The Middlebury men's hockey team suffered a 4-1 NESCAC setback on Saturday in Massachusetts, as Amherst's Patrick Daly recorded a hat trick for the Mammoths (4-1-3, 2-0-3). The Panthers (1-7-0, 1-5-0) are idle until the end of the month when they host the Middlebury Holiday Classic on December 30 and 31.
The visitors got off to a good start, getting a scoring chance in the opening minutes. Trevor Turnbull collected the puck in the neutral zone and split the defense for a clear path to net. Deking to his forehand, Turnbull rang a shot off the left post. The Panthers broke through for the game's initial goal when Owen Powers redirected a shot from the point by Brendan Dawson into the bottom-left corner of the goal. The goal was Powers' third of the season and came on the power play.
Amherst responded 51 seconds into the second stanza, as Thomas Lindstrom notched his fourth goal of the winter to deadlock the score at 1-1. The Mammoths grabbed the lead when Daly sent the puck over the goal line with 2:29 on the clock.
The hosts scored early in the final period, as Daly's second tally of the day gave Amherst a 3-1 cushion with just 17 seconds expired. Gathering a dish from Lindstrom at the top of the right circle, Daly ripped a wrist shot past Middlebury goalie Stephen Klein into the bottom-left corner.
Powers had an opportunity to bring Middlebury to within one at the 14:14 mark, as the Panthers raced into the offensive end on a three-on-one, but Amherst goalie Connor Girard got his glove on the blast by Powers. Daly secured the hat trick late in the third with an empty-net goal at the 2:10 mark as the Mammoths clinched the 4-1 victory.
Klein finished with 23 saves, while Girard posted 18 stops for the Mammoths, who finished the game with a 27-19 advantage in shots. Each team scored on the power play, with Middlebury getting three opportunities and Amherst two.