Middlebury let a three-goal first-period lead slip away as the Panthers (1-0-1, 1-0-1) settled for a 4-4 tie with Bowdoin (0-1-1, 0-1-1) on Sunday afternoon in Kenyon Arena. The game was likely the final one in Middlebury for Bowdoin legendary coach Terry Meagher, who is retiring at the end of the season. The Panthers return to action next Thursday at the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout, where they will face Plattsburgh at Norwich with a 4:00 p.m. start. Bowdoin will visit UNE on Tuesday night.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 4:12 into the game when Brendan McGovern broke in on the right side and scored as his shot trickled through the pads of Peter Cronin. Zach Haggerty nearly doubled the lead, but his shot hit the post 1:31 later.
Bowdoin tied the game at the 9:56 mark when Austin Ricci split two defenders and broke toward the goal. His initial shot was saved, but he gathered the rebound and threw it toward the net where it was knocked in by Kendall Culbertson.
The Panthers went back on top when Haggerty scored with a quick snapshot to the top left corner on a centering feed from Braeden Quast. Vincent Gisonti made it a 3-1 game when he quickly one-timed a shot from the slot after a feed from Travis Stephens behind the net at the 16:18 mark. Just 1:33 later, McGovern knocked in a rebound after an initial shot from Mike Najjar had been saved.
Bowdoin cut the lead to 4-2 16:37 into the second period when Matt Sullivan beat a defender, gained some room, and wristed a shot past Stephen Klein.
Bowdoin's Cody Todesco won the opening face-off of the third period, as Spencer Antunez picked up the puck and drove to the goal. His initial shot was saved before he chipped in the rebound to make it a one-goal game. The Polar Bears tied the game 11:15 into the third period on a nice feed from Matthew Lison to Matt Rubinoff at the left circle.
Each team had a power play in the second half of the third period, but neither could take the lead. The best chance came from Bowdoin's Sullivan, but Klein came up big with a glove save. Lison had another good look at the goal with 6.7 seconds remaining, but a save by Klein forced the game into overtime.
In the extra session, the best chance came in the last seconds by Bowdoin, as Klein made a blocker save on Todesco before a scramble ensued in the crease before the play was blown dead with .7 seconds remaining.
Nathan Collanino, who came on in relief of Cronin (4 GA, 10 saves), saved all 21 shots he faced in 45 minutes of action. Klein finished with 29 stops for the Panthers, who held a slim 35-33 shots advantage.