MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan men's hockey team will host Middlebury on Saturday for a 3:00 p.m. NESCAC Quarterfinal matchup. The Cardinals earned the second seed in the tournament, finishing the regular season with a 15-7-2 overall record and a 13-3-2 NESCAC mark. The Panthers are seeded seventh and finished 8-12-4 overall (5-9-4 NESCAC).
This will be Wesleyan's third-straight appearance in the conference tournament and 12th overall, as the Cardinals earned the highest seed in program history. Wesleyan is in pursuit of its first-ever championship title, as it looks to make it to the championship game for the first time. Middlebury has not appeared in the tournament since 2016, but has won the most NESCAC titles of any school (eight) and is on the hunt to tally one more.
CARDINALS AT A GLANCE:
- The Cardinals have had their best season in program history, as the team broke the NESCAC record for longest unbeaten streak (13-0-2) and tallied a program-best 15 wins. The team also grabbed national attention, being ranked as high as No. 10 for a number of weeks before falling to No. 11 Trinity this past weekend.
- Wesleyan is guided by Walker Harris and Tyler Wyatt. Harris leads the conference in goals scored (18), point scoring (1.25 PPG) and game-winning goals (five), and has also tallied 12 assists during the season. Wyatt has recorded 13 assists and six goals thus far.
- Goaltender Tim Sestak has been phenomenal in net for the Cardinals this season, leading the conference in save percentage (.945) and goals against average (1.69). Sestak has garnered NESCAC Player of the Week accolades on three different occasions, and is second overall in Division II/III in save percentage and shutouts (seven).
- The Cardinals have a lot of depth this year, as Spencer Fox, Vincent Lima and Tyler Levine have each tallied seven goals and dished out 10 assists.
PANTHERS AT A GLANCE:
- Middlebury bounced back from a couple of difficult years, doubling the points they scored during the 2017-18 campaign to earn the seventh seed.
- The Panthers are led by Kamil Tkaczuk who recorded a team-high 13 assists to go along with eight goals. Michael Fahie has also helped guide Middlebury with nine goals and 11 assists. Both players are in the top-10 in league scoring.
- Netminder Brian Ketchabaw is fifth in the NESCAC in save percentage (.924) and recorded two shutouts.
- "Post season is a new season for everyone. It is a fun time of year, but you have to bring your best game. We are looking forward to hosting a playoff game and playing in front of our students and fans. We are expecting a great game and a hungry Middlebury team.
<< CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL >>
Quarterfinals - Saturday, February 23 at Higher Seeds
No. 8 Tufts at No. 1 Trinity - 1 p.m.
No. 7 Middlebury at No. 2 Wesleyan - 3 p.m.
No. 6 Colby at No. 3 Amherst - 3 p.m.
No. 5 Williams at No. 4 Hamilton - 1 p.m.
Semifinals - Friday or Saturday, March 1-2 at Highest Remaining Seed
Lowest Remaining Seed vs. Highest Remaining Seed - TBD
Remaining Quarterfinal winners - TBD
Championship - Saturday or Sunday, March 2-3 at Semifinal Host
Semifinals winners - TBD