MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Sophomore goalie Tim Sestak stopped 38-of-41 shots for the Wesleyan University men's ice hockey team on Saturday afternoon, but junior forward Ryan Pfeffer posted a two-point game for No. 6-ranked Trinity, including burying the game winner at the 15:42 mark of the second during a 3-1 win at the Spurrier-Snyder Rink.
The Cardinals (12-7-5, 8-6-4 NESCAC) have concluded their 2017-18 regular-season slate, and will suit up for a quarterfinal-round matchup in the NESCAC Tournament next Saturday, as the seeds will be finalized on Sunday.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Cardinals junior forward Luke Babcock evened the game at 1-1, sneaking a shot pass the goal line at the 7:57 mark of the second, as he finished off a feed from sophomore forward Walker Harris. Junior captain Chad Malinowski also picked up an assist on the scoring play.
- Pfeffer responded with 4:18 left in the second for Trinity (17-5-2, 14-3-1 NESCAC), as he netted a shot from point-blank range, with assists credited to freshman forward Eric Benshadle and sophomore defenseman Liam Feeney.
- Wesleyan went on the power play at the 18:46 mark of the second, with Bantams sophomore defenseman Nick Fiorentino being ticketed for a two-minute minor for interference. Trinity's penalty-killing unit, which was outstanding all afternoon, generated a 2-on-1 break up ice, as Pfeffer ripped a pass over to Feeney, who was streaking down the right wing. Feeney then deked Sestak to the right, and slid the puck into the back of the net for his first short-handed goal of the season.
- The visitors opened the scoring with 11:49 remaining in the first period on freshman forward Blake Carrick's second collegiate goal, assisted by senior forward Tyler Whitney.
- Wesleyan honored its outstanding five-person senior class prior to the start of the game, as the group is headlined by Dylan Holze, Marty Rubin, Cam McCusker, Theo Tydingco and Jordan Jancze.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Sestak (8-5-5) stopped 16 shots in the first, 10 in the second and 12 in the third, while Bantams senior goalie Alex Morin (15-5-2) earned the win with a 20-save outing.
- Trinity held a convincing 41-21 edge in shots on goal, and each team went 30-of-60 in the faceoff circle. Harris won 16-of-28 draws for the hosts, and freshman forward Dylan Healey went 11-of-16 in the circle for the visitors.
- Neither team was able to capitalize on the advantage, as Wesleyan went 0-for-3, and Trinity was unsuccessful during its lone power play.
- The Cardinals will be making their 10th all-time appearance in the NESCAC Tournament, as the 2016-17 Cardinals earned the No. 7 seed, and then upset second-seeded Colby, 5-4, in Waterville, Maine, during the quarterfinals.
- The Cardinals will figure out their quarterfinal-round opponent and start time on Sunday.