Men's Hockey Heads To Bowdoin For NESCAC Tournament

Men's Hockey Heads To Bowdoin For NESCAC Tournament

The Middlebury College men's hockey team will make its seventh consecutive trip in the NESCAC semifinals as they travel to Bowdoin this weekend. The Panthers will take on Colby at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, while the host school meets Amherst at 1:00 p.m. The winners meet for the NESCAC Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

After an atypical regular season for the Panthers, Middlebury has turned things around and are sporting a five-game unbeaten streak entering the NESCAC semifinals. The Panthers and Bowdoin both ended the regular season with identical 11-6-2 marks in NESCAC play, with the Polar Bears earning the top seed and hosting rights with a 6-2 win over Middlebury in January.

The Panthers looked solid in their quarterfinal win over Williams, scoring three first period goals on their way to a 5-1 win. Sam Driver had two goals and an assist in the win, while Doug Raeder made 25 saves in goal.

Middlebury is now 16-1 overall in NESCAC Tournament play, winning and hosting six of the seven tournaments. The Panthers have also captured eight NCAA titles, from '95-'99 as well as '04-'06.

The Middlebury offense ranks fourth in the NESCAC this season with 3.44 goals/game. The defense has allowed the fewest goals in NESCAC play (2.32/game). The penalty kill was solid as well, killing .864 of its opponent's power plays, tops in the NESCAC.

Mickey Gilchrist leads the Panthers in scoring this season with a team-high 15 goals and 29 points to go along with his 14 assists. The junior leads the team with seven power play and four game-winners this season. Gilchrist now has 107 points in 83 career games.

Tom Maldonado leads the team and ranks fourth in the league with .92 assists/game. The junior has one goal to go along with his 23 assists this season. Seniors John Sales (8-12-20), Brett Shirreffs (7-6-13), Evgeny Saidachev (4-8-12) and sophomore Jamie McKenna (3-9-12) round out the other leading scorers.

Ross Cherry and Doug Raeder have again split time between the pipes this season. Raeder is 10-3 with a 2.36 GAA, while
Cherry is 5-4-3 with a 2.26 GAA.

Bowdoin will offer live webcasts of all NESCAC Championship games this weekend. Check the website later this week for more details

Quarterfinals - Saturday, Feb. 24 at Higher Seeds

#1 Bowdoin 7, #8 Trinity 3
#2 Middlebury 5, #7 Williams 1
#3 Colby 5, #6 Conn. College 1
#5 Amherst 2, #4 Wesleyan 0

Semifinals - Saturday, March 3rd (Bowdoin)
#5 Amherst (14-9-1) vs. #1 Bowdoin (15-6-3) - 1:00 p.m.
#3 Colby (14-8-2) vs. #2 Middlebury (15-7-3) - 4:00 p.m.

Championship - Sunday, March 4th
NESCAC Championship - 1:00 p.m.