MALDEN – Wesleyan University junior Spencer Fox scored a power-play goal in the second period that stood up for a 1-0 Cardinals' victory over Tufts University in a NESCAC men's hockey game on Saturday at Valley Forum.
|Freshman Trevor Spence led Tufts with three shots|
Junior Tim Sestak made 19 saves to record the shutout for Wesleyan, who improved to 2-0 after earning a sweep of their opening weekend games. Tufts (0-2) received 28 saves from sophomore goaltender Drew Hotte, who finished the weekend with a .942 save percentage.
As Wesleyan's first power-play of the game wound down, junior Tyler Wyatt was right in front of the net and pushed the puck to Fox who scored with just three seconds remaining in the man-advantage at 8:03 of the middle period.
Sestak and the Wesleyan defense were particularly effective late in the game as Tufts pushed to tie it. On one play, senior defenseman Sean Ross laid out in the goal crease to make a defensive save when Tufts freshman Nick Schultze tied to score on a rebound with 4:50 remaining in regulation. Most of Sestak's five third-period saves came in the closing minutes, including when Tufts pulled the goalie for the last minute-plus. Sestak was able to wrap up the third shutout of his career.
Tufts had the better of the play in the first period, earning an 8-3 advantage in shots. Defensemen Cooper Stahl and Rune Kirby both put shots on net during a power-play chance, but Sestak made the saves and the game was 0-0 after one.
Wesleyan picked up its pace in the second and finished with a 14-6 shots advantage. Hotte, who had 37 saves for Tufts in its season-opener against Trinity on Friday night, was sharp again today and made 13 second-period saves to keep it close.
He had 12 more in the third, as the Cardinals continued to maintain an edge. They out-shot the Jumbos 12-5 to finish the game with a 29-19 overall lead in shots. Junior Tyler Kobryn was especially active with eight shots on goal for the visitors.
Tufts plays at Babson on Tuesday night, while Wesleyan is off until next Saturday when they host Saint Anselm.