Late Goal Lifts Hamilton Past Middlebury

Jimmy McKee tied the game midway through the third period.
Jimmy McKee tied the game midway through the third period.

Nick Rutigliano scored with three seconds left, lifting Hamilton (4-2-1, 2-1-1) to a 4-3 win over Middlebury (4-3-0, 3-2-0) Friday in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers return to action on Saturday when they host Amherst at 4:00 p.m., while Hamilton visits Williams with a 3:00 p.m. start.

Scoring chances were hard to come by early, with the best opportunity coming on Hamilton's power play at the 16:01 mark. Rory Gagnon broke in all alone, but saw the puck poke checked away by Panther netminder Adam Wisco. Middlebury had a chance of its own 1:26 later, but Owen Powers' blast after a pass from Zach Shapiro was saved by Continental goaltender Anthony Tirabassi.

Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 1:46 into the second period. Kamiil Tkaczuk took the puck away from a defender behind the Hamilton net. He quickly fed Micahel Fahie, who went up high for his team-leading fifth goal of the year.

On the other end of the ice, Hamilton's Josh Labonte had a chance to tie the game, but his shot from the right side rang the post. The Continentals were able to tie the game 6:59 into the period when Gagnon scored with a shot to the top-right corner of the net after a drop pass from Jason Brochu on the power play.  Hamilton went up 2-1 when Brochu scored a goal of his own, converting a cross-crease pass from Sean Allen for a power-play tally at 10:14. The Continentals added another power-play goal less than two minutes later with a wrist shot from the high slot into the upper part of the net by Rutigliano. The tally was the third in a 5:04 span for Hamilton.

Middlebury broke up the three-goal run at the 17:23 mark with a goal shortly after a power play had expired. Fahie netted his second of the game, this one on the doorstep after a nice feed from behind the net by Cole Joslin.

Middlebury tied the game 8:47 into the third period with a power-play goal. Shapiro made a pass from behind the net to Jimmy McKee, who scored on a one-timer from the slot for his first of the season. The Panthers followed with some good looks on a power play, but could not take the lead.

The game remained at 3-3 until late, when Joey Moore skated from the corner toward the goal, before finding Rutigliano in the high slot for the game-winner.

Middlebury finished the game with a 40-29 lead in shots, as Wisco finished with 25 saves. Tirabassi ended the night with 37 stops to pick up the win.