Men’s hockey earns win, tie vs. Kenyon
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s hockey team opened its season this past weekend with a tie and a win at home vs. two NESCAC rivals. The Panthers will return to action this coming weekend at Tufts and Connecticut.
The tie came on Saturday night vs. preseason league favorite Bowdoin, which was ranked No. 7 in the NCAA Division III coaches’ poll. The final was 2-2 in what was also the opener for the Polar Bears, who were outshot by the Panthers, 36-24, 6-1 in overtime.
Bowdoin took a 1-0 lead 12:17 in the first period with a transition goal. Chris Fenwick’s original shot driving to the goal from the left wing was saved by Panther goalie Mike Peters (22 saves), but Kendall Culbertson netted the rebound.
Middlebury tied the game 2:09 into the second period, when Max Greenwald centered a pass from the left boards to Derek Pimentel, who scored from the slot. The Panthers took the lead later in the period with a power-play goal at 14:56. After taking a feed from Jake Charles, Connor Frick broke in on the left wing and scored with a shot to the top right corner.
The Polar Bears eventually netted the equalizer 12:44 into the third period with a nifty backhanded move cutting to the slot from John McGinnis.
The Panthers controlled the overtime period, but could not put the puck past Bowdoin goalie Max Fenkell (34 saves) despite controlling play. Louis Belisle nearly won the game breaking to the goal but had his shot saved by Fenkell, and a follow-up shot from Matt Silcoff went just wide. A minute later, Fenkell stopped Brendan McGovern’s shot from the outside with a pad, and the ensuing flurry ending with Fenkell covering the puck.
On Sunday afternoon, Middlebury outshot Colby, 41-13, on its way to a 7-1 win over the Mules (0-1-1, 0-1-1). Twelve players registered a goal or an assist for Middlebury.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 2:46 into the first period with a Pimentel goal. Ben Wiggins’ shot from the point was tipped by Charles to Pimentel, who finished.
Pimentel netted his second of the period at 8:37 on a rebound of a shot from the left point by Greenwald.
Colby cut the lead in half with its first shot of the game 14:01 into the first period. Nick Lanza was behind the goal and sent a pass to Ray Zeek in the slot for the score.
The Panthers made it 3-1 6:12 into the second period on the power play. Ronald Fishman fed Evan Neugold for a one-timer near the face-off circle. Charles gave the Panthers a 4-1 advantage at 8:41, scoring from the low slot after a feed from Pimentel. The lead grew to 5-1 late in the period with another power-play tally. Wiggins sent a puck into the slot, where it bounced around before Belisle finished.
Charles and Mike Longo added third period goals to secure the win. Peters made 12 saves for Middlebury, while two Colby goalies combined for 34 saves.
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