For the second straight NESCAC Tournament game, Middlebury scored five second period goals as they cruised to a 9-2 win over Hamilton in a NESCAC semifinal game in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers will take on Bowdoin, a 3-1 winner over Trinity, in the NESCAC Championship game on Saturday night. Hamilton ends its season at 11-12-3.
The Panthers wasted little time as Mickey Gilchrist scored with a backhander from the slot just 1:14 into the contest. The lead doubled just 2:28 later as Brett Shirreffs scored with a backhander high into the net after a save by Gabe Tash on Evgeny Saidachev during a power play. Middlebury made it a 3-0 game at 8:05 with another power play goal as Kyle Koziara's shot from the left point went in off the pads of Tash. Hamilton got on the board at 17:43 as Kyle Roulston made a great transition pass to Chris Clarkson, who scored on the breakaway. Middlebury held a 20-10 shots advantage after one period.
The Panthers jumped on the board with two goals in 11 seconds beginning at the 2:03 mark of the second period. Tash made a pair of saves on John Sales before Richie Fuld snapped one to the far side. Fuld struck again as he deflected in a nice pass from the left wing by Darwin Hunt. Just 1:44 later, the lead grew to 6-1 as Justin Gaines scored with a shot from the left wing. The advantage moved to 7-1 at 14:50 as Sales scored with a rocket from the top of the slot after a nice feed from Jack Kinder. Tom Maldonado scored the Panther's fifth goal of the period on the power play at 17:07 as he stuffed home a rebound.
Samuel Driver scored a short-handed goal for Middlebury in the third, while Gus Katsuras scored a five-on-three power player goal for Hamilton.
Ross Cherry ended the night with 21 saves for Middlebury, while Gabe Tash and Matt Crowson combined to make 43 saves for Hamilton.
Hunt and Sales both tied a NESCAC Tournament record with four points apiece in the game, while the Panthers tied their own record with 16 goals in a tournament.
Date: March 3, 2006 - 4:00 p.m
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Hamilton (11-12-3) 1 0 1 - 2
Middlebury (22-2-2) 3 5 1 - 9
M-1st (1:14) - Mickey Gilchrist (Jamie McKenna, John Sales)
M-1st (3:42) - PP: Brett Shirreffs (Evgeny Saidachev, Darwin Hunt)
M-1st (8:05) - PP: Kyle Koziara (Darwin Hunt, Eric LaFreniere)
H-1st (17:43) - Chris Clarkson (Kyle Roulston)
M-2nd (2:03) - Richie Fuld (John Sales, Darwin Hunt)
M-2nd (2:14) - Fuld (Hunt)
M-2nd (3:58) - Justin Gaines (Sales)
M-2nd (14:50) - PP: Sales (Jack Kinder, Gilchrist)
M-2nd (17:07) - PP: Tom Maldonado (Gilchrist)
M-3rd (4:53) - SH: Samuel Driver (Saidachev)
H-3rd (12:39) - 5on3 PP: Gus Katsuras (Jared Leslie, John Gordon)
Ross Cherry-M (60 min., 21 saves, 2 GA)
Gabe Tash-H (23:58 min., 21 saves, 6 GA)
Matt Crowson-H (36:02 min., 22 saves, 3 GA)