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Panther men’s hockey splits weekend games

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s hockey team split two home games this past weekend to end first-semester play with a 2-4-2 record, 2-2-2 in NESCAC. Middlebury returns to action on Jan. 2 and 3 in Lake Placid, N.Y., when it hosts the New Year’s College Hockey Classic.
On Saturday, Middlebury took a 3-0 lead and went on to a 6-2 victory over Hamilton (3-3-1, 2-2-1). 
Middlebury broke on top 5:10 into the game with a shorthanded goal. Paul Falvey netted the rebound of a George Ordway shot for his first career goal.
The lead doubled at 9:34 when Vincent Gisonti snapped a shot home from the left circle after a feed from Evan Neugold.
Middlebury took a 3-0 advantage with a power-play goal at 12:36, when Jack Charles redirected Max Greenwald’s centering pass from the left side.
Hamilton got on the board with eight seconds remaining in the period when Scott Vazquez wristed a shot into the top left corner from the high slot.
The Continentals made it a one-goal game early in the second period with a power-play goal, a big slap shot from Robbie Murden.
Middlebury regained a two-goal cushion at 8:49 when Neugold picked off a pass and found Mike Najjar, who scored with a wrist shot to the top left corner.
Hamilton had a great chance to close the gap with a five-minute power play, but could not get one past Stephen Klein, who made 23 saves to earn his first college win.
Ordway made it 5-2 at 2:54 of the third after Ronald Fishman intercepted a pass and set him up.
The sixth and final goal came on a four-on-three power play at 6:57. Charles converted another centering pass, this one from Derek Pimentel.
Hamilton held a 25-24 shots advantage, and goalie Charlie Fennell made 18 saves.
JEFFS OVER PANTHERS
On Friday, Amherst’s Keenan Hodgson scored the tie-breaking goal with 5:34 remaining to lift the visiting Jeffs (6-2, 3-2) to a 5-3 win.
Amherst took a 1-0 lead 9:40 into the game when Austin Ho’s shot deflected off a player in front and in past Panther netminder Liam Moorfield-Yee. The Jeffs made it a 2-0 game on Mike Rowbotham’s power-play goal 3:16 later.
Middlebury cut the lead in half at the 14:09 mark, when Mark McLellan deflected in a nice crossing pass from Max Greenwald.
The Panthers tied the game with a power-play goal 58 seconds into the second period. Charles scored from in front after a feed from Ronald Fishman.
Amherst answered 14 seconds later when Rowbotham broke in on the left side and beat Moorfield-Yee (nine saves) after a dish from Thomas Lindstrom. Klein then entered in goal and made 19 saves and allowed one goal the rest of the way.
Middlebury tied the game with a power-play goal 3:59 into the period. Charles tipped a shot that was sent in by Terrance Goguen.
The game-winner came on the Amherst power play at 14:26 mark, as Hodgson scored with a blast from the point after a set-up from Rowbotham.
Middlebury went on the power play 38 seconds later, but could not score the equalizer despite a six-on-four situation for the final 38.5 seconds. Amherst sealed the contest when Kevin Ryder flipped a pass to Andrew Fenwick for the shorthanded empty-net goal with 7.3 ticks remaining. Amherst held a 33-32 shots advantage, and Jeff goalie Dave Cunningham made 29 saves.

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