Middlebury will make its seventh consecutive trip to the NESCAC semifinals after a 5-1 win over Williams in the quarterfinals. The Panthers will take on Colby, a 5-1 winner over Connecticut College, at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 3rd at Bowdoin. The host school will meet Amherst in the other semifinal at 1:00 p.m. with the title game slated for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Middlebury jumped out early with three goals in the game's first 7:39. Sam Driver opened the scoring at 1:54 as he scored with a backhander from the slot. The lead doubled 2:05 later as Mickey Gilchrist scored with a shot through traffic on the left side. Hunt ended the three-goal run at 7:39 as he scored on a rebound from the slot after a shot from Driver was saved by Mark Pulde of Williams. The save would be his last as he was replaced by Rick Redmond after the goal.
Williams scored the only goal of the second period, as Steve Bruch's shot deflected in off a Middlebury defender at the 11:50 mark.
The game remained at 3-1 until the 13:39 mark of the third period when the Panthers gained some breathing room. Driver scored his second of the game as he carried the puck through the middle and scored with a quick wrister into the left side of the net. Jamie McKenna added an empty-netter with 20 seconds remaining to make it a 5-1 final. Driver's goal was the only one allowed by Redmond, who made 28 saves in relief of Pulde. Doug Raeder ended the day with 25 between the pipes for Middlebury.
Date: February 24, 2007 - 4:00 p.m
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Williams (8-14-2) 0 1 0 - 1
Middlebury (15-7-3) 3 0 2 - 5
M-1st (1:54) - PP: Sam Driver (John Sales, Darwin Hunt)
M-1st (3:59) - Gilchrist
M-1st (7:39) - Hunt (Driver, Jamie McKenna)
W-2nd (11:50) - Steve Bruch
M-3rd (13:39) - Driver (Tom Maldonado)
M-3rd (19:40) - EN: McKenna (Scott Bartlett)
Doug Raeder-M (60 min, 25 saves, 1 GA)
Mark Pulde-W (7:39 min, 3 saves, 3 GA)
Rick Redmond-W (52:21 min., 28 saves, 1 GA)