Wesleyan (Conn.) Athletics

Scoring three goals in a span of 3:18 late in the second period, homestanding Wesleyan extended a 1-0 margin to a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes of action and went on to defeat Norwich, ranked third nationally in Division III, 5-2, Fri., Jan. 21. It was just the second victory for the Cardinals over the Cadets in 18 all-time meetings. The first came in 2007 when Wesleyan handed Norwich a 4-1 loss in Middletown, Conn. Last year on their way to a National Championship, the Cadets downed the Cardinals, 8-0, in Northfield, Vt.

While keeper Matt Hadge '13 was making 47 stops for Wesleyan, the Cardinals got goals from John Guay '13 at 16:01 of the second period, Adam Kaiser '13 at 16:34 and Geoff Mucha '12 at 19:19 to pull out to a four goal margin after Anthony DePietto '11 spotted the home squad a 1-0 lead at 4:27 on a bit of a fluke. The Norwich goalie had come well out of the net, seemingly thinking the raised arm of a referee was indicating a delayed Wesleyan penalty, while in fact it registered a delayed offside. Wesleyan cleared and the puck came loose on the left side where DePietto collared it and fired into an open net from beyond the circle for his third goal of the season.

Guay also scored his third goal of the campaign, poking the puck past the flattened glove of the Cadet netminder who was trying to tie up the puck in the crease. Kaiser whistled a shot from the right circle long side to make it 3-0 with his second goal of the year and Mucha finished the flurry by redirecting a central point shot by Chris MacDonald '13 on the power play. For Mucha, it was goal number four on the season.

Norwich got a pair of third-period markers, sandwiching the final Wesleyan goal from top scorer Nik Tasiopoulos '14. After the Cadets on the board at 7:55 with a smoker from the right circle just one second after a Wesleyan penalty expired, the Cardinals responded 13 seconds later as Tasiopolous worked his way from right to left on a rush and lifted a backhander in to the net at 8:08, giving him five goals on the season. The final tally of the game for Norwich came at 12:30 on a long slap shot from the blue line that went through the pads of Hadge.

Norwich, which skated up a man for a total of 10:26 and had a two-man advantage for 1:24 during the contest without as power-play goal, outshot Wesleyan, 49-20. Hadge logged his fourth straight start with 30 or more saves and came one stop shy of his career high, set Jan. 2 vs. Amherst when he posted 48 saves.

Wesleyan hosts St. Michael’s, Saturday, Jan. 22, to close out its home league weekend.