Comeback Falls Short as Men's Hockey Suffers 5-4 Loss to #2 Plattsburgh

Jake Charles celebrates the game's first goal just 39 seconds in. (photo courtesy of Will Costello)
Jake Charles celebrates the game's first goal just 39 seconds in. (photo courtesy of Will Costello)

Middlebury suffered a 5-4 loss to second-ranked Plattsburgh State (7-0) on day one of the Primelink Great Northern ShootOut hosted by Norwich. The Panthers battled back from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game in the third, but the Cardinals scored with 5:13 remaining to earn the win. Middlebury (1-1-1) will take on the loser of the Norwich/Connecticut College game at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday in the third-place game.

Middlebury jumped on the board just 39 seconds into the game when Jake Charles' shot trickled through the pads of Plattsburgh State goaltender Brady Roleau. Plattsburgh State tied the game with a shot from the point by Nick Belger at the 4:05 mark of the period.

The Panthers regained the lead 2:01 later when Matt Doherty worked a give-and-go with Evan Neugold for the first of his career. Roleau was lifted following the goal, as Spencer Finney took over between the pipes.

The Cardinals tied the game at 11:54 on a goal from Jesse Neher after a turnover, before Cole Stallard put his team on top 3-2 at 14:09 of the first period.

Plattsburgh State scored the only goal of the second period when Luke Baleshta took advantage of a turnover and bounced a shot in of Panther goaltender Stephen Klein from a tough angle. Klein kept it a 4-2 game with 2:00 left in the period, coming up big on an attempt from Michael Radisa.

Middlebury began its comeback 5:02 into the third period when Neugold scored on the power play with a great shot to the top corner of the net to make it 4-3. Vincent Gisonti made it 4-4 at the 13:01 mark, knocking in a nice centering feed from Charles.

Plattsburgh State scored the eventual game-winner at 14:47 when Matt Quilty scored with a blast from the left circle after a nice feed from Cam Owens.

The Cardinals held a 35-27 shots advantage in the game, as Finney finished with 20 saves in relief. Klein ended the contest with 21 stops for the Panthers.