Middlebury battled 10th-ranked Trinity on the road before falling in men's hockey action by a 3-1 score on Friday evening inside the Koeppel Community Sports Center. The Panthers fall to 3-6-2 for the year and 2-3-2 in the NESCAC, while the Bantams improve to 9-1-1 and 4-0-1 in the league. Middlebury returns to action Saturday at Wesleyan.
Trinity's Anthony Sabitsky opened the scoring with his fifth marker of the year a little over 14 minutes into the game. Sabitsky's linemates in Liam McKillop and Conor Coveney did a nice job winning the puck in the corner and setting the play to earn the assists.
With Trinity clinging to a 1-0 cushion late in the second period and skating with a two-man advantage, Michael Hawkrigg fired a slap shot from the point that beat Middlebury netminder Stephen Klein over his left shoulder. The man-up goal was assisted by Ryan Cole and Jackson Brewer and proved to be the eventual game-winner.
Trailing by two in the third stanza, the Panthers came out buzzing with several scoring opportunities early. Evan Neugold helped the visitors breakthrough and get on the board with just over nine and a half minutes left in the game. Neugold pulled Middlebury within one when he collected the puck behind the net and fired a shot that went through the five hole of Trinity goalie Nathaniel Heilbron.
Three and a half minutes later, Trinity's Michael Flynn gave the hosts a little breathing room with his first tally of the season on a blast from the point. On the man advantage, Brewer played the puck across to Ben Hjalmarssson who found Flynn for the insurance goal.
Down the stretch, Middlebury pulled Klein, but Heilbron stood his ground to help Trinity earn pivotal points in conference play.
Heilbron stopped 20 shots to earn his sixth win of the season for Trinity, while Klein made 34 saves in a losing effort for Middlebury.
The Bantams held a 37-21 advantage in shots and they converted on 2-6 power play opportunities, while the Panthers went 0-2 for the extra skater.