Connecticut College 10, Wesleyan University 4 Camels Will Host Colby Saturday in NESCAC Quarterfinal

Michael O'Donnell '12 is Pictured Here in Connecticut College's Last Post-Season Home Game Against RIT in the Second Round of the 2010 NCAA Championship. The Camels Will Host Colby College this Saturday for a 1 p.m. NESCAC Quarterfinal in New London
Michael O'Donnell '12 is Pictured Here in Connecticut College's Last Post-Season Home Game Against RIT in the Second Round of the 2010 NCAA Championship. The Camels Will Host Colby College this Saturday for a 1 p.m. NESCAC Quarterfinal in New London
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (April 25) --(Wesleyan University Sports Information) 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 University (9-5, 5-5 NESCAC) in the final regular-season game for both teams here today, 10-4. As a result, Connecticut College earned a first-round NESCAC tournament home game on Sat., April 28 and will take on Colby College, which defeated Bates in its regular-season finale, 5-3. Wesleyan draws Bowdoin College in the first round of the NESCAC playoffs as the teams will play in Brunswick, Maine Saturday. When the Cardinals and Polar Bears met during the season, Bowdoin won, 7-5. Connecticut College 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 Connecticut College, finished the game with two goals and three assists 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 Connecticut College 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 faceoffs for the Camels, winning 11 out of 17 for the game, including nine of his first 10, to help Connecticut College 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. Connecticut College 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 Connecticut College, senior Rob Moccia collected eight saves while Cardinal senior keeper Grant Covington made 11 stops. Connecticut College had a 29-23 margin in total shots. Wesleyan leads the overall series vs. Connecticut College 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. Camel Tracks Not Including Wednesday's Game: The cardiac Camels continued their torrid stretch of play, earning two more league wins last week. Tuesday afternoon, the Camels defeated Amherst 5-4 and Saturday they rallied from a 5-1 deficit to take down Bates in a 6-5 win. The Camels have won eight of their last 10 since starting the season 0-3 and have improved their record to 5-4 in the NESCAC with four consecutive one-goal victories. Junior midfielder John Lyons had four goals and two assists in a perfect 2-0 week in NESCAC action for the Camels. With 24 goals and 11 assists, Lyons is ranked ninth in the conference with 35 points. JR Hartgers (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) has chipped in with 16 goals and 12 assists for a total of 28 points. Junior Andrew Freedman (Sudbury, Mass.) has accounted for 16 goals, 11 assists and 27 points. Junior net-minder Rob Moccia (Malvern, Pa.) has stepped up his play in the past month to the All-NESCAC level he performed at during the team's NCAA run in 2010. Moccia is sixth in NESCAC goals against average (8.35 GAA) and save percentage (.571) and ranks fifth in the league with 11.08 saves per game. Senior face-off midfielder Chuck Czerkawski (Cohasset, Mass.) has been terrific in the trenches and ranks third in NESCAC face-off percentage (.595, 163-for-274) and in ground balls (96). The starting defensive trio consisting of Clay Hillyer (South Windsor, Conn.-21 gbs), Brogan O'Connor (Haverhill, Mass.-18 gbs) and Mike Brennan (Chester Springs, Pa.-16 has been terrific. Senior long stick midfielder Michael O'Donnell (Winchester, Mass.) continues to excel in riding and clearing situations and ranks second on the squad with 35 ground balls.

April 25, 2012

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