Panther men's hockey splits with Ephs

 MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s hockey team split a home-and-home series with Williams (14-6-2 and 10-5-1 NESCAC) this past weekend, and the Panthers will enter their final weekend of regular season play with a 9-10-3 record, 6-7-3 in NESCAC play.

Middlebury stands in seventh place and has clinched a NESCAC playoff berth. The Panthers will hope to move up in the standings when they play at second-place Amherst on Friday and at sixth-place Hamilton on Saturday.

This past Friday, Middlebury blanked Williams, 2-0, as goalie Stephen Klein worked a 22-save shutout, his third of the season.

Middlebury took the lead at 5:57 of the first period, when Evan Neugold tucked home the rebound of his own shot.  

Williams nearly tied the game 30 seconds into the second period, but Terrance Goguen cleared a puck off the goal line behind Klein. The Panthers took a two-goal lead 4:21 into the second period, when Ronald Fishman finished off a rebound from the slot after Eph goalie Sean Dougherty (34 saves) stopped Mike Najjar’s shot.

On Saturday, the Panthers outshot host Williams, 39-25, but the Ephs rallied for a 5-4 win.   

Middlebury went up by 3-1 score through the second period and by 4-3 in the third before goals by Ephs David Italiano, and Craig Kitto gave Williams the win.

Brendan McGovern made it 1-0, Middlebury, at 12:06 of the first by burying a rebound. After Williams equalized, at 18:20

Jake Charles backhanded home the rebound of his own shot to make it 2-1, Panthers.   

Neugold wristed home a shot from close range at 6:24 of the second to make it 3-1, but the Ephs got one goal from Greg Johnson on a power play, and then another through traffic from Greg Johnson to make it 3-3 after two periods.

Middlebury regained the lead on a power play 2:31 into the third, when Charles deflected a shot home. Italiano tied the game at 6:51, and Kitto gave the Ephs the lead for the first time at 16:12 on a power play. The Panthers were awarded a power play a minute later, but could not equalize. Klein stopped 20 shots, and Dougherty made 35 saves.

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