Middlebury outshot Williams 41-18 but had to settle for a 3-3 tie in NESCAC men’s hockey action Tuesday night in Kenyon Arena. Gaining one point in the standings, the Panthers (9-6-5, 7-4-4) and Ephs (11-6-3, 8-5-2) both move into a three-way tie for second place with Hamilton, all trailing league-leading Bowdoin by a point. The Panthers, who played their sixth overtime game of the season, remain unbeaten against the Ephs in their last 21 match-ups.
Middlebury scored the only goal of the first period, finding the back of the net in a four-on-four situation with 30 seconds remaining. Martin Drolet’s shot from the right side was saved by Ryan Purdy, with Chris Steele scoring on the rebound for his second of the year. The period ended with the Panthers holding a 16-4 shots advantage.
Middlebury started the second period with 4:30 remaining on a major penalty, but were unable to capitalize. Williams tied the game with a short-handed tally midway through the period at 9:27. Ben Contini made a nice drop pass to Eric Rubino in transition, as he finished from the slot for his ninth of the year. The Ephs took the lead at 14:29 when Stephen Maier found Contini, who scored from the right face-off circle, earning his ninth of the season. Middlebury had a five-on-three power play late in the period, but could not tie the game.
The Panthers tied the game at the 11:09 mark of the second period with a five-on-three tally. Mathieu Castonguay found Charles Nerbak, who scored his fifth of the year from the left point. Middlebury took a 3-2 lead just 2:18 later with a transition goal. Tom Cantwell carried the puck in on the right wing, making a crossing pass to Ben Wiggins who was denied with a great save from Purdy (38 saves). Louis Belisle was there, netting his fourth of the season on the rebound.
Mark Lyons hit the pipe for Williams at 14:30, with the Ephs knotting the game just 1:20 later with a power play goal. After a blocked shot, the puck came free to Mike Brofft, who scored from the blue line for his second of the year. Middlebury took a penalty on the goal leaving the Ephs with a power play at the 15:50 mark. The Panthers killed the power play and then fought off a late flurry by the Ephs to send the game into a scoreless overtime.