Panther men skate to split at tourney

NORTHFIELD — The Middlebury College men’s hockey team split a pair of games at this past weekend’s annual PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut at Norwich, defeating Plattsburgh on Friday, 3-0, before falling to the host Cadets, 5-1, in Saturday’s title game.
The Cadets defeated Adrian in Friday’s first round, 3-2, and Adrian defeated Plattsburgh, 5-2, in Saturday’s consolation.
The 2-2 Panthers return to action this weekend with a pair of NESCAC home games, vs. Connecticut at 7 p.m. on Friday and vs. Tufts at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
On Friday Panther goalie Brian Ketchabaw racked up 26 saves for his first career shutout as Middlebury blanked the Cardinals.
In the scoreless first period Middlebury nearly scored early on, but Cardinal goalie Jimmy Poreda (24 saves) denied Danny Tighe’s wraparound and then Matt Danner’s rebound bid. 
The Cardinals threatened early in the second, but Ketchabaw sprawled to save Greg Malafronte’s bid on the left post on a two-on-one, and Middlebury kill Plattsburgh power plays. The Panthers got on the scoreboard at 9:42, when Owen Powers redirected a shot from the right dot by Jimmy McKee.
About five minutes later Zach Shapiro made it 2-0 with a shorthanded goal. He collected a loose puck near the defensive blue line, skated up the left side, and wristed shot that snuck between Poreda’s legs.
The Cardinals pulled Poreda with 2:23 left in the third, but after Kamil Tkaczuk blocked a shot Michael Fahie took the loose puck and scored on the empty net. The Cardinals failed to score on five power plays.
On Saturday the Cadets (3-2-1) converted on four of 11 power-play chances in their 5-1 victory over the Panthers.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead just 45 seconds in the game. Tkaczuk worked a give-and-go with Emack Bentley and netted his first of the year with a shot from the slot.
Norwich answered with a power-play goal at 6:54, when Brett Ouderkirk scored on a wrister from the high slot on the rebound of a Taeron Lewis shot. At 9:26 Lewis netted another rebound to make it 2-1.
Carter Cowlthorp made it 3-1 on a 5-on-3 power play at 9:23 mark of the second period, again scoring on a rebound. 
Bentley nearly made it a one-goal game 5:34 into the third period, but Cadet goaltender Adam Mercer (21 saves) denied his shot after a turnover.
Norwich added two more power-play goals. Gabriel Chicoine scored through traffic in a 5-on-3 situation, and Noah Williams connected 1:03 later after a blocked shot.
Norwich held a 28-22 shots advantage. Middlebury, which led 19-17 in shots entering the third period, failed to score on three power plays. Ketchabaw made 23 saves. Fahie was named to the all-tournament team.

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