MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan men's hockey team (1-0-0, 1-0-0) opened its season with a 5-3 victory over Tufts (0-1-0, 0-1-0) on Friday evening. Tyler Wyatt led the team with four goals, scoring twice in the opening 5:57 of play, while the team's five goals were the most the Cardinals have scored on the Jumbos since 2014.
- Wyatt opened the scoring for Wesleyan, scoring just 58 seconds into the first period when he one-timed a pass from Spencer Fox.
- Later, the Cardinals took advantage of a power play, taking a 2-0 lead with 5:57 expired. Wyatt's initial shot was blocked by a Tufts' defender, before he tipped-in the rebound, extending the Wesleyan advantage to 2-0.
- The hosts increased the lead to 3-0 at the 6:27 mark when Alex Giummo scored through the five-hole for his first career tally.
- The Jumbos looked to take advantage of a five-minute power play beginning at the 14:57 mark, but a strong Wesleyan defense was able to kill off the penalty. Tufts persisted, scoring with just three seconds left in the opening stanza. An initial shot by Cooper Stahl was denied by Cardinal goaltender Tim Sestak, but Justin Brandt was there to put the puck away from the slot, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
- Out of the intermission, Tufts' Brandt grabbed the puck out of the air in transition, before finding the back of the goal to make it 3-2.
- The Jumbos looked to tie the game at the 11:00 mark of the second, but Sestak denied Machlan Sawden's shot with a sprawling save.
- Wyatt struck again for the Cardinals with 16:37 expired when he one-timed a rebound into the back of the net to extend the lead to 4-2.
- Just 1:23 into the third period, Tufts' again cut the deficit to one (4-3). Angus Scott sent a pass from the left faceoff circle to the right, before Brendan Skarda tucked the puck inside the post from the doorstep.
- The Jumbos' best chance for the equalizer came at the 19:42 mark after they pulled their goalie, but Anthony Farinacci's shot went just wide right.
- Wesleyan's Wyatt added an insurance goal with 14 seconds remaining when he tipped a pass by Quincy Gregg into the empty net for the 5-3 final.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Sestak earned the win for the Cardinals, making 28 saves in goal.
- Drew Hotte suffered the loss for Tufts, stopping 25 shots.
- The Jumbos held a slight 31-30 edge in shots.
- The Cardinals are back in action on Saturday when they host Tufts at 3:00 p.m. The contest will be the last home event for men's hockey until January 18th, as they hit the road for 10-straight away games.