Middlebury suffered just its second loss of the season as they fell 3-1 at Babson. The Panthers fall to 18-2-2 overall and 14-2-1 in NESCAC play. Middlebury needs just one point next weekend to clinch the top seed in the NESCAC Tournament.
Middlebury grabbed a 1-0 lead less than six minutes into the game, as Mason Graddock scored off a feed from Tom Maldonado at 5:50. However, that would the only blemish of the evening for Skyler Nipps, who held the powerful Panther offense scoreless over the final 54 minutes of play. The rookie goaltender made 13 saves in the first period, eight more in the second, and 10 more in the third to finish with 31 stops in the contest.
The Babson offense provided Nipps with all the support he would need in the second period, as the Beavers netted a pair of powerplay goals to take a 2-1 lead. Jamas LaFreniere scored his team-leading 13th goal of the year at 11:28, and JT Balben potted the eventual game-winner with 9.3 seconds left in the period. Geverd would tack on a key insurance goal off a feed from Balben and first-year Brad Baldelli at 11:37 of the third, resulting in the 3-1 final.
Doug Raeder stopped 17 shots in net for Middlebury, as the Panthers out shot the Beavers, 32-20.
M - Mason Graddock (Tom Maldonado) 5:50
B - PP - Jamas LaFreniere (Pat McLaughlin, Ryan Farrell) 11:28
B - PP - JT Balben (John Geverd, Alex DiPietro) 19:50.7
B - John Geverd (JT Balben, Brad Baldelli) 11:37
SAVES: M, Doug Raeder 17 (58:30 mins 3 GA); B, Skylar Nipps 31 (60:00 mins 1 GA)
SHOTS ON GOAL: M 32, B 20