Wesleyan Nips Bowdoin in OT in NESCAC Quarterfinals

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (April 27) - For the second straight Saturday, Wesleyan came back from a three-goal deficit to defeat a NESCAC rival, 8-7, this time in overtime against Bowdoin in a NESCAC tournament quarterfinal match-up here today.

A week ago, Wesleyan knocked off Tufts, 8-7, after trailing 3-0. Bowdoin carried a 6-3 margin into intermission but Wesleyan used a 3-0 third period to knot the score, 6-6, heading into the final period. After going into overtime tied at 7-7, Wesleyan got the game-winning goal from sophomore Quentin DellaFera, as he completed his hat trick with a dodge from the left side, working his way in front and bouncing a shot into the Bowdoin cage with 1:21 remaining in the extra period. The win avenged a 6-5 overtime setback by Wesleyan at Bowdoin earlier in the season.

Both teams had their offensive stars as well as their standout goalies. Joining DellaFera with a hat trick for Wesleyan was junior Mike Giambanco while sophomore David Murphy had two goals and an assist for the Cardinals. Bowdoin got three goals and an assist from junior Franklin Reis while senior Billy Bergner had two goals and three assists to lead all scorers in the game with five points. Reis topped the Polar Bear scoring list in 2013 with 44 points (29-15) while Bergner was second with 38 (22-16).

In net, senior Chris Williamson made 15 stops for Bowdoin while Wesleyan got six saves from reserve goalie senior JD Dieterich, who entered the game late in the second quarter after Bowdoin had moved ahead by three goals. Dieterich played the final 36:06 of the contest, yielding just one goal. He played in nine games this year, all in reserve, and allowed just six goals in 179 minutes with 27 saves for an 81.8 save percentage and 2.01 goals-against average.

Bowdoin used a three-goal run in a four-minuite span between the first and second quarters to take the first multi-goal lead of the contest, 4-2, and erase a 2-1 deficit. The last two goals of the series were both scored by Reis off a pass from Bergner.

Murphy cut the margin to 4-3 at 9:23 of the second quarter but a pair of Polar Bear markers, with Reis finishing off his hat trick at 4:31 after receiving a cross-field pass from sophomore David Nemirov and tucking in a high shot from in close on the right, and Bergner bounding one in from the left off a feed from Reis at 3:27, made it 6-3.

A pair of goals from Giambanco, the first a high shot from the right on a man-up situation and the second, a bouncer from the left, made it a 6-5 game at 6:36 of the third period. DellaFera knotted the score with his second of the game at 3:31 with a high shot after collaring a pass to the middle from Murphy.

Bowdoin regain the lead at 5:36 of the fourth period when freshman Peter Reuter netted his 14th of the year with a high shot from the left after catching a pass from down low by Bergner. Wesleyan responded with the tying goal from Murphy at 4:16 as he caught a pass from junior Aidan Daniell, pivoted and found the net for his 16th of the year. Both teams had a possession in the final minutes but could not break the tie.

Wesleyan got the opening possession of overtime as senior Jeff Giocondi won his 14th faceoff of the game against just five losses, but after a timeout, Wesleyan turned the ball over with just over two minutes left in the overtime. Bowdoin moved into the Wesleyan end and called timeout. The Polar Bears lost the ball as well, giving Wesleyan control as senior Sam Stanton got the grounder and moved downfield. The ball found its way to DellaFera down low on the left and he maneuvered in for the winner, his 17th of the season. Giambanco upped his scoring for the year to 17 goals as well.

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