Middlebury will make its 13th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday, March 7th when they host Fredonia at 7:00 p.m. This will be just the second meeting between the schools, with the Panthers earning a 1-0 win for their first-ever NCAA Championship in '95.
Middlebury earned its way into the tourney by earning an automatic bid after capturing its seventh NESCAC Championship. The Panthers move to 15-2 in NESCAC Tournament play, having captured seven of the eight tournament titles. Middlebury enters the tourney riding a seven game unbeaten streak (6-0-1), second longest in the nation. The defense ranks eighth nationally with a 2.32 GAA, while the penalty kill is ninth at .865. The Middlebury offense scores 3.47 goals/game, while the power play is sixth, clicking at .247.
Middlebury enters the '07 NCAA Tournament with more NCAA wins than any other school in Division III hockey. Middlebury sports a 31-5-2 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 300-46-22 (.845) over the past 13 years. Head coach Bill Beaney is now in his 20th season behind the bench, with more wins (484-188-35 - 27 seasons overall) than any other coach in Division III men's college hockey history.
Mickey Gilchrist leads the Panthers in scoring this season with a team-high 16 goals and 31 points to go along with his 15 assists. He ranks third in the NESCAC with .59 goals/game this season. The junior also leads the team with seven power play and five game-winning goals. Gilchrist now has 109 points in 85 career games.
Tom Maldonado leads the team and ranks fourth in the league with .85 assists/game. The junior has a pair of goals to go along with his 23 assists this season. Seniors John Sales (8-14-22), Brett Shirreffs (8-6-14), Evgeny Saidachev (4-9-13) and junior Scott Bartlett (7-6-13) round out the other leading scorers.
Ross Cherry and Doug Raeder have again split time between the pipes this season. Raeder is 11-3 with a 2.41 GAA, while Cherry is 6-4-3 with a 2.24 GAA.
Fredonia earned a spot in the NCAA's by earning an automatic bid with a 6-4 win at Plattsburgh in the SUNYAC Championship game. They won the SUNYAC title with some upsets, as they entered the tourney as the fifth seed. The Blue Devils are making their third NCAA appearance, having taken part in the '94 tourney and the '95 title game at Middlebury. They enter the game with a 15-9-4 overall record, earning a 5-7-2 mark in SUNYAC play. Neal Sheehan leads the team in scoring and is 16th in the nation, averaging 1.64 points/game. The junior has 22 goals and 24 assists for 46 points in 28 games played this season. Kyle Bozoian (14-14-28), Steve Albert (3-23-26), Colin Sarfeh (5-20-25) and Scott Bradley (5-18-23) round out the leading scorers. Kevin Amborski has been in goal as of late for the Blue Devils, sporting a 6-1 record with a 2.06 GAA with .936 save percentage.
2007 NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament
First-Round, Wednesday, March 7th
Bethel (17-9-1) @ Wis.-River Falls (21-5-2)
Fredonia (15-9-4) @ Middlebury (17-7-3) - 7:00 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Saturday, March 10th
Bethel/Wis.-River Falls winner @ St. Norbert (24-3-2) - 7:00 p.m.
*Fredonia/Middlebury winner vs. UMass.-Dartmouth (25-2-1) - 7:00 p.m.
Norwich (20-7) @ Oswego (20-3-3) - 7:00 p.m.
Babson (18-9-1) @ Manhattanville (20-1-5) - 7:00 p.m.
* if Middlebury wins, they will host UMD, if Fredonia wins, UMD will host
Semifinals, Saturday, March 17th - Superior, Wisconsin
Semifinal #1 - 12:30
Semifinal #2 - 4:30
NCAA Championship, Sunday, March 18th - Superior, Wisconsin
Gametime - 3:00