HARTFORD, Conn. – The Wesleyan University men's ice hockey team scored a pair of first-period goals during an enormous 2-1 NESCAC win over No. 6-ranked Trinity on Friday evening in Hartford, Conn., as the Cardinals moved into a tie with Connecticut College for the third slot in the NESCAC standings.
The Cardinals' last victory over the Bantams occurred on Feb. 16, 2013, by way of a 2-1 score in Hartford, Conn, as Wesleyan snapped a 10-game losing streak in the series. The Cardinals are in the midst of a playoff push, as they are trying to wrap up home-ice advantage in the quarterfinal round for the first time since 2007, which will require a top-four finish in the conference standings.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Senior forward Dylan Holze opened the scoring for the Cardinals (12-6-5, 8-5-4 NESCAC) at the 3:44 mark of the first period, as he recorded his NESCAC-leading 16th goal of the year with a shot that deflected off a defender's stick. The Lynbrook, N.Y. native also ranks No. 1 in the conference with 26 points.
- Senior forward Cam McCusker, who has come through in the clutch all season for Wesleyan, netted his team-leading fourth game-winning goal of the 2017-18 season with 1:34 left in the first, with sophomore forward Walker Harris and senior assistant captain Jordan Jancze picking up assists.
- The Bantams (16-5-2, 13-3-1 NESCAC), who currently sit atop the NESCAC standings, nearly found their way onto the scoresheet in the final moments of the second, but senior forward Tyler Whitney's shot connected with the pipe.
- With 1:12 remaining in regulation and staring at a two-goal deficit, Trinity elected to pull senior goalie Alex Morin for an extra attacker. The decision paid off with 56 seconds remaining in the third, as sophomore defenseman Andy Chugg turned the goal light on, with assists credited to sophomore forward Barclay Gammill and senior forward Anthony Sabitsky.
- The Bantams emptied their net again with 49 seconds left, but Wesleyan able to prevent the hosts from getting another shot on net.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Cardinals sophomore goalie Tim Sestak (8-4-5) was outstanding between the pipes, turning away the first 34 shots he faced. During the third period, he was tested a great deal, but he was able to turn away 16-of-17 shots. Morin (14-5-2) stopped 23-of-25 shots in a losing effort for the Bantams.
- Trinity outshot Wesleyan, 35-25, with a decisive 16-5 advantage in the final 20 minutes. Wesleyan held a slight 10-9 edge in shots during the middle frame, and each team fired 10 shots on target during the opening 20 minutes.
- Both teams were efficient on the penalty kill, as Wesleyan was 0-for-4 on the advantage, and Trinity was unable to cash in on either one of its two power plays.
- The hosts went 34-of-55 in the circle, headlined by a 12-for-17 effort by Sabitsky. Sophomore forward Tyler Wyatt paced Wesleyan, winning 7-of-12 draws.
- Wyatt, who hails from Bridgeton, N.J., also led Wesleyan with five shots on goal, and Gammill registered a team-high five shots for the Bantams.
- The Cardinals will be fighting for playoff positioning on Saturday afternoon, as they welcome the Bantams to Middletown, Conn., for a 3 p.m. tilt at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink.