Middlebury senior goaltender Nick BonDurant posted his first shutout this season and second of his career leading the Panthers (6-4-2, 4-3-1) to a 5-0 blanking of Wesleyan (7-4-1, 2-4-0) in NESCAC action inside Kenyon Arena. The game marks the 41st meeting between the two schools with Middlebury holding a decided 37-2-2 advantage. The Panthers return to action Friday, January 17th when they host third-ranked Plattsburgh State at 7:00 p.m., while the Cardinals host Colby.
The last shutout victory for Middlebury came back on February 5th, 2012 in a 3-0 win on the road against Trinity.
In the first period, neither team was able to find the back of the net in the early stages. At the 13:30 mark of the period, Middlebury gained a two-man advantage but was unable to capitalize and managed just four shots on net. Just under three minutes later at 16:08, Ben Wiggins got the Panthers on the board with his first goal of the winter. He skated into the middle of the Wesleyan defense and was the recipient of nifty passes from Matt Silcoff after Zach Haggerty won a battle for the puck at the boards.
Middlebury added two scores on the powerplay in the second stanza. At the 4:35 mark, Louis Belisle scored his eighth goal of the season. Nearly 10 minutes later, the Panthers struck again on the man advantage when Silcoff tipped in a shot from Connor Frick following a pass off the boards by John Barr that deflected off Wesleyan goalie Dawson Sprigings’ skate as he sprawled out for the save attempt.
The third period also featured a pair of Middlebury powerplay goals. At 1:38 skating four-on-four after matching penalties occurred, Silcoff added his second goal of the afternoon after a pair of one-touch passes from Mike Longo and Robbie Donahoe. Seconds later and still four-on-four, Middlebury goalie Nick BonDurant kept his shutout intact as he slid to his right and made a glove save on a breakaway attempt by Wesleyan’s James Albrecht.
Longo capped off the scoring for the Panthers at the 15:39 mark on the powerplay when he redirected a shot by Haggerty after Brendan McGovern won a battle for the puck along the boards.
Middlebury finished with a 38-25 advantage in shots for the game, with Sprigings making 33 saves for Wesleyan in the loss. BonDurant completed his clean sheet with 25 saves for the Panthers.