Middlebury advanced to the finals of the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout with a 5-3 win over St. Thomas in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers will meet Norwich in the finals on Saturday night at 7:00, while the Tommies will take on Plattsburgh at 4:00 in the consolation game.
St. Thomas took a 1-0 lead at the 8:09 mark, as Adam Davis converted a power play goal with a blast from the outside after a feed from Todd Alexander. Middlebury had a nice chance to tie the game on a power play of its own, but Charlie Strauss' first shot was saved before he sent the rebound off the far post.
The Tommies made it a 2-0 game at almost the same time in the second period, as Rob Johnson took a pass from Adam Davis and converted one-on-one with a shot through the five hole. The Panthers got on the board just 1:32 later as Chaz Svoboda snapped a shot to the top left corner after a nice pass from behind the net by John Sullivan. St. Thomas regained the two-goal lead with 1:36 left in the period as Johnson scored his second of the game on the doorstep, after a shot from Davis was saved by Doug Raeder. Middlebury answered just 1:12 later as John Sullivan scored on the power play after a face-off with a quick move down low for the score.
The Panthers were threatening in the third period, as Martin Drolet hit the post seven minutes in, before Sullivan tied the game by putting home his own rebound just 24 seconds later to tie the game at three. Drolet scored the game-winner on the power play for Middlebury with 3:34 left in the game. Michael Kretschmer's shot from the outside went off Svoboda, before the rebound fell to the feet of Drolet for the goal. Raeder made the lead stand up, including a great save on Andrew Kappers with 2:00 left on the power play. Jamie McKenna and Ken Suchoski worked a nice give-and-go for an empty-netter with 10 seconds left to play to make it a 5-3 final.
Raeder made 23 saves in goal to earn the win, while Tyler Chestnut stopped 14 for the Tommies.
Date: November 28, 2008 - 7:22 p.m.
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.
TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
St. Thomas (3-3-1) 1 2 0 - 3
Middlebury (3-0) 0 2 3 - 5
S-1st (8:09) - PP: Adam Davis (Todd Alexander, Rob Johnson)
S-2nd (8:03) - Rob Johnson (Adam Davis)
M-2nd (9:35) - Chaz Svoboda (John Sullivan, Ken Suchoski)
S-2nd (18:34) - PP: Johnson (Davis, Tom Knutson)
M-2nd (19:46) - PP: Sullivan (Jamie McKenna, Michael Kretschmer)
M-3rd (7:24) - Sullivan
M-3rd (16:26) - PP: Martin Drolot (Kretschmer, McKenna)
M-3rd (19:50) - EN : Jamie McKenna (Suchoski)
Tyler Chestnut-S (60 min., 14 saves, 4 GA)
Doug Raeder-M (60 min., 23 saves, 3 GA)