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 4:00 p.m. in Superior, Wisconsin. Oswego will meet St. Norbert in the other semifinal at 12:30 p.m. The win was the 400th at Middlebury for Panther head coach Bill Beaney, who moves to 400-112-27 in his 20th season. UMD ends its season at 25-3-1, with each of the last two seasons ending at Middlebury in the quarterfinals.
UMD had a good chance to score early as Chris Shore's shot from the left wing was saved by Ross Cherry. The rebound bounced to Matt Serino who had a good look and an open net, but could not score. Middlebury went on a power play at 7:05 and took a 1-0 lead at 7:29. Brett Shirreffs took a shot from the left point, that was tipped in by Eric LaFreniere for the 1-0 lead. UMD's Bill Carroll had his rocket denied by Cherry at 8:33 as it nicked his catching glove before hitting the crossbar. Paul Carr tied the game at 9:24 as his initial breakaway attempt was saved by Cherry before the puck trickled across the goal line. The Panthers held a 12-7 shots advantage after one period.
Middlebury regained the lead just 31 seconds into the second period as Mickey Gilchrist took a feed from Jamie McKenna and skated across the low slot before scoring with a backhander. UMD tied the game less than three minutes later as Jeff Grant scored with a rocket from the right point. The period ended in a 2-2 tie, with each team taking eight shots during the session.
John Sullivan had a nice chance denied at 3:30 as his shot from the slot as he was falling to the ice, was stopped by Jeff Green. Sullivan would not be denied at 6:15 when he blasted a shot home from the slot for a power play goal after a great feed from John Sales. UMD threatened late, but were unable to slide one past Cherry, despite playing with an extra attacker for the game's final 1:16.
Cherry ended the night with 18 saves to earn the win, while Green made 28 for UMD.
Date: March 10, 2007 - 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
UMass.-Dart. (25-3-1) 1 1 0 - 2
Middlebury (20-7-3) 1 1 1 - 3
M-1st (7:29) - PP: Eric LaFreniere (Brett Shirreffs)
MD-1st (9:24) - SH: Paul Carr
M-2nd (:31) - Mickey Gilchrist (Jamie McKenna)
MD-2nd (3:24) - Jeff Grant (Francis Gunn, Paul Moran)
M-3rd (6:15) - PP: John Sullivan (John Sales)
Ross Cherry-M (60 min., 18 saves, 2 GA)
Jeff Green-MD (58:44 min., 28 saves, 3 GA)