Middlebury men’s hockey claims tourney title

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s hockey team opened second-semester play this past weekend by winning twice, including in the championship game defeating Oswego, ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division III, to take the title of the Panthers’ own Middlebury Holiday Classic.
The 3-7 Panthers return to action this coming weekend, when they host league foes Wesleyan on Friday at 7 p.m. and Trinity on Saturday at 3 p.m.
On this past Saturday the Panthers blanked visiting St. Michael’s, 4-0, in the tournament’s first round. The Purple Knights (6-5-1) defeated Neumann, 4-2, in Sunday’s consolation game.
Panther Owen Powers opened the scoring 56 seconds into the second period with the teams skating four-on-four. Powers took a feed from David Belluche and converted a wraparound.
St. Michael’s had its best opportunity to equalize at 12:02, but Panther netminder Stephen Klein (31 saves) sprawled to deny Eric Salzillo. Just 1:20 later, Belluche scored from the point to make it 2-0, with Mitchell Allen assisting.
Danny Tighe made it 3-0 at 11:20 of the third with his first career goal. He converted a Trevor Turnbull feed from behind the net. Turnbull tacked on the final goal 4:23 later: Tighe sent a pass to Turnbull at the left post, and he slid the puck past Purple Knight goaltender Chris Johnson (26 saves).
Klein preserved his 11th career shutout in the final minute by denying back-to-back shots.
On Sunday Allen scored with 2:29 to go in the game to lift the Panthers to a 4-3 upset of Oswego (9-2-1).
Klein made 34 saves and was named the tournament MVP, and Powers and Belluche also made the all-tournament team.
Both teams scored early in the first. At 2:22 Oswego’s Tyson Bruce wristed a shot past Klein from the high slot. About two minutes later Turnbull took a pass from Tighe and lifted a backhand home.
The teams exchanged goals late in the period. The Lakers’ David Ferreira scored with 2:07 remaining, and Belluche made it 2-2 with 50.5 seconds left by finding the top left corner after Powers won the puck in the corner.
After a scoreless middle period Middlebury took the lead at 6:27 of the third, when Allen converted a Charlie Lawrence drop pass in the slot. Oswego tied the score with 4:43 to go, when Michael Gillispie netted a power-play rebound.
Allen’s game-winner came after his initial shot after a long rush was blocked by a Laker defender, but he picked up the puck and fired it past Oswego State goalie Cedric Hansen (15 saves).

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