After just over a week of play, the Wesleyan men’s ice hockey team has opened the season with three wins and two losses.
The Cardinals played their first game on Friday, Nov. 16, with a strong showing against Conn College, pounding the Camels 5-2. Wesleyan started the scoring off very quickly, when James Albrecht ’15 hit Tommy Hartnett ’14 for a power play goal just 46 seconds into the season. Six minutes later, co-captain Keith Buehler ’14 found the back of the net during another power play off a pass from fellow co-captain Adam Kaiser ’13, and Wesleyan finished the first period with a 2-0 lead.
Conn forward Mike Sinsigalli cut the lead to one in the second period, but Wesleyan responded soundly in the final period. Kaiser added a goal for himself two minutes into the third period, and Hartnett scored his second goal of the game on a breakaway just a minute later, extending the lead to 4-1.
The Cardinals and Camels both scored once more before the game’s end, with Wesleyan’s goal coming when Buehler found John Guay ’13 for his first goal of the year. Goaltender Glenn Stowell ’13 finished with 24 saves en route to the team’s first victory of the season.
19 hours later and about 110 miles away, Wesleyan took the ice against the Tufts Jumbos. Unlike the first game, in which Wesleyan grabbed the early lead, Tufts scored 90 seconds into the game when forward Andrew White scored his first goal of the season. After being unable to convert on any of their five power plays in the first period, Wesleyan finally got on the board when Jay Matthews ’16 added the first goal of his Wesleyan career off Alex Carlacci’s ’16 first career assist.
Tufts responded with a goal two minutes later after a costly Wesleyan penalty led to a power play opportunity for the Jumbos. Then, holding a 2-1 lead, Tufts was able to force a turnover that led to a shorthanded goal, which put the Jumbos up 3-1 and ultimately was the game-winner.
Wesleyan finally converted a power play during its eighth opportunity of the game when Nick Craven ’13 hit Buehler for his second assist of the game. Tufts added an empty netter with 63 seconds remaining to finish Wes off 4-2.
The Cardinals fell in a 5-4 overtime loss to UMass Dartmouth in their home opener last Tuesday, in which neither team led by more than one goal at any point. Amidst a five-goal second period, Buehler had assists on consecutive possessions 53 seconds apart. He first found Donald Kleckner ’13 for his first goal of the year, tying the game at three, and then hit Hartnett for his third goal of the year, giving Wesleyan a one goal lead, 4-3. Goaltender Matt Hadge ’13 allowed in the game-winning goal four minutes into overtime after stopping 31 shots over the previous 63 minutes.
In their first-ever meeting, Wesleyan pounded SUNY Canton 9-2 in its fourth game of the year. Hadge needed just 11 saves to stop his opponent, and the game was never close. Wesleyan led 3-1 after one period and 7-1 after two. William Choi ’13, Eric Casey ’16, and Ryan White ’13 all scored their first goals of the year for the Cardinals. So did Craven, but he didn’t stop there, as he scored a hat trick for Wesleyan’s fifth, sixth, and seventh goals. All his goals came over a four-minute span in the second period. He also assisted a goal in that period. Kleckner, too, added four points, scoring a goal and adding three assists.
Finally, Wesleyan fought its way back above .500 with a 6-0 win on Sunday, Nov. 26 against Stonehill College. Stowell was back in net against Stonehill, stopping 23 shots for his second career shutout. Kaiser and Guay both had two goals for the Cardinals in the win, and Buehler and Craven both added a goal and an assist each. They are currently tied for the team lead with eight points.
Through five games this year, Cardinals are first in the NESCAC with 26 goals. That offense will be put to the test on Friday, Nov. 30 when they host the Amherst Lord Jeffs, the reigning NCAA champs.