March 2, 2009

The Panther men's hockey team advanced to the NESCAC semifinals after a 6-2 win over Hamilton in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers will meet Williams in the semifinal round next weekend at Amherst, while Hamilton ends its season at 9-15-1.

Middlebury took a 1-0 lead at 4:48 as rookie Martin Drolet (Lachine, Que.) scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season on a breakaway through the five-hole. The lead grew to 2-0 at 6:05 with a power play goal from first-year player Charles Nerbak (Martinsville, N.J.). Sophomore Ken Suchoski (Bear Creek Township, Pa.) fed Nerbak for the one-timer for his fifth goal of the season. Hamilton answered with a power play goal of its own 40 seconds later, as Joe Buicko netted his 10th of the season. Middlebury came back at 8:31 when Suchoski tipped in a shot from the outside by senior Leonard Badeau (Marshfield, Vt.) to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead.

The lead grew to 4-1 8:25 into the third as senior Jamie McKenna (Lake Placid, N.Y.) converted a crossing pass from Suchoski. Steven Lucchetti made it a two-goal game as he took advantage of a turnover and scored driving to the goal from the left wing for the Continentals.

Drolet netted his second of the game just 1:32 into the third period, scoring from close-range with a nice feed from senior Mason Graddock (Stowe, Vt.). Nerbak also netted his second of the night, this one coming at the 10:58 mark.

Senior Doug Raeder (Needham, Mass.), made 17 saves in goal to earn the win, while Ian Stearns and Mark Donovan combined to make 31 stops for the Continentals.
. Men's hockey record: 18-6-1
. Up next: 3/6 vs. Williams @ Amherst - 4:00 (NESCAC semifinals), 3/7 - Champ. - 7:30