Middlebury Drops NESCAC Contest To Wesleyan

Alex Heinritz netted his first collegiate goal for the Panthers on Saturday.
Alex Heinritz netted his first collegiate goal for the Panthers on Saturday.

The Middlebury men's hockey team dropped a 6-1 NESCAC decision to visiting Wesleyan, as the Cardinals scored twice in each period Saturday in Kenyon Arena. Both teams return to action on Sunday with the Panthers (3-8-0, 1-6-0) hosting third-ranked Trinity at 4:00 p.m., while the Cardinals (6-1-3, 2-1-2) head to Williams for a 3:00 p.m. start.

The visitors opened the scoring 6:11 into the initial period with a shorthanded tally. Dylan Holze lifted a shot into the top-right corner of the net from the slot for his team-leading ninth of the season. Wesleyan doubled its lead 1:42 later when Cam McCusker knocked in a rebound on a shot by Walker Harris.

Middlebury trimmed the deficit in half 2:34 into the second stanza, as Alex Heinritz netted his first collegiate goal. Danny Tighe fired a shot from the bottom of the right circle that Cardinal goalie Tim Sestak denied, but the rebound slid to Heinritz at the left post, who deposited the puck into the net. The visitors added two more goals in the period with both of them coming from Vincent Lima. Lima made it 3-1 just 46 seconds after Middlebury scored and added his second tally with 1:07 left in the period, making it a three-goal difference.

The Cardinals increased their lead 2:20 into the final period, as Cameron Peritz's shot from the left circle went in off the right post to make it a 5-1 game. Middlebury nearly got back on the scoreboard with 8:36 on the clock while on the power play. Heinritz had his shot from close range stopped by Sestak, before Vincent Gisonti's rebound bid hit off the left pipe. Wesleyan closed out the scoring with 35 seconds left in the contest when Spencer Fox directed in a shot from the left circle.

Middlebury's Stephen Klein (42:40) finished with 32 saves and Brian Ketchabaw (17:20) made three, while Sestak had 28 saves. Wesleyan held a 41-29 advantage in shots and neither team cashed in on the power play, with Middlebury getting four opportunities and the Cardinals three.