Men's Hockey Clinches Home Ice

Middlebury clinched home ice as far as they go in the NESCAC Tournament after a 5-2 win over Hamilton in the Kenyon Arena. The Panthers wrap up their regular season when they host Amherst on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

Hamilton took a 1-0 lead 14:52 into the first period as John Gordon skated in from the right side and snapped a shot into the far corner for a power play goal. The Continentals made it a 2-0 game just 1:04 later as Gus Katsuras took a nice long feed from Erik Kallio and then wrapped a shot around Ross Cherry for a shorthanded goal. Middlebury answered with a power play goal with just 29 seconds left in the period. Jamie McKenna put home his own rebound after a shot from the left point by Jack Kinder was saved.

Hamilton held the lead until the 14:53 mark of the second period when the Panthers struck for a pair of goals in 42 seconds. Evgeny Saidachev scored the first with a rocket to the top right corner as he skated across the blue line to the left wing. Mickey Gilchrist gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead at 15:35 as he made a great fake on Hamilton netminder Gabe Tash, before scoring from just outside the crease.

The third period started off fast-paced as McKenna snapped a shot off the right post before Cherry made a huge save on Andrew Decristoforo on the other end of the ice. The score remained at 3-2 until Jeff Smith put home a rebound from the slot to give Middlebury some breathing room with 2:21 remaining. Scott Bartlett sealed the game with an empty-netter at 19:28.

Cherry ended the night with 17 saves to earn the win, while Tash made 27 stops for the Continentals.

Date: February 17, 2006 - 7:00 p.m

Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.

TEAM 1 2 3 OT F

Hamilton (10-11-2) 2 0 0 - 2

Middlebury (19-2-2) 1 2 2 - 5


H-1st (14:52) - PP: John Gordon (Gabe Tash)

H-1st (15:56) - SH: Gus Katsuras (Erik Kallio)

M-1st (19:31) - PP: Jamie McKenna (Jack Kinder, Robert MacIntyre)

M-2nd (14:53) - Evgeny Saidachev

M-2nd (15:35) - Mickey Gilchrist (Leonard Badeau, McKenna)

M-3rd (17:39) - Jeff Smith (Gilchrist, McKenna)

M-3rd (19:28) - Scott Bartlett (Badeau)


Ross Cherry-M (60 min., 17 saves, 2 GA)

Gabe Tash-H (58:46 min., 27 saves, 4 GA)