January 12, 2009

The Panther men's hockey team split two NESCAC/ECAC East games last weekend at Kenyon Arena. Castleton picked up its first win in five tries against Middlebury as the Spartans earned a 2-1 win over the Panthers. The Spartans held a 21-19 shots advantage on the night.

Middlebury jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 4:25 mark as senior Jamie McKenna (Lake Placid, N.Y.) scored from down low on a rebound. Castleton had a great chance to tie the game midway through the period as Steve Culbertson's shot hit the right post. The Spartans ended the period 0/2 on the power play, holding an 11-4 shots advantage.

Evan Romeo hit another post for Castleton 8:20 into the second, before the Spartans tied the game up with a power play goal at 12:52. Jeff Alexander sent a pass from the left side that made it all the way through the zone before Brandon Heck stuffed it in on the far side. Each team had two power play opportunities in the remainder of the period, but were unable to capitalize.

Castleton scored the game-winner at 7:46 of the third as Tyler Atkins found Omar Pacha for a quick one-timer for the power play goal. Middlebury went on the power play at 16:36 and then pulled senior Doug Raeder (Needham, Mass.) for the final 1:30 of the game, but could not net the equalizer. Raeder ended the night with 19 saves, while Seth McNary made 18 stops for Castleton.

Middlebury bounced back after a loss on Friday with a 4-1 win over Skidmore in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers held a 38-35 shots advantage in the game, as rookie John Yanchek (Hillsborough, N.J.) made 34 saves in goal to earn the win.

Skidmore took a 1-0 lead 6:04 in as Matt Czerkowicz found Brett Bandazian, who broke in one-on-one and beat Yanchek for the goal. Middlebury responded at 13:14 as junior John Sullivan (Delmar, N.Y.) stuffed home a puck from the goal line after a pair of saves from Colin Bessey. Senior Mason Graddock (Stowe, Vt.) snapped in a shot from the right circle with 30 seconds remaining in the period for a five-on-three goal.

The Panthers came out charging in the second period, as senior Artie Mittnacht (Princeton, N.J.) scored his first career goal on a rebound after a shot from sophomore Trevor Dodds (Hanover, N.H.) was saved. Rookie Martin Drolet (Lachine, Que.) struck for a power play goal 2:19 later as he redirected a feed from classmate Tucker Donahoe (Canton, Mass.). That would be the game's final goal as the Panthers cruised to the 4-1 win.
. Men's hockey record: 8-2
. Up next: 1/13 vs. Williams -7:00, 1/16 @ Bowdoin, 1/17 @ Colby