Third-period rally sends Hamilton men past Wesleyan

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The Hamilton College men's hockey team scored three times in the third period for a 5-3 come-from-behind win over Wesleyan University in NESCAC competition at Hamilton's Russell Sage Rink on Friday night.

Hamilton (7-6-4, 5-4-2 NESCAC) moved into fourth place in the NESCAC standings and stretched their home winning streak to four games – their longest in five years. The Continentals scored a pair of power-play goals in a 1:29 span of the third period to retake the lead after the Cardinals, who lost their 11th straight, had fought out of a 2-0 hole to go ahead early in the third.

Robbie Murden '17 had a hand in three Hamilton goals, giving him a team-leading 23 points this winter. He assisted on the tying goal 8:32 into the third and netted the game-winner 89 seconds later.

Tyler Lovejoy '16 buried a power-play goal past Wesleyan goaltender Nolan Daley '16 to tie the game with Murden and Kenny Matheson '16 assisting on the play. The Cardinals were whistled for their ninth penalty 1:12 later and Hamilton needed just seven seconds to capitalize with Murden winning the draw then controlling the rebound of a missed shot for his 10th goal of the season. Lovejoy and fellow blueliner Marko Brelih '16 assisted on Murden's game-winning goal.

The Continental defense held Wesleyan to just two shots on goal the rest of the game with Evan Buitenhuis '18turning both aside for his first win since missing 10 games with an injury. Joe Rausch '15 sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 29.6 seconds left.

Wesleyan (2-15-0 overall, 1-10 NESCAC) scored three straight goals to climb out of a 2-0 hole, finally taking the lead 5:47 into the third.

Jordan Jancze '18 put the Cardinals on the board with 7:08 left in the second period, sending a pass from Eric Casey past Buitenhuis for his third goal of the year. Jay Matthews '16 tied the game with a slap shot 27 seconds into the third, raising his season total to six goals. Terence Durkin '16 and Quincy Oujevolk '17 were credited with assists on the play. Cole Morrissette '17 completed the Wesleyan rally, picking up his fourth goal of the season to give the Cardinals their first lead in 211:21 (dating back to a 4-3 loss at nationally ranked No. 15 Bowdoin).

Neil Conway '18 put Hamilton on the board 6:43 into the first period, beating Daley with a wrist shot after the Cardinals turned the puck over in their defensive zone. Murden scored a power-play goal at 11:36 of the second to put the Continentals up 2-0.

Buitenhuis finished with 23 saves and leads the NESCAC in save percentage (.955) and goals-against average (1.48) in conference games. Daley stopped 43 shots for Wesleyan, which was outshot 48-26.

The Continental penalty killing unit killed all four Wesleyan power-play attempts – holding the Cardinals to just four shots – and now ranks second in the NESCAC at 87 percent. Hamilton's three power-play goals were a season high.

Hamilton plays its last home game for three weeks on Saturday, Jan. 31, hosting No. 3 Trinity College at 3 p.m. The Cardinals travel to No. 13 Amherst College, which beat Trinity 2-1 on Friday night.

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