The Panther men's hockey team ended its regular season on the right foot, as they thumped in-state rival Norwich, 7-3. Middlebury clinches the second seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament and will host #7 Hamilton next Saturday, February 26th in a NESCAC Quarterfinal match-up.
Mickey Gilchrist gave Middlebury a 1-0 lead 5:47 into the game, and then made it a 2-0 game at the 10:03 mark of the second period. Evgeny Saidachev scored just 13 seconds later, followed by a goal from Patrick Nugent at 11:37 to make it a 4-0 game. Darwin Hunt and John Sales closed out the five-goal period with a pair in 30 seconds to make it 6-0 after two periods.
Norwich ran off three straight in the third period, before Brian Phinney ended the scoring at the 17:41 mark. Norwich out shot Middlebury 39-31 and also took 11 penalties for 44 minutes, including a pair of majors and two misconduct penalties. Justin Gaines ended the game with three assists, while Tom Maldonado and Phinney had two apiece.
Ross Cherry played solid in net, making 36 saves on the afternoon.