Middlebury kept its hope of earning the top seed in the NESCAC Tournament alive as they picked up a 4-2 win over Amherst on Friday night in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers trail first-place Bowdoin by two points and second-place Colby by one heading into the final day of play on Saturday.
Amherst took a 1-0 lead at the 14:34 mark of the first period, as Kyle Schoppel found the back of the net. His initial shot from the left face-off circle was blocked, as the puck fell at his feet just outside the crease before he buried it.
Middlebury tied the game at the 7:16 mark of the second period with a five-on-three power play goal. Tom Maldonado found Robert MacIntyre at the left face-off circle, as he paused to clear traffic before snapping a shot into the top right corner for the equalizer. The Panthers continued to threaten with the remaining power play, but could not take the lead. Middlebury dominated the first half of the period, out-shooting Amherst 9-0 through 10 minutes of play.
The Panthers broke through with another power play goal at 15:38 to take a 2-1 lead. Maldonado scored the goal with a snapper from the right point after a feed from MacIntyre. Shane Lennox nearly answered for Amherst nearly a minute later, but his shot from the left side hit the pipe.
Jed McDonald gave the Panthers a 3-1 lead 11:22 into the third as he intercepted a clearing pass and blasted home a shot from the right point. Amherst cut the lead to one with a five-on-three power play goal just 1:31 later. Keith Nelson fed Jeff Landers, whose slap shot from the right side found the back of the net. The Jeffs pulled their netminder with 45 seconds remaining, but Middlebury sealed the game with an empty-netter by Maldonado.
Ross Cherry made 13 saves in goal to earn the win, while Cole Anderson made 26 stops for Amherst.
Date: February 22, 2008 - 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Amherst (12-8-3) 1 0 1 - 2
Middlebury (15-6-2) 0 2 2 - 4
A-1st (14:34) - Kyle Schoppel (Keith Nelson, Joel Covelli)
M-2nd (7:16) - 5on3: Robert MacIntyre (Tom Maldonado)
M-2nd (15:38) - PP: Maldonado (MacIntyre, Mickey Gilchrist)
M-3rd (11:22) - Jed McDonald
A-3rd (12:53) - PP: Jeff Landers (Nelson, Covelli)
M-3rd (19:52) - EN: Maldonado (Justin Gaines)
Ross Cherry-M (60 min., 13 saves, 2 GA)
Cole Anderson-A (59:23 min., 26 saves, 3 GA)