Middlebury scored five second period goals on its way to a 7-0 win over Wesleyan in a NESCAC Quarterfinal match-up in Vermont. The Panthers will host the NESCAC semifinals and championship, next Friday and Saturday, March 3rd and 4th in the Kenyon Arena. Middlebury will host Hamilton at 4:00 p.m., while Bowdoin will take on Trinity at 7:00, with the championship game taking place on Saturday night at 7:00. Ticket information will be available on Monday.
The first 10 minutes of the game saw few scoring opportunities as Wesleyan held a 2-1 shots advantage after 10 minutes of play. The Cardinals had a good chance to score at the 15-minute mark as Kevin Armstrong's snapper from the left point just missed the top right corner of the net. Middlebury got on the board at 17:18 with a power play goal, as Jack Kinder sent a pass across the zone to Mickey Gilchrist at the left point. Gilchrist took one stride towards the goal before wristing a shot into the top right corner for his team-leading 19th goal of the season. The Cardinals held a 5-4 shots advantage after one period.
Middlebury took a 2-0 lead just 53 seconds into the third period as Eric LaFreniere took a shot that hit Gilchrist in the slot. Gilchrist gathered the puck and quickly slid a shot past Dave Scardella for his second goal of the game. The lead grew to 3-0 at 6:32 as Kyle Koziara scored a power play goal with a shot from the top of the left face-off circle. Middlebury struck again at 8:27 as LaFreniere skated across the crease before scoring with a strong backhander to the top of the net. The offense continued at 10:21 as LaFreniere deflected in an outside shot from Robert MacIntyre at the left point. Leonard Badeau added the fifth goal of the period from the right face-off circle at 18:21. The Panthers out shot the Cardinals 20-4 in the second period.
Brett Sheriffs added a third period goal with a shot from the left point to make it a 7-0 final. Ross Cherry ended the night with a dozen saves to earn the shutout, while Scardella and Mike Palladino combined to make 27 saves for Wesleyan. Gilchrist and LaFreniere ended the night with two goals and two assists apiece, while MacIntyre had three assists.
Date: February 25, 2006 - 4:00 p.m
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Wesleyan (7-13-4) 0 0 0 - 0
Middlebury (21-2-2) 1 5 1 - 7
M-1st (17:18) - PP: Mickey Gilchrist (Jack Kinder, Tom Maldonado)
M-2nd (:53) - Gilchrist (Eric LaFreniere, Robert MacIntyre)
M-2nd (6:32) - PP: Kyle Koziara (Tom Maldonado, Gilchrist)
M-2nd (8:27) - 4on4: LaFreniere (MacIntyre, Kinder)
M-2nd (10:21) - LaFreniere (MacIntyre, Gilchrist)
M-2nd (18:21) - Leonard Badeau (Jeff Smith)
M-3rd (18:05) - PP: Brett Shirreffs (LaFreniere, John Sales)
Ross Cherry-M (60 min., 12 saves, 0 GA)
Dave Scardella-W (40 min., 18 saves, 6 GA)
Mike Palladino-W (20 min., 9 saves, 1 GA)