The Middlebury men’s hockey team earned a 1-1 tie against Norwich in the first round of the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout hosted by Plattsburgh. The Panthers advanced 2-0 in a shootout and will face the host school at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday in the championship game.
Middlebury’s Louis Belisle and Jake Charles both beat Norwich starting goaltender Matic Marinsek, while Norwich’s Chris Duszynski and Paul Russell were each stuffed by Middlebury’s Mike Peters.
Norwich (5-0-2, 4-0-1 ECAC East) outshot Middlebury 26-23 in the 146th all-time meeting between the two schools. Middlebury (3-0-2, 3-0-1 NESCAC) holds an 80-58-8 advantage in the all-time series.
Neither team was able to score during the first period, but Norwich was forced to kill off back-to-back penalties, including 12 seconds of 5x3 to keep the Panthers off the board.
Middlebury struck first blood at the 8:32 mark of the second period when Michael Longo stuffed home a rebound in the crease to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead off assists from Robbie Donahoe and Evan Neugold.
Donahoe shoveled the puck forward on his back hand in the high slot down to a wide open Neugold in front of the net. Neugold caught the puck and got a shot off with NU defenseman Cody Smith draped all over him that Marinsek was able to block. Smith tied up Neugold but Longo skated in unmarked and tucked home the rebound.
Norwich knotted the game up at 1-1 on the power play with 3:47 left in the second period when William Pelletier scored his second goal of the season.Pelletier redirected a pass from the point from Corey Hale that snuck past Peters just inside the left post. Cody Smith also picked up an assist on the goal after feeding Hale with a d to d pass.
Neither side was able to score in the third period, or the five-minute overtime session to force the three-player shootout that ultimately Middlebury emerged victorious in.
Marinsek made 22 saves for Norwich and is now 4-0-2 on the year. Peters made 25 saves for Middlebury and is now 3-0-2 on the year for the Panthers.