March 19, 2018
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USM Men's college hockey 0 at Wesleyan 2

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — Sophomore goalie George Blinick (Lawrence Township, N.J.) stopped 32 shots to earn his first career shutout as the Wesleyan University Cardinals blanked the visiting University of Southern Maine Huskies, 2-0, in a non-conference game Saturday at Spurrier-Snyder Rink.
The win improved the Cardinals’ overall record to 2-1-0. The Huskies had their two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-4-0 overall.
Making his first career start for the Cardinals, Blinick stopped everything the Huskies threw his way. The second-year goalie was particularly strong in the first period when the Huskies outshot the Cardinals 12-10. Blinick’s best save in the opening 20 minutes came midway into the period when he stopped sophomore Parker Sanderson (Bangor, Maine).
At the other end, USM rookie goal Paul Léger (Blainville, Quebec) matched Blinick save for save until midway through the second period. Sophomore Vincent Lima (Summit, N.J.) sent the puck down the boards to classmate Andy Espinoza (Abington, Penn.). Espinoza was able to beat the Huskies’ defense, and Léger, to put the home side up 1-0 at 11:49.
Espinoza gave Blinick an insurance goal in the latter stages of the third period scoring while the Cardinals were shorthanded. Espinoza took a pass from senior James Kline (Pittsburgh, Penn.) and curled through the Huskies’ defense to beat Léger for his second goal of the game, and third of the season, at 14:02.
Wesleyan finished the game with a 34-26 advantage in shots on goal. Both sides were unable to capitalize with the extra skater going 0 for 6 on the power play. Léger made 32 saves before being lifted in the final minute for the extra skater.

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