HARTFORD, Conn. – After a hard fought battle that broke the record for the longest NESCAC tournament contest (91:03), Wesleyan fell 1-0 to Amherst in the second overtime session. During the game, NESCAC Player of the Year, Tim Sestak recorded the most saves in tournament history with 65. With the victory, the Mammoths advance to the Championship game tomorrow and will take on the winner of the No.1 Trinity/No. 4 Hamilton game. The Cardinals will wait to hear about an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship tournament.
FIRST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS:
- Amherst had a great chance to score at the 3:10 mark, but Mithell Shults' shot from point-blank was denied by Wesleyan goaltender Sestak.
- The Cardinals looked to open the scoring with 10:38 expired. Tyler Wyatt intercepted a pass in transition, but his shorthanded blast went just wide.
- Wesleyan's best chance to score during the first period came at the 14:10 mark. Spencer Fox sent a pass from the right faceoff circle, but Wyatt's one-timer from the slot was denied by Amherst netminder Michael Cullen.
- The Mammoth's had a great opportunity to take a 1-0 edge with 1:08 remaining in the opening stanza, but Nick Bondra's shot from the doorstep was thwarted by Sestak as the teams skated into the locker room scoreless.
SECOND PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS:
- Out of the intermission, the Cardinals looked to tally a goal with 9:10 expired during a power play, but Walker Harris' one-timer from the high slot was denied.
- Amherst had a great chance to score just 48 seconds later when an intercepted pass gave them a three-on-two advantage, but Phil Johansson's shot was denied by a stick save from Sestak.
- With 12:32 expired, Wesleyan's Matthew Zandi faked to his right, before beating a defender to the left, but his backhanded attempt was just tipped away by Cullen.
- The best chance for the Cardinals came at the 15:50 mark when Harris sent a backhanded pass to Andy Espinoza on the left faceoff circle, but Espinoza's blast went just wide.
THIRD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS:
- After a scoreless second period, Amherst had a chance to tally a goal with 5:02 expired. Steven Mallory sent a pass across to Stephen Rex, but Wesleyan's Sestak made a glove save to deny Rex's one-time bid.
- Wesleyan had back-to-back chances to break the game open beginning at the 14:12 mark. Tyler Kobryn one-timed the rebound off an initial shot by Harris, but goaltender Cullen thwarted the attempt from point-blank range.
- The Cardinals looked for the game-winner with 2:03 remaining when Espinoza sent a pass from the goal line to Harris, but Harris' blast from the right faceoff circle was denied by a sprawling-Cullen.
- At the 18:27 mark, Amherst had its final chance to end the contest in regulation, but Jack Fitzgerald's breakaway attempt went just wide right, forcing the contest into overtime.
- The Mammoth's best opportunity of the first overtime session came with just 2:42 remaining. Patrick Daly redirected an initial shot by Noah Filreath, but Sestak just got his stick on the puck, tipping it away.
- Wesleyan had two chances to end the contest with less than a minute remaining. The first chance came with 44 seconds left, but Harris' attempt from the slot was denied by a sprawling-Cullen. With just seconds remaining, Espinoza one-timed a loose puck from the doorstep, but Cullen used his blocker to tip the puck over the backside of the net.
- With 10:12 expired in the second extra stanza, Fox had the best chance for Wesleyan, but his shot from point-blank was denied by Cullen, as the rebound trickled just wide of the goal.
- The game-winner came at the 11:03 mark of the second overtime session when Bondra one-timed a pass from P.J.Conlon, lifting the puck over Sestak's blocker to end the contest.
INSIDE THE NUMERS:
- Sestak was phenomenal in net for the Cardinals, eclipsing the NESCAC Tournament record for most-saves by 10 with 65 stops.
- Amherst's Cullen recorded 39 saves in goal to pick up the win for the Mammoths.