The men’s hockey team fell in two conference games at home this past weekend, unable to pick up any points in the NESCAC standings.
Friday night against UMass Boston, the Cardinals were slow out of the gate, falling behind 6-1 in the first period and finishing with an 8-4 loss.
The Cardinals looked to make a comeback in the second period as Anthony DePietto ’11 scored on an assist from captain Brenton Stafford ’08 to cut the lead to 6-2. Assistant captain Kevin Armstrong ’08 netted a goal with just over two minutes left in the period to bring the Cards within three, but the Beacons were able to extend the lead back to four by scoring with less than a minute remaining.
David Layne ’10 and Scott Burns ’08 scored the other two goals for Wesleyan, while Sam Robinson ’10, Woody Redpath ’10, Ryan Zemel ’09, Jeff Beck ’10 and Burns all notched up assists on the day. The Cardinals actually outshot the Beacons 38-35, but were unable to find the back of the net as often.
The script for Saturday night read very similarly, as the Cards fell 5-1 against Babson College. Despite being outshot 18-5 in the first period, Wesleyan was very much in the game, trailing 1-0. Layne was called for tripping near the beginning of the second period, however, and Babson was able to capitalize on the man advantage, putting in a power-play goal to double the lead. The Beavers added another before the end of the period to extend the lead to 3-0.
After allowing two more scores, Wesleyan got on the board with a late goal from J.J. Evans ’09.
“The league is tighter than ever,” Stafford said. “We always have to be on our game because, in this league, you could be on top one week and at the bottom the next.”
Assistant captain Mike Dorsey ’08 echoed Stafford’s assessment.
“The league has become very fun in the sense that any team can beat another on any given night,” he said.
The Cardinals will surely have their work cut out for them. The implementation of the new system has not been easy, and whether or not the team can gel over the next few weeks should be a good indicator of how the season will turn out.
“We have a different dynamic of the team this year,” Dorsey said. “The responsibilities are not placed in the hands of one or two players, but spread equally from the top to the bottom of the lineup.”
The next contest for the Cardinals is this Friday night at home, in a non-conference battle with UMass-Dartmouth. It will be the last game for nearly a month, as the team breaks for the finals period and the holidays. In 2008, the Cards will take off on a three-game road trip, traveling to Manhattanville for another non-conference game, before two conference games at Salem State and Southern Maine.