MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan University men's ice hockey team played a complete 60 minutes and scored the first three goals during a 5-1 win over NESCAC-rival Colby on Saturday afternoon at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink in Middletown, Conn.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Senior forward Dylan Holze, who leads the NESCAC with 21 points on 12 goals and nine assists, found the back of the net from point-blank range for the Cardinals (8-2-3, 4-2-2 NESCAC) at the 3:21 mark of the first, by finishing off a rebound from sophomore forward Tyler Wyatt's shot. Sophomore forward Spencer Fox picked up an assist on the tally. That line was clicking on all cylinders this afternoon, totaling six points, as the three athletes have combined for 51 points for the season on 21 goals and 30 assists.
- Going up against a highly-skilled Colby team (7-6-0, 6-4-0 NESCAC), Wesleyan knew it would need to keep its foot on the throttle, and that is exactly what it did, extending the lead to 2-0 with 5:03 left in the first. Senior defender Marty Rubin fired a shot on net, which created a lively rebound in the slot, and Fox buried it into the back of the net. Junior captain Chad Malinowski chipped in with his seventh assist of the year on the tally.
- Holze was back on the attack during the second period, firing a shot into the back of the goal at the 2:46 mark from deep in the zone on the left side off an excellent pass across the crease by Wyatt, and senior forward Cam McCusker orchestrated the play with his fifth assist of the 2017-18 campaign.
- The Mules received a much-needed goal during a 4-on-4 situation at the 12:17 mark of the third on senior defenseman Andrew Reis's second goal of the year, trimming the Cardinals' advantage to 3-1.
- Wesleyan put the game out of reach early in the third with two goals in a span of 12 seconds. Sophomore forward Walker Harris sent a shot on target, and then McCusker deposited the remains into the back of the net at the 3:53 mark. At the 4:05 mark, freshman forward Cameron Peritz made a crafty movie to allude Mules senior goalie Sean Lawrence, and then fired a shot into the open net off a nice lead pass by freshman defenseman Matthew Zandi.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Sophomore goalie Tim Sestak (4-1-3) posted a game-high 42 stops for the hosts, which marks the second-highest amount of saves for him this season, as he reeled off a 45-save outing during a 5-3 win at then-No. 8 ranked Hamilton on Dec. 3. Sestak turned away 22-of-23 shots in the second, and Lawrence (7-4-0) finished with 28 stops for the visitors in 44 minutes, five seconds of action. Junior goalie Mack Burton reeled off nine saves in relief for the Mules during the last 15 minutes, 55 seconds, and gave up no goals.
- Colby held a 43-42 edge in shots, as Wesleyan came out of the gates flying with a 21-7 advantage in the first, and Colby countered with a 23-7 lead in the second.
- The two teams have created a rivalry in recent years, as the seventh-seeded Cardinals defeated second-seeded Colby, 5-4, in the quarterfinals of the 2017 NESCAC Tournament. During the 2016-17 regular season, both games came down to the wire, as the two programs battled to a 4-4 draw on Jan. 14, and Colby claimed a 3-2 victory on Feb. 11.
- The two teams played a physical brand of hockey today, which resulted in a total of 15 penalties. Wesleyan was exceptional on the penalty kill, killing off all nine Colby power plays, and the Cardinals went 0-for-6 on the advantage.
- Harris went 12-of-18 in the faceoff circle for Wesleyan, and senior forward Michael Rudolf won 12-of-20 draws for Colby.
- The Cardinals will take a break from their NESCAC schedule with a 7 p.m. showdown at Plattsburgh State on Tuesday.