No. 20 Wesleyan Knocked off by Bates

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (March 17) - Freshman Tucker White fired in a low shot from 15 yards out with 1:26 left in sudden-victory overtime to make a 6-5 winner of visiting Bates in a NESCAC matchup at Wesleyan here today. It was the first conference win for Bates (3-3, 1-2) and the first NESCAC loss for Wesleyan (2-1, 2-1).

Though Wesleyan holds a decided 20-11 edge in the overall series, Bates has had the better of it recently with a six wins in the last 11 meetings, including a 12-7 triumph in Lewiston, Me. last season.

Senior defender Kevin Helm started the game-winning play after the second Cardinal turnover of the extra period gave Bates the ball midway in its defensive end. Helm legged past a couple of Wesleyan players to midfield, then cut to the middle near the top of the box. He passed forward to White who caught, turned and moved slightly to his left before sending a shot into the Cardinal net for his second goal of the season.

Bates held the largest lead of the game at 5-3 with 8:45 to go in the third period when junior Kyle Starr connected for his second goal of the game and fourth of the year by completing a fast break with a high shot from long range past Cardinal sophomore keeper Mark Simmons, who had entered the game at halftime. Wesleyan got the next two, beginning at 5:52 of the third on a shot by senior John Froats off a pass to the middle by sophomore Aidan Daniell. Froats' shot hit the crossbar and trickled in off the back of Bates goalie sophomore Charlie Kazarian. Kazarian, who finished with six saves, also had entered the game at intermission as both starting keepers played just the first half, which ended 3-2 in favor of the Bobcats.

Wesleyan tied the game with the only goal of the fourth period, that by Daniell on a bouncer from just on the right side after a pass from sophomore Joe Porcelli. That came at 12:04 and the teams went scoreless the rest of regulation. Bates had a shot by freshman Jack Strain hit off the post with 1:22 left and Wesleyan got a final shot in the closing seconds by senior Max Landow that Kazarian stopped.

Bates won the faceoff in overtime as freshman Mac Jackson was stellar in that area, winning 12 of 15 faceoffs for the Bobcats. Bates then had two offensive possessions that resulted in saves by Simmons, only to have Wesleyan fail to clear twice on bad passes. Bates capitalized on its third possession. Wesleyan and Bates had played three previous overtime games, the last in 2007, with the Cardinals prevailing each time.

Starr finished the game with five points for Bates as he assisted on three other Bobcat goals and now leads his squad in scoring with four goals and seven assists for 11 points. The only goal Starr didn't have a hand in was the winner. Strain had a pair of goal for Bates, both assisted by Starr. Daniell and senior Teddy Citrin were the only Cardinals with multiple points as Daniell had a goal and an assist and Citrin dished off two assists.

In the first half, starting netminder senior Adam Scharff was integral in keeping the Bobcats in the game as he stopped 10 shots over the opening 30 minutes. Wesleyan starter senior Grant Covington had four saves.

Ahead for Bates is a home NESCAC encounter with Trinity Sat., March 24. Wesleyan has a midweek game upcoming at N.Y. Maritime Wed., March 21.

2012-03-17



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