Middlebury opened the first quarter with a 6-0 run and cruised to a 13-7 NESCAC win over Bowdoin at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium as 10 different Panthers scored in the contest. The victory pushes 17th-ranked Middlebury to a 6-1 overall record and a 3-1 mark in conference play. Both teams return to action in neutral site games on Wednesday as Middlebury faces second-ranked R.I.T in Baltimore, while the Polar Bears (1-5, 1-3) battle Plattsburgh State in Keene, New Hampshire.
In the opening run, Jack Rautiola had a pair of goals, including the ice-breaker at 10:28, as five other Panthers scored for a 6-0 lead. Rautiola also set up a Tim Giarrusso tally, while Jon Broome chipped in two of his season-high five assists during the run.
As time ran down in the first quarter, Bowdoin's Daniel O'Berry made a physical move in front of the crease scoring the Polar Bears' first goal with 0.4 left on the clock.
Bowdoin made it a 6-2 game to open the second on a man-up shot by Peter Reuter at 13:47. Seven seconds later, after winning the ensuing face-off, Middlebury's John Jackson broke into the Bowdoin defense and fed Rautiola for his hat-trick goal. David Nemirov sliced the Polar Bear deficit to 7-3 just over a minute later before Broome assisted on the final two Panther tallies of the half as Middlebury took a 9-3 lead into the break.
Broome's final assist opened the third quarter as he used a quick-stick feed to Joel Blockowicz who was cutting to the crease. After the teams exchanged goals later in the quarter, Broome scored his lone goal at 1:21 when he cut to the crease during a man-down situation moments after the Panthers cleared the ball. It was Middlebury's second man-down tally of the season.
Trailing 12-4 to open the fourth quarter, Brandon Lee gave the visitors a spark, scoring a goal at 10:54 and set-up the next goal at 9:05 feeding Shawn Daly in a man-up situation. With Middlebury leading 12-6, the Panthers held for several long possessions before the teams exchanged goals down the stretch for the 13-7 final.
While there were only three penalties called in the game, all against the Panthers, a goal was scored in each situation as Bowdoin scored on two man-up chances and allowed Middlebury to score in a man-down scenario.
Broome paced all scorers with a goal and his five assists, while Rautiola finished with three goals and one assist, as Giarrusso netted a pair and had one helper. Jackson won 12-19 face-off chances and grabbed a game-high seven groundballs to go with his assist, while Cal Williams picked up six rollers and caused two turnovers. Panther Goalie Will Ernst (6-1) earned the win with 11 saves, as Gabe Weissmann played the final 7:18, making one save and allowing a goal.
Reuter finished with two goals for Bowdoin, while Lee and Nemirov each added a goal and an assist. Robert Talcott won 9-21 face-offs, as goalie Peter Mumford (1-3) stopped 11 shots and paced the Polar Bears with five groundballs.