The Colby College men’s hockey team set up a big home game with Connecticut College on Friday night with huge 4-2 win over Wesleyan University in NESCAC play Tuesday night at Phillips Exeter Academy.
Colby moves to 5-14-3 overall and 3-11-2 in the conference, while Wesleyan falls to 9-9-4 overall and 5-7-4 in the league.
The Mules are currently in ninth place in the league, but meet eighth place Connecticut College (3-10-3) at 7 p.m. for a chance to move into the eighth and final playoff spot.
Colby also plays host to Tufts University (2-12-2 NESCAC) in the final regular season game at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Mules still have an outside chance of seventh place in the leagues with a couple wins this weekend.
Nick Lanza scored two goals and had one assist to move his team-leading point total to 25 points with 12 goals and 13 assists. Ray Zeek and Jack Bartlett both scored their fourth goals of the season for the Mules. Cory McGrath added two assists in moving to 14 on the year.
Colby’s defense played a key role in Tuesday’s win, limiting the Cardinals to just 18 shots on goal. Meanwhile, Sam Parker stopped 16 shots in goal to secure his fourth victory of the season.
Lanza had a goal and an assist and McGrath added two assists for the Mules on their opening three goals.
Sophomore Ray Zeek put Colby ahead for good at 7:05 of the final period with his fourth goal of the year as he put in a rebound from the edge of the left circle past freshman goalie Nolan Daley, who had made two saves on the play.
Colby’s third goal also came on a rebound after junior Jack Bartlett pushed a backhander under Daley at 14:38 after a shot from the right circle by McGrath was stopped.
Wesleyan got one back with 2:54 remaining when senior Nick Craven got his second goal of the game and 15th of the season, firing a slapper from above the right circle that hit Parker but trickled into the net.The final goal came about 40 seconds after Wesleyan had pulled Daley for a sixth skater.
A pass by the Cardinals back to the an uncovered right point was collared by junior Ben Chwick and pushed ahead as Lanza picked it up and skated right into net for his second goal of the night and third point of the game.Colby scored on the power play at 8:35 of the opening period. Lanza received a pass from down low on the right by McGrath, and Lanza made good on a wrister from the high slot to Daley’s glove side.
Wesleyan evened the count at 19:22 of the first period as Craven fired in a one-time from the slot after taking a centering pass from the right by junior Keith Buehler. Buehler also assisted on Craven’s second goal as he leads Wesleyan and the NESCAC in scoring with 18 goals and 17 assists for 35 points. Craven is second with 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points.
The teams skated scoreless in the second period.