Panthers Tie Hobart - Win Holiday Classic

Middlebury and Hobart battled to a 3-3 tie, but the Panthers emerged with the Holiday Classic Tournament title with a 3-1 win in the shootout.

Hobart grabbed a 1-0 lead 5:14 into the game as Michael Steiner scored with a shot from the right side. The Statesmen ended the period with a sizable 14-5 advantage in shots.

Middlebury came out strong in the second period, tying the game just 11 seconds into the stanza. Casey Ftorek flipped the puck ahead to Mickey Gilchrist who drove hard to the goal from the left side before scoring. The Panthers struck again at 3:50 as Darwin Hunt scored from along the goal line from a tough angle after a feed from Scott Bartlett.

Hobart answered back with its own power play goal at 6:21 as Conor Bradley scored on a one-timer from the slot. The Statesmen regained the lead at 14:32 as Mike McCarthy and Brian Cibelli worked a give-and-go after a turnover, with Cibelli finishing. Middlebury came back just 21 seconds later as Robert MacIntyre scored on his own rebound to make it a 3-3 game. The period ended in a tie with the Panthers holding a 15-4 shots advantage in the period.

Neither team could score in the third period, forcing the game into overtime. Middlebury's Ross Cherry (24 saves) and Hobart's Keith Longo (29 saves) each turned away one shot in overtime to preserve the tie.

In the shootout, the Panthers led 2-1 behind goals from Eric LaFreniere and John Sales, while Mike McCarthy converted for Hobart. Tom Maldonado sealed the shootout win as he deked Longo before sliding the shot into the right side of the net.

The following players were named to the All-Tournament team: Mike Nunziato (St. Anselm), Riley Hicks (Trinity), Keith Longo (Hobart), Mike Manos (Hobart), John Sales (Middlebury), Mason Graddock (Middlebury) and Brian Cibelli (Hobart)-MVP.

Date: January 1, 2007 - 4:00 p.m\
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.

TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Hobart (7-2-3) 1 2 0 - 3
Middlebury (6-2-1) 0 3 0 - 3

H-1st (5:14) - Michael Steiner (Mike McCarthy)
M-2nd (:11) - Mickey Gilchrist (Casey Ftorek)
M-2nd (3:50) - PP: Darwin Hunt (Scott Bartlett, Brett Shirreffs)
H-2nd (6:21) - PP: Conor Bradley (Brian Cibelli, Mike
H-2nd (14:33) - Brian Cibelli (Mike McCarthy)
M-2nd (14:54) - Robert MacIntyre (Ftorek)

Ross Cherry-M (65 min., 24 saves, 3 GA)
Keith Longo-H (65 min., 29 saves, 3 GA)