Middlebury advanced to the NESCAC semifinals after a 6-2 win over Hamilton in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers will meet Williams in the semifinal round next Friday at Amherst. Hamilton ends its season at 9-15-1. Middlebury held 37-19 shots advantage in the game.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead at 4:48 as Martin Drolet scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season on a breakaway through the five-hole. The lead grew to 2-0 at 6:05 with a power play goal from Charles Nerbak. Ken Suchoski fed Nerbak for the one-timer for his fifth goal of the season. Hamilton answered with a power play goal of its own 40 seconds later, as Joe Buicko netted his 10th of the season. Middlebury came back at 8:31 when Suchoski tipped in a shot from the outside by Leonard Badeau to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead.
The lead grew to 4-1 8:25 into the third as Jamie McKenna converted a crossing pass from Suchoski. Steven Lucchetti made it a two-goal game as he took advantage of a turnover and scored driving to the goal from the left wing for the Continentals.
Drolet netted his second of the game just 1:32 into the third period, scoring from close-range with a nice feed from Mason Graddock. Nerbak also netted his second of the night, this one coming at the 10:58 mark.
Doug Raeder made 17 saves in goal to earn the win, while Ian Stearns and Mark Donovan combined to make 31 stops for the Continentals.
Date: February 28, 2009 - 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Hamilton (9-15-1) 1 1 0 - 2
Middlebury (18-6-1) 3 1 2 - 6
M-1st (4:48) - Martin Drolet (Bryan Curran)
M-1st (6:05) - PP: Charles Nerback (Ken Suchoski, Trevor Dodds)
H-1st (6:45) - PP: Joe Buicko (Tom Chiappetta, B.J. Lalonde)
M-1st (8:31) - Suchoski (Leonard Badeau)
M-2nd (8:25) - Jamie McKenna (Suchoski)
H-2nd (12:49) - Steven Lucchetti (Kevin Osborne)
M-3rd (1:32) - Drolet (Mason Graddock)
M-3rd (10:58) - PP: Nerbak (John Sullivan)
Doug Raeder-M (60 min, 17 saves, 2 GA)
Ian Stearns-H (14:45 min., 8 saves, 3 GA), Mark Donovan-H (45:15 min., 23 saves, 3 GA)