Middlebury Concludes Season With Tie Against Amherst

Eric Jeremiah had a goal and an assist on Sunday for the Panthers. (Will Costello)
Eric Jeremiah had a goal and an assist on Sunday for the Panthers. (Will Costello)

Amherst and Middlebury scored once each in the first two periods, skating to a 2-2 tie on Sunday in Kenyon Arena during the season finale for the Panthers. The Mammoths (11-8-5, 8-5-5) will take part in the NESCAC Quarterfinals next weekend, while Middlebury ends its campaign at 4-17-3 overall and 2-13-3 in league play.

In the opening period, scoring chances were hard to come by in the first 10 minutes. Middlebury nearly took the lead when a tip in front by Kamil Tkaczuk was smothered by Amherst goalie Connor Girard. The visitors got on the scoreboard first when Thomas Lindstrom wristed a loose puck over the right shoulder of Middlebury netminder Stephen Klein at the 10:52 mark.

Amherst nearly doubled its lead two minutes later, but Klein denied David White on a breakaway bid. The Panthers tied the score at 1-1 when Eric Jeremiah lifted a loose puck over the left shoulder of Girard at the 16:36 mark for his first collegiate goal.

With seven minutes gone in the second period, consecutive point-blank shots by Amherst's Patrick Daly were turned away by Klein. The Mammoths regained the lead when Jack Fitzgerald found the top-right corner on a shot from between the circles at 7:45. The Panthers nearly tied the contest four minutes later when Jeremiah had a shot from the left dot saved by Girard. Middlebury knotted the score at 2-2 with a power-play goal at 19:37 when Owen Powers tipped in a shot by Mitchell Allen.

The third period saw the Mammoths turn up the offensive pressure, outshooting the hosts by a 23-4 count. The Panthers killed off a five-on-three chance for Amherst over a two-minute span, as Klein stopped five attempts during the stretch. Middlebury continued its defensive presence, working through a five-minute major without allowing a goal. In total, the Panther netminder collected 10 saves while the Mammoths had the extra skater. Neither team had a scoring chance in the final minutes, sending the game to overtime.

The extra five-minute period saw just one whistle and end-to-end action. The best scoring opportunity came with just under a minute left when Daly hit a pipe on a wrister from the right dot, as the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Klein finished with 36 saves in goal for Middlebury, while Girard made 25 stops for the Mammoths. Klein ends his career at Middlebury with 2,122 saves for his career and 730 stops this season, more than any other goaltender in school history. Amherst held a 38-27 advantage in shots, while the Panthers were 1-3 with the extra skater and held the visitors in five chances.