Panther men’s hockey bows out in quarterfinal
MIDDLEBURY — Visiting No. 5 seed Bowdoin knocked the No. 4 Middlebury College men’s hockey team out of the NESCAC playoffs on Saturday, 6-3, in a quarterfinal matchup.
The result ended the Panthers’ season at 11-11-3 and halted their four-game unbeaten streak. Bowdoin (15-8-3) will head to this weekend’s NESCAC final four at No. 1 Trinity.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 13:42 into Saturday’s game on a power play. Ben Wiggins passed to Robbie Donahoe at the top of the zone, and Donahoe found Belisle at the left dot for a wrister to the top corner of the net.
Bowdoin answered less than two minutes later on a Colin Downey strike, and then 1:03 later Connor Quinn gave the Polar Bears the lead with a power-play goal.
Middlebury opened the second period on a five-on-three power play and took advantage 23 ticks in. Belisle and Ronald Fishman passed the puck back and forth across the top of the zone before Belisle ripped one past Bowdoin goalie Max Fenkell for his team-leading 19th goal. But that was the Panthers only shot of the period, while Bowdoin launched 12 shots and scored three times.
Bowdoin regained the lead at 4:43, after forechecking by Harry Matheson earned him the puck behind the Panther net and he found Kyle Lockwood for the score.
The lead grew to 4-2 at 10:56, when Joseph Lace scored from the top of the zone. A Downey power-play slap shot capped the scoring in the period.
Nick BonDurant came in to play in net for the Panthers in the third period, keeping them in the game with some big saves.
Middlebury’s George Ordway made it 5-3 at 5:37. Jake Charles played the puck along the right boards before centering it to Ordway, who scored with a wrister from the top of the slot.
The Panthers had a shot to make it a one-goal game midway through the period, but were unable to capitalize on a power play. Bowdoin gained breathing room 13:08 into the period, when Lockwood converted after picking up a loose puck in the slot.
Bowdoin finished with a 32-20 shots advantage. Liam Moorfield-Yee played the first two periods of the game for Middlebury, making 18 saves while allowing five goals. BonDurant made eight stops in the third period. Fenkell stopped 17 shots for Bowdoin, including 11 in the third period.
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