Henry Riehl scored seven goals and added an assist to lead Middlebury to a 17-7 win over Endicott (0-3) in the team's home-opener. The 12th-ranked Panthers (2-0) return to action on Saturday with a NESCAC road game at third-ranked Tufts.
The teams combined for 11 first-quarter goals as the Panthers held a 6-5 lead after 15 minutes of play. With the game tied at 2-2, Middlebury rattled off three-straight goals to take a 5-2 advantage with 4:20 on the clock. Riehl started the run with an assist from A.J. Kucinski, who also assisted a tally by Jake Schneider. Defender Quincy Nichols got in on the offense with a dish from Riehl to close the spurt. The Gulls countered with a pair in less than a minute from A.J. MacDonald and Colin Bannon, making it a one-goal game at 5-4 with 1:57 left in the quarter. Riehl scored in transition off a turnover to break up the run, before Bryan McManus found the back of the net on a nice pass from behind the cage by Will Jennings to make it a 6-5 game with just 1.8 seconds remaining.
The second quarter saw Middlebury score four of five goals to take a 10-6 lead into the halftime break. Harry Giarrusso opened the quarter with a pair of goals for the Panthers, the first came when he circled from behind the net and the second off a turnover. Jennings struck for Endicott with a hard shot from the outside, before Riehl rattled off a pair.
Schneider scored a quick-stick goal on a dish from Kucinski to open the third quarter with a man-up goal for Middlebury. Riehl struck again before Jennings scored the Gulls' only tally of the third quarter, their final goal of the game, with 10:47 remaining.
Leading 12-7 after three quarters, Middlebury tacked on five fourth-quarter goals to seal the victory.
Riehl's seven goals were one shy of the school mark of eight. Schneider added three goals, while Giarrusso netted two with a pair of helpers. Kucinski finished with a goal and four assists. Joey Zelkowitz picked up a team-high seven ground balls, while Jack DeFrino had six and won 8-16 face-offs. Will Ernst made six first-half saves to earn the win between the pipes. Will Perry played 26:25 with three saves, while Charles Midgley was in net for the game's final 3:35.
Jennings paced Endicott with three goals and an assist, while Tommy Hughes and Bannon each had a goal and an assist. Hughes won 17-27 face-offs and finished with a game-high 11 ground balls. Kenny Sturgess made six first-half saves, while Grant Thompson made four in the second session.