Wesleyan Falls to Camels in Regular-Season Finale

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (April 25) - Using a 5-0 burst over a 10-minute span to take the lead for good, then adding a 4-0 run in the fourth quarter to cement the victory, visiting Connecticut College (9-5, 6-4 NESCAC) blew past homestanding Wesleyan (9-5, 5-5 NESCAC) in the final regular-season game for both teams here today, 10-4.

As a result, Conn earned a first-round NESCAC tournament home game on Sat., April 28 and will take on Colby, which defeated Bates in its regular-season finale, 5-3. Wesleyan draws Bowdoin in the first round of the NESCAC playoffs as the teams will play in Brunswick, Me. Saturday. When the Cardinals and Polar Bears met during the season, Bowdoin won, 7-5. Conn beat Colby during the season in four overtimes, 8-7.

Junior John Lyons and senior Chuck Czerkawski were integral forces for the Camels in their triumph over Wesleyan. Lyons, the top scorer for Conn, finished the game with two goals and three asissts for five points, bringing his seasonal total to 40 on 26 goals and 14 assists. He had two goals and two assists during the Camels' 5-0 run from the 9:34 mark of the first period to the 14:35 mark of the second.

After opening the Camels scoring to cut into Wesleyan's early 2-0 edge, Lyons assisted n the next two by juniors Steve Eicher and Andrew Freedman, which put Conn ahead for good, 3-2, at 2:18 of the first quarter. An unassisted goal by freshman Jack Griffin ended the first-period scoring at 1:24 and Lyons got the only goal of the second quarter just 25 seconds in on a high shot for a 5-2 Camel lead.

Czerkawski was a demon on faceoff for the Camels, winning 11 out of 17 for the game, including nine of his first 10, to help Conn gain its first-half lead. He also finished with a game-high six ground balls.

Wesleyan got no closer than two goals in the second half, the last coming at 6-4 with 12:16 to go as senior DJ Bernatavitz connected for his second goal of the game, assisted by senior John Froats, who finished with three points on a pair of goals and an assist. Bernatavitz also had a pair of assists for a four-point afternoon. Froats took over Wesleyan's scoring leadership for the year, now with 29 points on 20 goals and nine assists.

Conn added four goals in a stretch of just 4:44 in the final stanza with three last three all coming from freshman Briggs Barton for a natural hat trick in just 2:08. Freedman also left his mark during the run with a goal and two assists, giving him four points on the day and 31 for the year (18-13-31). Lyons polished off his scoring with an assist on Barton's second tally.

Playing all but the final minute of the game in net for Conn, senior Rob Moccia collected eight saves while Cardinal senior keeper Grant Covington made 11 stops. Conn had a 29-23 margin in total shots.

Wesleyan leads the overall series vs. Conn by a 24-14 margin. This was just the second win for the Camels in the last eight meetings and their first win in Middletown since 1998. Wesleyan had ratted off nine straight wins at home vs. Conn before today.


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