Middlebury advanced to the NESCAC semifinals after a 6-2 win over Tufts in a quarterfinal match-up in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers (17-4-4) will take part in the championship weekend on March 6th & 7th at Bowdoin. The Jumbos end their season with a 12-10-3 record. Mathieu Dubuc notched a hat-trick in the game, bringing his season total to 13 on the season. Middlebury outshot Tufts 56-14 in the game, as Scott Barchard made 50 saves for the Jumbos.
Tufts took a 1-0 lead just 3:39 into the game, as Tom Derosa finished off a scramble just outside the Middlebury crease for his 15th of the year. Middlebury tied the game at 12:32, when Dubuc netted his 11th of the season. The rookie took a great feed from A.J. Meyer and snapped a shot to the top right corner on a breakaway. The Panthers took their first lead of the game at the 14:46 mark, when Jak Knelman netted his third of the year, finishing a quick feed from Dubuc.
Middlebury had a pair of nice chances early in the second, but Barchard stood his ground. He robbed Dubuc with a glove save at 2:22, while stopping Middlebury's Tom Clayton with a nice pad save on the power play at the 4:00 mark. Middlebury was finally able to break through on the power play at 4:22, as Mathieu Castonguay's shot from the left point found its way past Barchard for his first career goal. Middlebury netminder John Yanchek kept it a 3-1 game with a pair of nice saves on Cory Korchin late in the second period.
Middlebury opened up the game in the third, taking a 5-1 lead with two goals in 42 seconds. Clayton fed Dubuc for his second of the game at 5:59, snapping a quick shot into the top corner for a power play goal. Castonguay netted his second of the afternoon at 6:41, as his shot from the left point deflected in off a defender's stick.
Conor Pieri netted his second of the year for Tufts at 10:38, converting a pass from behind the net from Evan Story. Dubuc ending the scoring for the Panthers, notching the hat-trick with a quick shot through the five-hole, skating through the slot.
Yanchek (60 min., 2 GA, 12 saves) picked up the win in goal for the Panthers, while Barchard (60 min., 6 GA, 50 saves) took the loss.