9. Wesleyan Cardinals
2-9-7 in Conference (9th in NESCAC)
|Dawson Sprigings was tested early and often in net for the Cards|
Overall (Conf. Rank) Conference Games (Conf. Ranks)
Offense - 2.17 G/GM (9th) Offense - 2.17 G/GM (8th)
Defense - 3.58 G/GM (9th) Defense - 3.17 G/GM (9th)
Power Play - 10/80 12.5% (10th) Power Play - 7/51 13.7% (7th)
Penalty Kill - 56/71 78.9% (10th) Penalty Kill - 39/48 81.2% (9th)
Penalty Minutes - 7.4 /Gm (9th) Penalty Minutes - 6.9 /Gm (8th)
The good news for Wesleyan heading into 2015-16 was that they had nowhere to go but up. The 2014-15 rendition of the ice Cardinals went 3-21 overall and 2-16 in conference, good enough for last in the NESCAC.
Things were a bit different - if not much better in the final standings - in 2015-16. Coach Potter's players went from 0 tied in 24 games the season before to seven in conference this past season, enough to keep them in playoff contention all season.
Some of the same problems from years past, however, continued to hamper Wesleyan. In 2014-15, then sophomore James Kline and junior Jay Matthews combined for 18 of the team's 47 goals (38%) with no other Cardinal scoring more than four goals. A year later, Kline and Matthews combined for 20 of the team's 52 goals (38%) with only 14 goals coming from underclassmen. In net, junior Dawson Sprigings served as the team work horse, playing in 21 of 24 games and logging 1228 minutes to the tune of a pedestrian 3.18 GAA and sub .900 save percentage (.893).
When your season only contains two wins and they come in a three game stretch, that will likely be your high point. The second of the two wins, which came at home on January 30th, was the true apex of the season. A goal by senior Jaren Taenaka in the final two mintues of regulation lifted Wesleyan past Amherst for the first time since Barack Obama was President Elect of the United States of America. The Cardinals sat at 2-3-6 in the NESCAC at that point and in the thick of the playoff hunt.
And what followed when the Cardinals reached the Icarian height of beating the Purple and White for the first time since 2008? An 0-6-1 stretch, including five straight loses to end the season, the last four of which saw the Cardinals let up 5+ goals. WELP.
James Kline ('17) - For the second straight season, Pittsburgh native
2015-2016 Wesleyan Hockey Captains Robby Harbison '17, Jay Matthews '16, Eric Casey '16, James Kline '17 pic.twitter.com/HOcptas4hY— Chris Potter (@WesleyanHockey) November 13, 2015