Panthers Fall On the Road at Wesleyan

Brett Dineen scored his first collegiate goal at Wesleyan.
Brett Dineen scored his first collegiate goal at Wesleyan.

The Middlebury men's hockey team dropped a 3-1 decision at Wesleyan (10-5-4, 6-4-3) during NESCAC play on Friday evening. The Panthers (4-13-2, 2-9-2) return to the ice on Saturday at #5 Trinity for a 4:00 p.m. faceoff.

Following a scoreless first period in which both teams managed eight shots on goal, the Cardinals recorded the first 10 shots on the second stanza. Wesleyan opened the scoring as part of a 4-on-3 situation, working the puck around the zone to Sean Ross. He ripped a one-timer from just inside the right circle for the goal at 10:12 for his fourth goal of the season.

Wesleyan doubled its lead while just over four minutes later while skating 4-on-4. Matthew Zandi lifted a wrister over Middlebury goalie Stephen Klein from the left side, following a nifty pass from Tyler Wyatt at the 14:27 mark. The Cardinals outshot the Panthers in the period by a 21-1 count.

In the third period, Middlebury cut the lead in half when Kamil Tkaczuk won a battle for the puck along the end boards. He worked his way back toward the goal, centering a pass to Brett Dineen, who lifted a wrister over the right shoulder of Cardinal goalie Tim Sestak with eight minutes expired. The tally was Dineen's first as a Panther. The Cardinals regained their two-goal advantage at the 12:20 mark when Jordan Jancze won a race to a loose puck in the offensive zone, flipping a shot over the right shoulder of Klein for his sixth goal of the season.

The visitors pulled Klein in favor of the extra skater with 4:05 left in the final period, but were unable to draw any closer.

Klein made 33 saves for the Panthers in 52:37 of action, while Brian Ketchabaw stopped all four shots he faced in 3:31 of play. Sestak tallied 16 saves for the Cardinals. The hosts finished with a 40-17 advantage in shots and went 1-6 on the power play, while Middlebury didn't score on its one chance.