Skidmore goaltender D.J. Delbuono turned away 46 shots as the Thoroughbreds earned their first-ever win over Middlebury in 11 tries. The Panthers out shot Skidmore 48-29 on the night, but could not solve Delbuono. The win was significant for Skidmore head coach Neil Sinclair, the '93 Middlebury graduate who served as the team's interim head coach in '02-03.
The Panthers had a couple chances early, but Darwin Hunt's breakaway was stopped by Delbuono at 8:18, followed by a pipe by Tom Maldonado at 10:10. Skidmore opened the scoring at 12:51 as Tim Daley's shot was saved by Doug Raeder before Quinn MacNulty pounced on the rebound and scored from the slot. Middlebury tied the game with just nine seconds left in the period as Brett Shirreffs shot from the left point deflected in off a defender. The Panther held a 16-6 shots advantage after one period of play.
Skidmore regained the lead just 21 seconds into the second period as Matt Czerkowicz finished a rebound after a save by Raeder on Rob Hutchinson. The lead grew to 3-1 at 8:37 as Anthony Ferri blocked a shot before picking up the puck and racing to the other end of the ice to convert a breakaway. The Thoroughbreds had another chance at 17:17, but Ross Cherry, in relief of Raeder, stopped Chris Webb on a breakaway. The Panthers had a chance late in the period with a five-on-three for 1:09, but could not convert.
Skidmore gained some much-needed breathing room early in the third as Czerkowicz snapped a wrister under the arm of Ross Cherry at the 2:49 mark. The Panthers made it a two-goal game at 12:34 as Casey Ftorek scored on a wrap-around, but that would be the game's final goal.
Raeder made 11 saves in 29 minutes, while Cherry stopped 14 shots in 31 minutes of play.
Date: January 5, 2007 - 7:00 p.m
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Skidmore (7-1-2) 1 2 1 - 4
Middlebury (6-3-1) 1 0 0 - 2
S-1st (12:51) - Quinn MacNulty (Tim Daley, Chris Webb)
M-1st (19:51) - Brett Shirreffs (Jamie McKenna)
S-2nd (:21) - Matt Czerkowicz (Rob Hutchinson)
S-2nd (8:37) - Anthony Ferri
S-3rd (2:49) - Czerkowicz (Teddy Gowan, Tim Welsh)
M-3rd (12:34) - Casey Ftorek (John Sales)
Doug Raeder-M (28:37 min., 11 saves, 3 GA)
Ross Cherry-M (31:23 min, 14 saves, 1 GA)
D.J. Delbuono-S (60 min., 46 saves, 2 GA)