Panther men’s hockey skates to a win and a tie
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s hockey team this past weekend earned a win and a tie in their final home games of the regular season to clinch a winning NESCAC record (6-5-7) and earn the No. 5 seed for the league tournament, which begins this Saturday.
The Panthers, 7-10-7 overall, will visit No. 4 Hamilton (13-7-4, 8-6-4 league) for a 4 p.m. game, with the winner advancing to the NESCAC final four the following weekend at a site to be determined.
On Sunday, the Panthers picked up a 3-1 win over visiting Amherst (9-11-4, 7-8-3).
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 15:28 into the game on Zach Haggerty’s team-leading eighth goal. Max Greenwald set up the goal with a pass from the left side through the slot to Haggerty, who redirected it home.
In the second period the Panthers scored twice in a span of a minute. Ronald Fishman netted the first goal from a tough angle down low, earning his fifth of the season. At 4:41, Jake Charles made it 3-0, snapping home a wrister from the right side for his sixth of the year after taking a feed from Spencer Cage.
The Purple & White capitalized on a power play at 16:01 of the period. Theo Hannah and Patrick Arena worked the puck at the top of the zone before Hannah scored with a shot from the point.
Middlebury outshot Amherst 27-22. Panther goalie Liam Moorfield-Yee made 21 saves, and Amherst netminder Connor Girard stopped 24 shots.
On Saturday, Middlebury went to overtime for the 10th time this season before settling for a school-record seventh tie in a 1-1 contest with Hamilton.
Hamilton’s only goal came 8:51 into the first period on the power play. Brandon Willett tipped a shot from the left point by Conor Lamberti over Moorfield-Yee’s shoulder.
Fishman tied the game two minutes later. After taking a pass from Travis Stephens, Fishman snapped home a wrister through traffic from the top of the right face-off circle.
Neither team found the back of the net in the second period, though Hamilton’s Rory Gagnon saw his shot hit the right post 15:01 into the session.
In the third period, at 4:30 Moorfield-Yee stopped Kenny Matheson’s breakaway as well as the follow-up attempt.
Evan Neugold had a good look for the Panthers at 7:01, but Hamilton netminder Evan Buitenhuis stopped his backhander from the slot after a failed clear.
Midway through the extra session, Moorfield-Yee came up big on Jon Carkeek before Buitenhuis denied Mark McLellan with a glove save. In the final minute, Moorfield-Yee stopped Robbie Murden on the left wing and then denied a last-second shot after a face-off at the buzzer.
Hamilton finished the game with a 38-21 shots advantage, with 20 saves from Buitenhuis. Moorfield-Yee finished with 37 stops.
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