forward Walker Harris during a 2-on-1 breakaway.
- Wesleyan also registered a pair of strong chances early in the third with senior forward Dylan Holze firing a rocket on net from the left wing, which was saved by Wurman with three minutes, 46 seconds elapsed, and then Harris sent a strong scoring chance on net from the middle of zone at the 4:15 mark off a heads-up pass by sophomore forward Spencer Fox, but Wurman steered the attempt wide.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The two teams played a back-and-forth game with Wesleyan leading the shots category, 31-30. The Cardinals compiled an 11-7 edge in shots during the final 20 minutes.
- Blinick (4-1-0) was solid throughout the contest, reading pucks well, and turning away 29 shots. Wurman (0-2-0) also tallied 29 saves for the Polar Bears.
- The Cardinals were whistled for six penalties and Bowdoin was sent to the box on five occasions. The visitors went 0-for-4 on the advantage, and Wesleyan was unsuccessful on its three power-play opportunities.
- Peritz went 6-for-9 in the faceoff circle for Wesleyan, and senior assistant captain Jordan Jancze registered a 5-for-6 showing. Junior forward Sebastian Foster won 6-of-7 draws for the Polar Bears.
- Wesleyan is now 6-20-4 all time against Bowdoin, as the two teams will face off again on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. in Brunswick, Maine.
- The Cardinals will welcome NESCAC-rival Colby to the Spurrier-Snyder Rink for a 3 p.m. puck drop on Saturday in Middletown, Conn.