Middlebury suffered its first loss of the season as the Panthers fell to Curry 4-1 in their own Holiday Classic Tournament. The Panthers held a 36-26 shots advantage in the game, but saw 35 turned away by Curry netminder Steven Jakiel. The Colonels will meet N.E.C, a 7-0 winner over St. Anselm, in the championship game on Sunday at 4:00, while the Panthers will meet the Hawks in the consolation game at 1:00 p.m.
Curry took a 1-0 lead 7:13 into the first period as James Pentecost's shot from the left point sailed into the top right corner of the net. The Colonels made it a 2-0 game with 1:22 left in the period as Sean Sylvester scored on the power play with a nice cross-crease pass from Pentecost.
The lead grew to 3-0 only 52 seconds into the third as Michael Guzzo's shot from the top of the zone deflected in off the skate of a defender. The Panthers threatened later in the period but Mason Graddock's shot in transition was denied by Jakiel. Middlebury broke through at 11:51 as Charlie Strauss scored from the slot after a shot from Bryan Curran was saved.
The Panthers ended the second period and began the third with some power play opportunities, including some five-on-three time, but could not cut into the lead. Middlebury had a couple more chances, including another power play, but was not able to find the back of the net in the third.
Curry took a comfortable lead with 8:09 remaining as Jeffrey Hazelwood feed Guzzo for his second tally of the game to make it a 4-1 final.
Date: January 3, 2009 - 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Curry (8-2) 2 1 1 - 4
Middlebury (6-1) 0 1 0 - 1
C-1st (7:13) - James Pentecost (John Williams, Jeremy
C-1st (18:38) - PP: Sean Sylvester (Pentecost, Ryan Barlock)
C-2nd (:52) - Michael Guzzo (Jeffrey Hazelwood, Ryan Barlock)
M-2nd (11:51) - Charlie Strauss (Bryan Curran, Chaz Svoboda)
C-3rd (11:51) - Guzzo (Hazelwood)
Steven Jakiel-C (60 min., 35 saves, 1 GA)
Doug Raeder-M (60 min., 22 saves, 4 GA)