Late Goal Lifts Men's Hockey Over S. Maine

Late Goal Lifts Men's Hockey Over S. Maine

Charlie Strauss scored with 29 seconds remaining in regulation to give Middlebury a 5-4, come-from-behind win over the University of Southern Maine in an ECAC East-NESCAC inter-league game Saturday afternoon at the USM Ice Arena.

Unbeaten Middlebury, ranked third in this week's Division III poll, squandered a one-goal lead heading into the third period and fell behind 4-3 before rallying for a pair of goals in the final three minutes to overcome the upset-minded Huskies. Middlebury won its sixth straight game to improve to 6-0-0 overall and 4-0-0 in league play. Southern Maine slips to 3-4-0 overall and 2-2-0 in league play with the loss.

Ian Drummond set up the tying goal by Ken Suchoski at 17:31, then found himself at the corner of the net to stuff the puck past USM goalie Jamie Gilbert for the game winner with 29 seconds to play. Charlie Strauss and Martin Drolet picked up the assists on Drummond's goal.

Southern Maine had rallied from a one-goal deficit at the start of the final period as sophomore Zach Joy tied the score at 3-3 with his second goal of the game at 1:25 off a feed from senior Kyle Smith. Chris Travis put the home team ahead at 14:17 with his goal of the season set up by Joy and Paul Conter.

The teams traded goals in the first period as Middlebury's Chaz Svoboda scored an unassisted goal at 6:00, and Southern Maine's Pat Noonan got the equalizer at 18:43.

Joy's first goal of the game in the opening minute of the second period put USM up 2-1. Tom Cantwell tied the score with his first collegiate goal at 11:06, and John Sullivan gave Middlebury a 3-2 lead with a power-play marker at 13:58.

John Yanchek posted 27 saves in the Middlebury goal. Gilbert stopped 32 of 37 shots for Southern Maine.