Middlebury capped off its five-game road trip with a perfect record, as the Panthers scored four-straight goals in the final quarter for an 11-9 road victory Tuesday at Endicott (4-10). Middlebury (8-5) returns home on Saturday, hosting sixth-ranked Tufts at 1:00 p.m. in NESCAC action.
The game got off to a fast start, as each team got on the scoreboard in the first 15 seconds. The Gulls won the opening faceoff before Jack Sutherland opened the scoring with only eight seconds expired. The Panthers countered seven seconds later, as Jake Madnick won the ensuing draw, collected the ground ball and tied the game. Sutherland made it 2-1 for the hosts four minutes later, while A.J. Kucinski tallied with an even four minutes on the clock, as the score remained deadlocked at 2-2 after 15 minutes of play.
In the second quarter, Endicott scored twice in the opening four minutes to claim a 4-2 lead, but Middlebury countered with a pair of goals later in the frame. Chase Goree scored from the right side with 7:12 on the clock and three minutes later Michael McCormack ripped a shot into the upper-corner of the net to knot the score at 4-4. The hosts took a 5-4 lead into the half, as Kenneth Speak scored on a delayed penalty with 1:10 remaining.
Middlebury came out of the break, scoring the initial two goals resulting in its first lead of the contest at 6-5. McCormack tallied on a long shot with 8:35 showing on the scoreboard and Goree picked up his second marker of the contest just over a minute later. A.J. MacDonald put the hosts back in the lead at 7-6 with a pair of goals, while each team scored in the final two minutes as the hosts maintained a one-goal lead with one frame to play.
The Panthers started the final frame with four-straight goals, taking its biggest lead of the contest at 11-8. Goree netted the first two, while Henry Riehl tacked on the next two, with the latter coming with 6:19 remaining. Sutherland made it a two-goal game eight seconds later and in the final minutes the hosts had possession looking to close the gap to one score. Middlebury got the ball back with 90 seconds remaining on a key back-up on a missed shot and never allowed the hosts an opportunity to get any closer running out the clock.
Goree had a big game for the Panthers with a season-high four goals, while McCormack had a hat trick with one assist. Riehl scored twice, extending his goal-scoring streak to 20 games, while Kucinski had one goal and four helpers. Madnick went 16-22 on faceoffs and collected a game-best nine ground balls. In goal for the Panthers, Charles Midgley earned the win with eight saves.
Sutherland paced the Gulls with three goals and two assists, while Derek Yannone had five ground balls and went 6-22 at the faceoff X. Goalie Patrick Dean made 16 saves in the setback.
Middlebury held a decisive edge in both shots (43-22) and ground balls (36-19) in the triumph. The Panthers were also a perfect 11-11 on clearing attempts.