Middlebury's rookie netminder Ross Cherry made 21 saves to earn his first career shutout as the Panthers topped Hamilton 3-0 in a NESCAC quarterfinal contest. The win avenges a 3-2 loss at the hands of the Continentals earlier in the season. Middlebury advances to take on Colby next Saturday at Trinity, while the host school will meet Bowdoin in the other semifinal match-up. Hamilton ends its season at 9-12-4. Ticket information for the NESCAC Championship will be available on Tuesday, by calling (802) 443-2596.
Middlebury jumped on the board early with a goal just 2:20 into the contest as Eric LaFreniere took the puck away from a Hamilton defender behind his own goal. LaFreniere quickly turned and found an open Shady Young in the slot for the quick one-timer that found the back of the net. Middlebury ended the period with a 14-3 shots advantage and a 1-0 lead.
Hamilton had a good opportunity to score 6:20 into the second period, but Nate Miller's one-timer from the low slot was stopped by Ross Cherry. The Panthers made it a 2-0 game at 11:07 of the second period as Mickey Gilchrist snapped in a shot from the right side after a great feed from behind the net by Justin Gaines.
The lone third period goal came as Darwin Hunt found Brian Phinney near center ice before he skated in all alone for the empty-net goal with 1:46 remaining in the game. Middlebury out shot Hamilton 30-21 on the night, with Rob MacNeil making 27 saves for the Continentals.