Bryan Curran scored two goals and assisted on another to lead Middlebury to a 5-2 win against Hamilton in the regular season finale for both teams. Middlebury (17-6-1 overall, 14-4-1 NESCAC) clinched the No. 2 seed in the NESCAC championship tournament, while Hamilton (9-14-1, 8-11-0) is the seventh seed, which means the teams will meet again in a quarterfinal game at Middlebury on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 4 p.m.
Jamie McKenna earned three assists for the Panthers and now leads the team with 22 assists and 35 points. Doug Raeder made 29 saves to pick up the win.
Chris Lorenc paced the Continentals with one goal and one assist. Lorenc leads the team with 17 goals and 30 points. Ian Stearns made 40 saves.
Middlebury pounced on Hamilton right away with four goals in the first period. Martin Drolet gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead with his team-high 17th goal just 1:13 into the period. Curran made it 2-0 at 8:52 and Charles Nerbak extended the lead to 3-0 with his fourth goal at 10:40. Mack Cummins notched his second goal this season with 6:26 left in the first for the commanding 4-0 lead.
Curran gave Middlebury an insurmountable 5-0 advantage with his fourth goal this season at 4:09 of the second period. The Continentals rallied in the third period with goals by BJ Lalonde and Lorenc, but it wasn't nearly enough.
The Panthers held a 45-31 advantage in shots and now lead the all-time series, 79-30-2. Hamilton was 1-for-5 on the power play and killed all four Middlebury opportunities.