Men’s hockey nets one tie in two home games
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s hockey settled for just a tie after two hard-fought NESCAC home games this past weekend. Amherst rallied to knot up the Panthers, 3-3, on Saturday, while on Friday Hamilton scored with three seconds left in regulation to edge Middlebury, 4-3.
Middlebury still finished first-semester play with a winning record, 4-3-1 overall and 3-2-1 in NESCAC play. The Panthers will return to action when they host their annual holiday tournament on Dec. 29 and 30.
On Saturday Amherst (3-3-2, 1-2-2 NESCAC) erased a 3-1 Panther third-period lead to earn the road tie. Mammoth goalie Giancarlo Ventre (29 saves) was hot early, stopping two close-range bids from Joey Piccinini and Alex Heinritz’s shot on a two-on-one break.
Panther goalie Adam Wisco (38 saves) denied both Noah Gilreath and P.J. Conlon on a Mammoth power play before Middlebury broke on top at 12:08 — Alex Lee flipped home a Kamil Tkachuk. At 4:31 Tkachuk whipped the puck home after a Mammoth clearing attempt bounced off an official.
Ventre denied a Mitchell Allen shorthanded breakaway in the second period before the Mammoths got on the scoreboard after a Panther turnover. Steve Mallory touched home a Mitchell Shults feed.
In the third period Michael Fahie made it 3-1 with his seventh goal of the season. Lee sent Fahie into the zone, and Fahie ripped a shot in off the crossbar. Amherst scored quickly twice in the middle of the period as Jack Fitzgerald and Conlon finished off plays.
In overtime the Panthers had more possession, but Wisco had to make a nice pad save on a shot from the right circle by Corey Goldstein.
On Friday Hamilton (4-3-1, 2-2-1) got a goal from Nick Rutigliano with three seconds left to snap a 3-3 tie. The Panthers outshot the Continentals, 40-29, but Hamilton goalie Anthony Tirabassi stopped 37 shots.
In the scoreless first period each team had one golden chance. Wisco (25 saves) poked the puck away from Rory Gagnon on a breakaway, and Tirabassi stopped Owen Powers on a Zach Shapiro setup.
Fahie gave Middlebury the lead 1:46 into the second period. Tkaczuk took the puck away from a defender behind the Hamilton net and set up Fahie. Hamilton then took a 3-1 lead on three power-play goals in a span of 5:04, with Gagnon, Jason Brochu and Rutigliano. At 17:23 Fahie cut the lead to one after taking a behind-the-net feed from Cole Joslin.
Middlebury’s Jimmy McKee tied the game 8:47 into the third period with a power-play goal. The strike came on another feed from behind the net, this one from Josh Shapiro made a pass from behind the net to Jimmy McKee, who scored on a one-timer from the slot for his first of the season. The Panthers followed with good looks on a power play, but could not take the lead.
Finally in the waning seconds Joey Moore skated from the corner towards the goal and found Rutigliano in the high slot for the game-winner.