Middlebury and Skidmore battled to a 3-3 tie in Kenyon Arena, in the final weekend of the regular season for both teams. The Panthers earned a school-record sixth tie, seeing their overall mark move to 11-6-6, while Skidmore moves to 9-12-2. Middlebury is now 7-1-3 in its last 11 games, playing in their seventh overtime game of the year. The Panthers have secured a NESCAC Quarterfinal home game next Saturday and will battle for seeds 1-4 when they host Castleton in their regular season finale tomorrow.
Skidmore jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 1:30 into the game with the second of the year from Alex Essaris. Alex Radmin made a nice centering pass from the right wing to Essaris, who finished from the slot. Middlebury tied the game midway through the first period with the first goal of the season for Chris Brown. Tom Cantwell made a nice pass from behind the net to Brown, who wristed a shot home through the five hole.
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead early in the second, when Chaz Svoboda finished off a play in the slot at the 2:22 mark. John Yanchek kept it a 2-1 game six minutes into the period, stopping a flurry of Thoroughbred shots, with some help from his sprawling defense. Skidmore netted the equalizer at 7:39 on the power play, with Hunter Thayer scoring on a wrist shot from the right win. Skidmore nearly took the lead minutes later, but Yanchek (13 saves) denied Thayer on a breakaway. The period ended in a 2-2 tie with the Panthers holding a 23-10 shots advantage.
Skidmore took a 3-2 lead with just 3:02 remaining in the third period when Essaris scored his second of the game, this one on a backhander during a breakaway. The Panthers answered just 25 seconds later, tying the game at 17:23 and forcing it into overtime. Mathieu Castonguay’s shot from the point was saved, before Charles Nerbak potted his sixth of the season on the rebound.
Middlebury had a great chance to win it in overtime, with Darric White putting on a few nice moves two minutes in, before being denied by Colin Bessey (33 saves). Moments later, White took a quick shot on goal from the slot that sailed just wide. Middlebury ended the game with a 36-16 shots advantage.