Men's Hockey Settles for 3-3 Tie With Wesleyan

Matt Doherty gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead in the second period.
Matt Doherty gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead in the second period.

Middlebury and Wesleyan combined for five third-period goals, as the teams settled in a 3-3 tie in Keynon Arena on Saturday night. The Panthers (4-3-4, 3-0-4) return to action on Sunday when they host seventh-ranked Trinity at 4:00 p.m., while the Cardinals (0-6-5, 0-1-4) visit Williams with a 3:00 p.m. face-off.

Middlebury took a 1-0 lead just 5:26 into the game on the second of the season from Matt Doherty. The rookie defenseman took a blast from just inside the blue line at the left point that beat Wesleyan netminder Dawson Sprigings (30 saves). That would be the only goal of the period, as the Panthers held a 12-7 shots advantage after one.

Middlebury's Mark McLellan had a good look cutting to the goal early in the second, but his shot was denied by Sprigings. He had another solid scoring chance denied at the 6:45 mark, before Panther Mark Lyman saw a shot saved before hitting the post on a second attempt.

Wesleyan's Luke Babcock had a chance to tie the game midway through the period, but his attempt hit the post on a wrister from close range. The Cardinals had the edge in the second period, outshooting the hosts 12-7.

Middlebury went on top 2-0 at the 2:10 mark of the third period when Mike Najjar scored his first of the season on a rebound after a shot from Evan Neugold had been saved.

Wesleyan answered just 1:19 later when Chad Malinowski converted a quick pass across the slot from Jordan Jancze for this third of the year.

The Cardinals tied the game at the 9:09 mark when James Kline scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season. His shot from the left side was gloved by Panther netminder Liam Moorfield-Yee (21 saves), but the puck came loose and just crossed over the goal line.

Less than a minute later at the 10:00 mark, Middlebury regained the lead when Neugold batted a rebound out of the air after Vincent Gisonti's initial shot had been saved. The tally was the third of the season for Neugold.

Wesleyan came right back 1:33 later when Dominic Oliver made it a 3-3 game with his first of the season. After picking up a puck behind the net, Oliver quickly stepped to the front and stuffed it home. The Panthers outshot the Cardinals 13-6 in the third period as the game headed into overtime.

Neither team had a great chance to score in the extra session, as Middlebury finished the contest with a 33-24 advantage in shots.