The Middlebury men's hockey team will make its 14th NCAA Tournament appearance when they host Plattsburgh on Saturday, March 13th in a quarterfinal match-up at 7:00 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, March 9th at the McCullough/Mahaney box offices (802-443-6433), and are priced at $7 for adults and $4 for students. Tickets can also be purchased at: http://boxoffice.middlebury.edu/index.php. Remaining tickets will be on sale at 6:00 p.m. Saturday.
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Middlebury makes its first NCAA Tournament appearance since '07. The Panthers had played in 13 straight ('95-'07) tourneys before not earning a bid in each of the last two seasons. Middlebury earned its way in after a 3-2 win over Bowdoin in the NESCAC Championship game on March 7th. The Panthers have appeared in the NESCAC Championship game in each of the 11 years of the tournament's existence, winning on eight occasions. Charlie Townsend was named NESCAC Player of the Week after scoring the game-winner late in the third period of the title game. Mathieu Dubuc ended the tournament with six goals, breaking the old record of five held by former Panthers Mickey Gilchrist and Kevin Cooper.
Middlebury enters the '10 NCAA Tournament with more NCAA wins than any other school in Division III hockey. Middlebury sports a 34-6-2 mark, having won three straight NCAA Championships from ('04-'06). The Panthers have eight overall titles, including an NCAA record five consecutive crowns from '95-'99. The team has a cumulative record of 433-87-32 (.813) over the past 20 years, including a 223-46-19 (.807) record in the past 10 seasons. The Panthers have won nine straight, including 12 of their last 13 games.
Middlebury offense is second in the NESCAC and 16th in the country with 4.04 goals scored/game, while the defense is third in the league and ninth nationally with 2.35 GA/contest. The Panthers' power play is second/fifth at .255, while the penalty kill is 3rd/11th at .860.
Sophomore Martin Drolet has been the Panthers' offensive leader this season. The two-time All-NESCAC selection leads the NESCAC with 1.33 points/game, including 15 goals and a team-high 21 points and 36 assists. The former NESCAC rookie of the year has 69 points in 54 career games.
Dubuc has been Middlebury's top rookie, leading the team with 16 goals this season. He is second in the league in goals with .62/game, while ranking fourth with 1.15 points/contest. Dubuc is tied for the team and NESCAC lead with seven power play tallies this season.
Junior Ken Suchoski (12-11-23), senior John Sullivan (12-11-23) and sophomore Nick Resor (12-10-22, 7 PP) are among the leaders in the points column. Senior Charlie Townsend (12-8-20), sophomore Charlie Strauss (5-14-19) and junior Bryan Curran (5-13-18) round out the team's leading scorers.
After splitting time with senior Max Kennedy (7-2-2, 2.32 GAA, .892 SV%), sophomore John Yanchek has emerged as the team's starter between the pipes. Yanchek is fourth in the league with a 2.30 goals against average, to go along with an 8-1-2 record and a .915 SV%.
Head coach Bill Beaney is now in his 23rd season as the bench boss for the Panthers, owning a record of 457-131-34 (.760) at Middlebury. He owns a career record of 542-207-41 (.712) with seven seasons at the head coach at N.E.C. His 524 wins are second all-time in Division III history, while his .712 winning percentage places him fourth all-time in Division III.
This will be the fourth time the two teams have meet in the NCAA Tournament, each time in the quarterfinals, with the NCAA series tied at 2-2-2. Middlebury swept a two-game quarterfinal series in '95, with Plattsburgh returning the favor in '01. In '00, the teams battled to a pair of ties before Plattsburgh advanced via the mini-game. Middlebury leads the all-time series 19-13-3, with a 6-3-1 mark in the last 10 meetings. Earlier this season (11/27/09), the Cardinals skated to a 3-1 win at the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout, while the Panthers emerged with a 5-3 win in Kenyon Arena on February 2nd.
Plattsburgh earned an at-large bid to the tournament after a 6-3 loss to Oswego in the SUNYAC Championships. The Cardinals had won five straight games and seven of nine prior to the title game. Junior Dylan Clarke (11-17-28, 6 PP) leads the team in scoring this season, with support from junior Eric Satim (11-15-26), senior Andrew Willock (6-16-22) and sophomore Kyle Kudroch (13-8-21). In goal, rookies Josh Leis and Ryan Williams have each played over 800 minutes. Williams is 10-2-1 with a 2.16 GAA and a .905 SV%, while Leis is 8-3-3 with a 1.69 GAA and a .931 SV%.
2010 NCAA Division III Men's Hockey Tournament
Wednesday, March 10th - First Round Games
St. Norbert 4, Adrian 3
Gustavus Adolphus 3, St. Thomas 1
Elmira 4, Curry 1
Saturday, March 13th - Quarterfinals
Elmira (19-8-1) at Norwich (23-1-4)
Bowdoin (19-6-1) at Oswego (25-2)
Plattsburgh (18-5-4) at Middlebury (19-4-4)
Gustavus Adolphus (20-6-2) at St. Norbert (22-3-3)
Friday, March 19th - Semifinals @ Lake Placid - 4:00/7:30
Saturday, March 20th - NCAA Championship @ Lake Placid - 5:00