The Middlebury men's hockey team fell by a score of 4-1 to Hobart at the New Years College Hockey Classic in Lake Placid, New York. The Panthers fall to 3-5-2 on the year, while the Statesmen improve to 9-4. Middlebury returns to action next Friday and Saturday at Trinity and Wesleyan. Earlier in the day, Southern Maine topped St. Michaels, 5-2, in Herb Brooks Arena.
Early in the first period, it appeared Middlebury had scored first, but the goal was disallowed due to a high stick. Tyler Wolf then put Hobart up 1-0 with 5:10 left in the opening period. He slid his shot over the goal line after a pass from Kevin Loppatto. Robert Sovik took advantage of a power play to give the Statesmen a 2-0 lead with 1:40 on the clock. He tipped in a blast from the blue line by Bronson Kovacs. Traversa also earned an assist on the goal. With just 31 seconds left in the first period, David Belluche drilled a shot into the back of the net from the blue line on a Middlebury power play to get the Panthers within one at 2-1. Mike Najjar and Evan Neugold were credited with assists.
The Statesmen added two second period goals to extend their lead to 4-1. Brad McBride scored just 14 seconds into the middle period to make it 3-1. He sent home his shot from right in front after passes from Ben Gamache and Bo Webster.
At the 5:10 mark, Traversa connected after a feed from Ryan Michel. The Statesmen kept control in the third period, outshooting the Panthers 14-10. Hobart finished with a 35-28 advantage in shots.
Lino Chimienti finished with 27 saves to earn the win in goal for Hobart, while Stephen Klein made 31 stops for the Panthers.