Middlebury and Wesleyan Skate to a 3-3 Tie

Mike Najjar earned a pair of assists against Wesleyan.
Mike Najjar earned a pair of assists against Wesleyan.

The Middlebury men's hockey team gained a road point in NESCAC play on Friday, as the Panthers and Wesleyan finished in a 3-3 tie at Spurrier-Snyder Rink. The tie was the sixth of the season for Middlebury, matching a school record for the most in a winter set during the 2010-11 campaign. The Panthers (6-7-6, 5-2-6) are on the road again Saturday, traveling to Trinity at 4:00 p.m., while Wesleyan (2-9-8, 2-4-7) hosts Williams in a 3:00 p.m. faceoff.

Middlebury got off to a fast start, scoring a pair of goals in the opening 4:46 of the game. Kamil Tkaczuk opened the scoring on the game's opening shift with his second of the season at the 30-second mark. Tkaczuk's tipped a shot from Ronald Fishman to give the Panther the early lead.

Mark McLellan doubled that advantage minutes later as Middlebury led 2-0 with less than five minutes expired. The Cardinals cut the deficit in half less than three minutes later when Terence Durkin deflected a shot from Cole Morrissette at the 7:23 mark.

In the second period, the Panthers reclaimed a two-goal advantage when Evan Neugold picked up his fifth of the season at 4:27. Jay Matthews pulled Wesleyan to 3-2 when the Cardinals scored on a two-man advantage late in the middle period. The goal came 1:59 before the intermission.

It stayed a one-goal game into the third period, when the hosts netted the equalizer with 11:45 left in regulation. Garen Taenaka tallied the goal after taking a pass from Andy Espinoza.

The teams traded chances in the overtime period, but neither team converted as the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

In goal for Middlebury, Liam Moorfield-Yee finished with 22 saves (36:54, 2 GA) and Stephen Klein added 12 (28:06, 1 GA), while Dawson Sprigings made 35 for the Cardinals.

Middlebury held a slim 38-37 edge in shots, but Wesleyan was the only team to earn a power play, scoring once in three attempts.         

Brendan McGovern and Mike Najjar each finished with a pair of assists for the Panthers.