Strong Second Half Sparks Middlebury Past Trinity

Defender Quincy Nichols led all players with seven ground balls.
Defender Quincy Nichols led all players with seven ground balls.

Middlebury scored all five goals in the third quarter, turning a halftime deficit into an 11-7 NESCAC victory over visiting Trinity on Saturday. The Panthers trailed 6-5 at the break, but a six-goal run in the second half sparked the hosts to the league win. Middlebury (6-7, 3-5) returns to action next Saturday when it welcomes Colby at 1:00 p.m., while Trinity (3-9, 0-8) is home Monday with a non-conference contest against Lasell at 5:30 p.m.

The Bantams grabbed the initial lead of the game, scoring 2:20 into the contest on a score by Troy Hanlon. The hosts responded with four-straight goals, starting with a man-up tally by Chase Goree with 9:26 on the clock. John Jackson won the ensuing face-off and scored seven seconds later for a 2-1 lead. A.J. Kucinski set up the next two tallies, with the first marker coming from Luke Peterson and the latter on a bounce pass to Henry Riehl.

Hanlon made it a 4-2 score by the end of the opening 15 minutes, netting his second of the game with 1:17 left in that frame on a shot from the right side.

The Bantams scored four of the five goals in the second quarter, including the final three. After the Panthers went up 5-3 when Riehl found the back of the net, the visitors tallied three times in the last 7:24. John Caraviello gave Trinity a 6-5 lead going into the break, putting back his own rebound with 1:02 on the clock.

In the third quarter, Middlebury controlled play scoring all five goals in the frame. Kucinski knotted the score at 6-6 just 1:28 into the period and Danny Jacobs put the hosts in front for good two minutes later, tucking in a rebound. Riehl sandwiched two more goals around a tally by Kucinski as the Panthers led 10-6 with one quarter remaining.

Riehl rifled a shot from 15 yards out to increase the Middlebury advantage to 11-6 on a man-up goal early in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defense was stellar in the second half, limiting the Bantams to only one goal in the final two frames. The score came with 3:47 off of the stick of Jack Sharrio, which made the final 11-7.

Riehl led all players with five goals, while Kucinski (2-4-6) recorded his third six-point effort in the last four contests. Quincy Nichols scooped up seven ground balls, while Jackson collected six and went 13-17 on face-offs.

For Trinity, Hanlon netted a pair of goals and Caraviello scored once and set up another.

In goal for the Panthers, Charles Midgley (3-1) finished with a career-high 16 saves and also caused three turnovers, while Trinity's Woody Hamilton collected 17 saves and a team-best five ground balls.

The Panthers excelled on special teams, going 5-8 with the man-advantage and erased all six Bantam man-up opportunities. The guests held a slight 43-41 edge in shots, while Middlebury went 17-22 on face-offs.