Middlebury possessed a one-goal lead at the half against Union, but the Dutchmen (6-1) tallied eight times over the final 30 minutes for a 14-10 victory over the Panthers Wednesday inside Syracuse's Carrier Dome. Middlebury (3-4) returns to NESCAC play Saturday, heading to second-ranked Amherst for a 1:00 p.m. contest.
The first quarter featured four ties, as the teams finished the initial 15 minutes of the game deadlocked at 4-4.
Middlebury had a strong start to the second frame, as Jack Hoelzer put the Panthers on top 5-4 with 9:29 on the clock. Tyler Forbes cashed in on a feed from A.J. Kucinski, who extended his point streak to 40-straight games, 20 seconds later for a two-goal edge. Ryan Feldmann netted his first collegiate goal, wiring a shot from 15 yards out into the top corner for a 7-4 Middlebury lead.
The Dutchmen bounced back with the final two scores, including one from the side of the crease by Michael Sands with 17 seconds remaining in the half. That tally closed Middlebury's lead to 7-6 at the break.
Union came out of the half, scoring the first three goals for a 9-7 advantage. The Panthers answered back-to-back tallies with Forbes getting the first on a nice move on the crease that started behind the cage. Frank Cosolito whipped a hard shot from the left side that tied the contest at 9-9 with 5:27 left in the stanza. The Dutchmen scored twice in the final three minutes for an 11-9 lead with one quarter left to play.
In the final frame, Union scored twice in the opening three minutes and Hayden Frye netted his fourth goal of the game with 6:31 remaining for a 14-9 advantage. Middlebury's only goal of the quarter came in the waning seconds, as Forbes picked up his team-leading 20th goal of the spring.
The Panthers offense was spread out with Forbes leading the way with three scores. Cosolito (two goals), Kucinski (1-1) and Chase Goree (0-2) each finished with two points. Jake Madnick had a big game at the faceoff X, winning 21-28 and tying a career high with 15 ground balls. In goal, Charles Midgley finished with eight saves in 48 minutes of action.
Union's Kerry Lyne led all players with five goals, while Frey had four tallies and one assist. Edward Winters chipped in with five ground balls and four caused turnovers, while goalie Jack Santilli backstopped the win with 10 saves in goal.