December 8, 2008

The Middlebury College men's hockey team remained undefeated in the first semester of play with a pair of league wins on the road.

The Panthers led 1-0 after one period at Salem State and then outscored their opponents 7-2 from there on to earn the victory. Salem State was penalized 20 times for 83 minutes in the game, including five 10 minute penalties for misconduct.

Sophomore Michael Kretschmer (Indianapolis, Ind.) had two goals and two assists on the night, while first-year player Martin Drolet (Lachine, Que.) scored a pair with a helper. Senior Jamie McKenna (Lake Placid, N.Y.) scored a goal with two assists, while sophomore Chaz Svoboda (Verdun, Que.) netted one with two assists on the night. Senior goaltender Doug Raeder (Needham, Mass.) made 14 saves in goal as the Panthers held a 49-16 shots advantage.

First-year player Charlie Strauss (Eagle River, Wis.) scored with 29 seconds remaining in regulation to give Middlebury a 5-4, come-from-behind win over the University of Southern Maine in an ECAC East-NESCAC inter-league game Saturday afternoon at the USM Ice Arena.

Unbeaten Middlebury, ranked third in this week's USCHO.com Division III poll, squandered a one-goal lead heading into the third period and fell behind 4-3 before rallying for a pair of goals in the final three minutes to overcome the upset-minded Huskies. Middlebury won its sixth straight game to improve to 6-0-0 overall and 4-0-0 in league play. Southern Maine slips to 3-4-0 overall and 2-2-0 in league play with the loss.

Senior Ian Drummond (Del Mar, Calif.) set up the tying goal by sophomore Ken Suchoski (Bear Creek, Township, Pa.) at 17:31, then found himself at the corner of the net to stuff the puck past USM goalie Jamie Gilbert for the game winner with 29 seconds to play. Strauss and Drolet picked up the assists on Drummond's goal.

Southern Maine had rallied from a one-goal deficit at the start of the final period as sophomore Zach Joy tied the score at 3-3 with his second goal of the game at 1:25 off a feed from senior Kyle Smith. Chris Travis put the home team ahead at 14:17 with his goal of the season set up by Joy and Paul Conter.

The teams traded goals in the first period as Svoboda scored an unassisted goal at 6:00, and Southern Maine's Pat Noonan got the equalizer at 18:43.

Joy's first goal of the game in the opening minute of the second period put USM up 2-1. Rookie Tom Cantwell (Saranac Lake, N.Y.) tied the score with his first collegiate goal at 11:06, and junior John Sullivan (Delmar, N.Y.) gave Middlebury a 3-2 lead with a power-play marker at 13:58.

Rookie John Yanchek (Hillsborough, N.J.) posted 27 saves in the Middlebury goal. Gilbert stopped 32 of 37 shots for Southern Maine.

Middlebury closed out its first semester with a 7-2 loss to the USA Under 18 Team in an exhibition game in Kenyon Arena. The game was tied at 2-2 entering the third period before the Panthers gave up five goals, including four on the power play.

Trailing 1-0, senior Mason Graddock (Stowe, Vt.) one-timed a pass from senior Leonard Badeau (Marshfield, Vt.) to tie the game at 1-1. Cam Fowler answered for Team USA with a power play tally, before Kretschmer scored a power play goal of his own with 2:50 left in the period.

A scoreless second period saw Raeder look impressive as he stopped all 18 shots he faced. The third period was all Team USA as they took advantage of Middlebury penalties, netting four power play and one shorthanded tally in the period.

Kyle Palmieri scored two goals to lead the U-18 squad, while Kevin Lynch and David Valek each had a goal and an assist.

Junior Max Kennedy (Cazenova, N.Y.) made seven first period saves, Raeder made 18 in the second, while Yanchek made 15 third period saves for Middlebury. Adam Murray made 26 saves between the pipes for Team USA.
. Men's hockey record: 6-0
. Up next: 1/3 vs. Curry - 4:00, NEC vs. St. Anselm (Middlebury Holiday Classic) - 1:00, 1/4 - consolation game - 1:00, championship game - 4:00