The men’s hockey team is undefeated this year against the likely future first-seed Bowdoin Polar Bears. On Sunday, Feb. 10, Wesleyan tied the NESCAC powerhouse 3-3 in a home game at Spurrier-Snyder Rink. After handing Bowdoin its first home loss since 2011 in January, Wesleyan knew it had the strength to out-muscle the nationally-ranked #3 Polar Bears.
Wesleyan fell behind 1-0 in the first period when Bowdoin winger Connor Quinn put home a rebound off of a Ryan Collier shot. Two minutes into the second period, down 1-0, goaltender Nolan Daley ’16 was unable to stop an Ollie Koo shot from the slot. It was Koo’s twelfth goal of the year, good for second on his team and fifth in the NESCAC.
Three minutes later, momentum swung in Wesleyan’s favor after a potentially dangerous situation. Bowdoin freshman Blake Cormier was given a five-minute penalty for hitting from the back, which earned him a game misconduct and will result in a suspension. The Cards were not able to score during that penalty but were able to capitalize on another Bowdoin penalty later in the period. Keith Buehler ’14 received a feed from John Guay ’13 and put one past Bowdoin goalie Steve Messina’s right blocker. It was Buehler’s conference-leading 18th goal of the season.
Connor Ryan ’15 evened the score just 38 seconds later off of a feed from Ryan White ’13, a slap shot that found its way inside the left post for his third goal of the year. The game was tied 2-2 after two periods. Just 30 seconds into the third period, Guay scored one of his own after assisting Buehler’s power play goal earlier in the match. He tipped a Micah Ehiorobo ’13 shot past Messina, granting Wesleyan a one-goal lead.
However, one minute later, Robert Toczylowski stole a Wesleyan pass in his own zone and took it all the way on a breakaway, beating Daley and tying the game in the process. The remaining 18 minutes of regulation and five minutes of overtime were scoreless despite three Wesleyan penalties over that span. Bowdoin, though, seemed to be the less-disciplined team in the game, with six penalties resulting in 23 minutes in the box.
Daley turned in another brilliant performance, stopping 37 of the 40 shots he faced. This was his second straight game with at least 37 saves, stopping 46 last Saturday in Wesleyan’s first-ever shutout against Williams. Bowdoin has come away winless in just 4 out of 21 games this year, failing to beat Wesleyan in two of them.
This game had originally been scheduled for last Friday evening, but was postponed due to the blizzard. Wesleyan’s meeting with Colby, which was postponed from last Saturday, took place on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at Phillips Exeter instead of Spurrier-Snyder Rink due to the weather as well. Despite a pair of goals from Nick Craven ’14, Wesleyan could not stand up to the Mules’ attack, falling 4-2 on neutral ice.
The Cardinals will next play a home game Friday, Feb. 15 versus Trinity. It will be the first leg of a home-and-home weekend series against the Bantams, who are currently second in the NESCAC.