Men’s Hockey Advances to Holiday Classic Championship

Stephen Klein made 31 saves in goal to earn his 11th career shutout.
Stephen Klein made 31 saves in goal to earn his 11th career shutout.

Middlebury (2-7-0) shutout St. Michael's, 4-0, in the opening round of the Middlebury Holiday Classic on Saturday in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers advance to the title game on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. against Oswego State, while the Purple Knights (5-5-1) will play in the consolation game at 1:00 p.m. Oswego State posted a 6-2 win over Neumann in the tournament's second game.

Middlebury opened the scoring just 56 seconds into the second stanza during a four-on-four situation. David Belluche fed Owen Powers, who wrapped around the goal and tucked the puck inside the right post. The goal was his team-leading fourth of the season.

St. Michael's had its best opportunity for an equalizer at the 12:02 mark, but Panther netminder Stephen Klein denied Eric Salzillo's shot with a sprawling save.

Just 1:20 later, Middlebury's Mitchell Allen sent a pass to Belluche, who found the back of the net from the point, making it a 2-0 game.

Middlebury's third goal came at the 11:20 mark of the third period after Trevor Turnbull beat a St. Michael's defender to the puck behind the goal. Danny Tighe redirected Turnbull's feed, finding the back of the net for his first career goal.

The duo exchanged roles for the fourth and final goal 4:23 later. Tighe sent a pass to Turnbull on the left post, who slid the puck past Purple Knight goaltender Chris Johnson.

St. Michael's had a couple of chances with just 15 ticks left, but back-to-back shots from John Barry and Paul McAuliffe were denied by a pair of stellar saves by Klein.

Klein had 31 saves in goal for the Panthers to record his 11th career shutout, while Johnson made 26 stops for the Purple Knights.