Middlebury exploded for three goals in a 1:53 span in the second period to lift the Panthers to a 6-0 win over Curry in the NCAA Quarterfinals. With the win, Middlebury will host the NCAA Semifinals and Championship next Friday and Saturday, March 18-19 at the Kenyon Arena. Middlebury will meet New England College (4-2 winner over Manhattanville) at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, while Trinity (4-0 winner over Geneseo) takes on St. Thomas (a 3-2 winner over St. Norbert) in the first game at 3:30 p.m. The winners meet for the NCAA title on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Ticket information can be found on this site on Sunday, or by calling (802) 443-2596.
Just after the opening face-off, Middlebury's Mickey Gilchrist snapped a shot into the net from the left wing, but the goal was waved off after it was ruled there was a player in the crease. Robert MacIntyre had another good chance for the Panthers at 5:30, but he was robbed by a great glove save from Lenny Mosca. Curry had a chance of its own at the six-minute mark, but Middlebury's Ross Cherry stopped Brian Doherty from just outside the crease area. Middlebury broke into the scoring column at 11:37 as Jocko DeCarolis picked the puck out of a scrum and skated towards the goal where he backhanded a shot into the net. The Colonels had a nice bid at the 17-minute mark, but Cherry stopped Bret Adams from close range. Middlebury would have a five-on-three power play for 1:06 late in the period, but could not score. The Panthers ended the period with a 17-9 shot advantage.
Chad Pillsbury had a great chance to tie the game seven minutes into the second period, but he missed the open net after beating Cherry. Middlebury then went on their decisive three goal run, including a pair of power play tallies. Eric LaFreniere opened the scoring as he redirected a pass sent on net by Robert MacIntyre. Brett Shirreffs struck next from the right point before some nifty passing from Darwin Hunt and Evgeny Saidachev set up Levi Doria in front as he went up high to give Middlebury a 4-0 lead.
The lead grew to 5-0 3:01 into the third when MacIntyre converted a breakaway with a nice feed from Graham. Samuel Driver scored the game's final goal with 3:00 left to make it a 6-0 contest. Cherry was stellar in goal, making 29 saves to earn the shutout. Mosca made 27 saves in two periods, allowing four goals, while Michael Ronan stopped 11 of 13 shots in the third period.