NESCAC rivals best Panther men’s hockey

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s hockey team opened its season this past weekend with two home losses to NESCAC rivals.
The young Panthers will look to break into the win column during this weekend’s PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut. They will host Lawrence (Wisc.) at 7 p.m. on Friday, after Norwich and Plattsburgh duel at 4 p.m., and depending on Friday’s results will play either Norwich or Plattsburgh on Saturday at either 4 or 7 p.m.
On this past Sunday the Panthers outshot visiting Bowdoin, 39-29, but could not dent Polar Bear goalie Alex Dafonte in a 2-0 setback.
The Polar Bears opened the scoring at 11:43 of the first period, when Pat Geary lifted a Jack Bliss feed from below the goal under the crossbar.
Later in the period Vincent Gisonti deflected a pass that Dafonte stopped with his right pad, and Dafonte made a blocker save on a Kamil Tkaczuk shot from the high slot.
In the middle stanza, the Panthers had 13-5 edge in shots. Middlebury’s best chance came when Brendan Dawson intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line and dished to Braedan Quast in the right circle, but Dafonte denied Quast.
Middlebury had several chances to net the equalizer in the third period. With just under 11 minutes left in the game Dafonte denied Dawson’s blast from the point and denied Eric Jeremiah on the rebound.
Bowdoin (1-1) made it 2-0 with 7:44 to go, when Thomas Dunleavy poked home a rebound from inside the crease with an assist from Ronnie Lestan. Panther goalie Stephen Klein finished with 27 saves.
On Saturday visiting Colby (1-1) powered to a 9-1 victory. Mules J.P. Schuhlen and Mario Benicky each recorded hat tricks, and Colby goalie Sean Lawrence made 22 saves.
Dawson scored for the Panthers on an unassisted end-to-end first-period rush that made the score 2-1. Three Panther goalies combined for 30 saves. 

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