Middlebury suffered its first NESCAC loss of the season, falling 4-2 to #12 Amherst (5-3-1, 4-2) in Kenyon Arena. The 11th-ranked Panthers (4-2-2, 3-1-2) are now idle until they host their annual Holiday Classic Tournament on December 30th and 31st.
Amherst had a great chance early on, but Erik Hansen was denied on a breakaway by Dan Fullam. The Jeffs broke through at the 5:37 mark when Mike Rowbotham broke in with some space and scored with a backhander to give his team a 1-0 lead. The Panthers evened the game when Derek Pimentel made a feed to Louis Belisle on the left side for a quick wrister to make it a 1-1 game at 7:40. The Jeffs had a power play at the 15:41 mark, but the Panther defense held despite the entire two minutes in their own zone.
Pimental nearly gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead early in the second period, but his shot hit the crossbar. The Jeffs took a 2-1 advantage at 6:59 when Rowbotham found Brian Safstrom from behind the net for the quick goal. Amherst made it a 3-1 game when a nifty move by Nick Brunette in front found the back of the net at the 12:10 mark.
Middlebury made it a one-goal game 5:50 into the period with a power play goal. Pimental centered a pass that went through Amherst netminder Nathan Corey (24 saves) to a wide-open Ronald Fishman on the far post for his first career tally. Down 3-2, the Panthers nearly tied the game shortly thereafter, but Pimental was denied by Corey. A Middlebury power play followed, but the Panthers were unable to tie the game. Amherst sealed the contest late with an empty net goal as a centering pass from Conor Brown deflected in off Johnny Van Siclen for the goal.
Middlebury held a 26-23 shots advantage in the game, with Dan Fullam making 19 saves in his first action of the season.