Riehl's Seven Goals Leads Panthers to Win in Home Opener

Henry Riehl led all players with seven goals and eight points.
Henry Riehl led all players with seven goals and eight points.

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.