Mickey Gilchrist scored the game-winner 12:37 into the third period as Middlebury held on for a 4-3 win over Castleton. Gilchrist skated out of the corner towards the slot before scoring with a backhander. The Panthers held a 47-19 shots advantage on the night, going 3/9 on the power play.
Middlebury came out strong as the Panthers took a 1-0 lead on a power play goal at the 3:30 mark. Mickey Gilchrist drove to the goal and found an open Jamie McKenna in the slot, who slid the puck past Jeff Swanson. The lead doubled at 9:02 as Scott Bartlett found Darwin Hunt open on the far post for the quick redirect and power play goal. The Panthers ended the period with a 17-4 shots advantage.
Castleton struck just 15 seconds into the second period when Steve Culberton picked up a bouncing puck and roofed a shot past Ross Cherry. The Spartans tied the game at 5:13 as Eric Curtis put in a rebound from the slot after a shot from Culberton was saved.
Castleton took its first lead of the game at 15:52 whenKirk Bolduc picked up the puck, drove to the goal and fired a shot to the top left corner of the net. Middlebury tied the game late in the period as Eric LaFreniere drove to the goal before dropping a great feed to Justin Gaines, who finished from the slot with 1:07 remaining in the second period.
The Panthers put on a lot of pressure midway through the third period, before scoring the game-winner at 12:37. Castleton threatened late with a power play at the 17:36 mark, but could not score the equalizer.
Cherry ended the day with 16 saves, while Swanson made 43 stops for Castleton.
Date: January 6, 2007 - 4:00 p.m
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Castleton (5-3-3) 0 3 0 - 3
Middlebury (7-3-1) 2 1 1 - 4
M-1st (3:30) - PP: Jamie McKenna (Mickey Gilchrist, Tom Maldonado)
M-1st (9:02) - PP: Darwin Hunt (Scott Bartlett, Eric LaFreniere)
C-2nd (:15) - Steve Culberton (Mike Anderson)
C-2nd (5:13) - Eric Curtis ( Culberson, Evan Romeo)
C-2nd (15:52) - Kirk Bolduc (Jeff Alexander)
M-2nd (18:53) - Justin Gaines (Eric LaFreniere, Evgeny Saidachev)
M-3rd (12:37) - Mickey Gilchrist
Ross Cherry-M (60 min, 16 saves, 3 GA)
Jeff Swanson-C (59:45 min., 43 saves, 4 GA)