Middlebury scored a pair of unanswered third period goals on its way to a 5-3 road win at St. Michael’s at Cairns Arena. Junior Martin Drolet scored twice, including the game-winner, and for Saint Michael’s, sophomore Brady Earle had a goal and an assist in the loss.
The Panthers marched out to a 3-1 first period lead and controlled the pressure with multiple breakaway chances. Middlebury rookie Ben Wiggins cracked the scoreboard just two minutes into the game on a breakaway, using a quick left-to-right move to draw Saint Michael’s sophomore goalie Mike Dizgun out of position. Junior Charlie Strauss tacked on the second goal on another breakaway, this time in the middle of a Purple Knights line switch.
Saint Michael’s got one back in the 14th minute with a goal by senior Matt Rigtrup, who juked to center ice and fired a wrist shot through a screen and into the net. Middlebury would add one more before the period ended, however, as Drolet buried a third-chance rebound with just over a minute to play.
The Purple Knights fought to a tie game in the second period, using goals from junior Earle and sophomore Alex Davidson to knot the contest at 3-3. Just 21 seconds after the puck dropped, Earle found himself camped in the kill zone and swept a speedy shot to the top shelf to bring Saint Michael’s within one. Then in the 15th minute, Davidson gathered a pass from senior Alex Higgins at the red line and scored.
Middlebury found new life in the final frame, and Drolet dashed out of the gate to open the final period, scoring off the initial faceoff and reclaiming the lead just eight seconds after the puck dropped. Sophomore Mathieu Dubuc added an insurance goal in the 12th minute with a slap shot from a stride inside the blue line that clipped a Saint Michael’s jersey on its way into the net.
Dizgun battled his way to 37 saves for Saint Michael’s, and Middlebury freshman goalie Nick BonDurant earned the win while making three saves and allowing no goals in 25 minutes of play.