Men's Hockey Prepares For Final Four

Men's Hockey Prepares For Final Four

Middlebury will make its sixth straight appearance in the final four after a 3-2 win over UMass-Dartmouth in an NCAA Quarterfinal match-up in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers will meet Manhattanville in a semifinal game on Saturday, March 17th at 5:00 p.m. eastern in Superior, Wisconsin. Oswego will meet St. Norbert in the other semifinal at 1:30 p.m. eastern.

Middlebury made its way into the semifinal round with NCAA Tournament wins over Fredonia and UMass.-Dartmouth in the Kenyon Arena. The Panthers dominated Fredonia, out-shooting the Blue Devils 46-6 on the night as Middlebury picked up a 9-0 win. Eight different players scored for Middlebury, with 16 of 18 earning at least one point. The contest with UMass.-Dartmouth was much tighter, with John Sullivan scoring the game-winner for Middlebury at the 6:15 mark of the third period to give the Panthers a 3-2 victory. The win was the 400th at Middlebury for Panther head coach Bill Beaney, who moved to 400-112-27 in his 20th season.

Middlebury earned its way into the tourney by earning an automatic bid after capturing its seventh NESCAC Championship. The Panthers are now 15-2 in NESCAC Tournament play, having captured seven of the eight tournament titles.

Middlebury enters the '07 NCAA semifinals with more NCAA wins than any other school in Division III hockey. Middlebury sports a 33-5-2 mark, having won three straight NCAA Championships. The Panthers have eight overall titles, including an NCAA record five consecutive crowns from '95-'99. The team has a cumulative record of 302-46-22 (.846) over the past 13 years. Head coach Bill Beaney is now in his 20th season behind the bench, with more wins (486-188-35 - 27 seasons overall) than any other active coach in Division III men's college hockey history.

Middlebury enters the tourney tied with St. Norbert for the nation's longest unbeaten streak at nine games (8-0-1). The defense ranks sixth nationally with a 2.24 GAA, while the penalty kill is sixth at .872. The Middlebury offense scores 3.64 goals/game, while the power play is third, clicking at .256.

Mickey Gilchrist leads the Panthers in scoring this season with a team-high 18 goals and 33 points to go along with his 15 assists. The junior also leads the team with seven power play and five game-winning goals. Gilchrist now has 111 points in 87 career games.

Tom Maldonado leads the team with 23 helpers on the season. The junior has three goals to go along with his 23 assists this season for 26 points, second only to Gilchrist. Seniors John Sales (8-15-23) and Brett Shirreffs (9-8-17), sophomore Jamie McKenna (4-12-16) and senior Evgeny Saidachev (4-11-15) round out the other leading scorers.

Ross Cherry and Doug Raeder have again split time between the pipes this season. Raeder is 12-3 with a 2.24 GAA, while Cherry is 7-4-3 with a 2.23 GAA.

2007 NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament

First-Round, Wednesday, March 7th
Bethel 2 @ *Wis.-River Falls 1
*Middlebury 9, Fredonia 0

Quarterfinals, Saturday, March 10th - *=host school
*St. Norbert 4, Bethel 1
*Oswego 3, Norwich 0
*Manhattanville 5, Babson 3
*Middlebury 3, UMass.-Dartmouth 2

Semifinals, Saturday, March 17th -
Wessman Arena
- Superior, Wisconsin
Oswego (21-3-3) vs. St. Norbert (25-3-2) - 1:30 p.m. eastern
Middlebury (19-7-3) vs. Manhattanville (21-1-5) - 5:00 p.m. eastern

NCAA Championship, Sunday, March 18th -
Wessman Arena
- Superior, Wisconsin
Gametime - 4:00 p.m. eastern