Middlebury scored three times in the third period, but its rally came up one-goal short as the Panthers fell to 14th-ranked Colby 4-3 Friday in Kenyon Arena. Middlebury (0-13-2, 0-9-0) hosts Bowdoin on Saturday at 3:00 p.m., while the Mules (7-4-3, 6-3-2) will visit Williams.
Colby netted the lone goal of the opening period, taking advantage of a power play at the 4:15 mark. Devin Albert skated into the slot and ran into a pair of Panther defenders, but the puck slide to Jack Burton at the top of the crease and he swept it in for his fifth tally of the season. Middlebury came close to tying the game in the final seconds of the period when Danny Jacobs rushed up the far wing and fired a low shot toward the near corner, but Colby goalie Sean Lawrence snared the bid with his catching glove.
In the second stanza, the visitors scored three times, with the first of those coming at the 33-second mark. Geoff Sullivan one-timed a shot from the top of the right circle that slipped through Panther netminder Stephen Klein. The Mules scored on the power play three minutes later when Sullivan threaded a pass to Phil Klitirinos at the left post for a 3-0 lead. Colby made it 4-0 with 1:58 on the clock when Michael Rudolf jumped on a rebound after Klein had made a nice pad save on a shot by Albert. Middlebury produced a good scoring chance late in the period when defenseman Andrew Neary intercepted a clearing attempt at the blue line, but his shot was blockered away by Lawrence.
The Panthers had a strong final period, breaking through for a power-play goal at the 6:47 mark. Brendan Dawson wristed a shot in from the high slot that found its way through traffic and behind Lawrence for his first collegiate goal. Mitchell Allen made it a 4-2 game with 8:43 left, picking up an errant shot by the Mules, skating up the left wing and snapping a shot in from the circle.
The Panthers crept even closer with another power-play tally, this time on a tic-tac-toe passing play from Kamil Tkaczuk to Allen and Trevor Turnbull, who tapped the puck into a wide-open net. The goal came with 4:32 remaining and extended Turnbull's point streak to a modest five games (four goals and three assists).
The hosts had two good chances later with Klein out of the net for an extra attacker in the final minute, but Allen and Mark McLellan were both denied by Lawrence as the game ended 4-3.
Klein finished with 29 saves for the Panthers, while Lawrence had 27 stops. Colby held a 33-30 advantage in shots and each team scored twice on the power play with the Mules getting four chances and Middlebury having four opportunities.