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Traditional rivals topple Panther men’s hockey

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s hockey team dropped a pair of non-league games to traditional rivals Plattsburgh and Norwich in recent action.
The 3-11 Panthers return to league play this weekend, when they visit Colby and Bowdoin.
On this past Friday visiting Plattsburgh edged the Panthers, 3-2, by scoring the tiebreaking goal in the second period after both teams scored twice in the first. The Cardinals improved to 8-7 and increased their all-time lead in the rivalry to 25-21-4.
Vincent Gisonti gave Middlebury the lead by netting a Charlie Lawrence rebound 5:08 into the contest. Plattsburgh answered 51 seconds later, when Mike Falanga tapped in a Cole Stallard rebound. At 13:23 Andrew Pizzo gave the Cardinals the lead, and Middlebury forged a tie with 1:45 remaining in the period, when Lawrence deflected in a Michael Fahie shot for his first collegiate goal.
Pizzo netted the game winner in the second period when he intercepted a pass at the blue line and wristed a shot from the high slot that eluded Middlebury goalie Stephen Klein. Klein stopped 23 shots to move into third place on the Middlebury career list in that category.
Klein made a big save on Connor Logan less than a minute into the final period, and the Panthers came close to getting the equalizer with 1:28 left in the game on a long stretch pass from Brendan Dawson that sprung Mitchell Allen on a partial breakaway. But Cardinal goalie Lawson Fenton made the most important of his 26 saves to preserve the lead.
On Tuesday host Norwich, at 11-4-1 the No. 11 team in NCAA Division III, defeated the Panthers, 5-1. The game was tied after one period as Panther Connor Lloyd knotted the score with his first collegiate goal, but the Cadets scored four unanswered goals for the victory, three in the third period.
 Klein stopped 26 shots for the Panthers, and Braeden Ostepchuk made 19 saves for the Cadets. Five Cadets scored, including Taeron Lewis, who added two assists.

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