February 1, 2010

The Middlebury College men's hockey team gained four valuable NESCAC points over the weekend, topping Colby 7-4 on Friday before earning a 5-2 win over Bowdoin (11-5-1, 8-4-1) on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers (9-3-4, 6-2-4) return to action on Tuesday night when they host Plattsburgh at 7:00 p.m.

Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 6:12 into the game, as rookie Tom Clayton (New Canaan, Conn.) converted a breakaway for his first goal of the season. Bowdoin answered 1:42 later, when Leland Fidler scored with a shot to the top corner on the glove side. Middlebury regained the lead at 10:24, when sophomore Charles Strauss (Eagle River, Wis.) finished off a flurry after a shot from Nick Resor had been saved.

The Panthers added to the lead in the second period with a pair of goals. Senior Charlie Townsend (Pennington, N.J.) scored at 7:01, converting a nice crossing pass from Clayton. Strauss netted his second of the game at 15:11, redirecting a shot from Clayton.

Bowdoin made it a two-goal game 4:49 into the third period, as Fidler netted his second of the game and fourth of the year, scoring shorthanded on a breakaway. Sophomore Martin Drolet (Lachine, Que.) sealed the game for the Panthers with an empty-netter with 1:18 left in the game. Clayton, who entered the game with one point in 13 games, ended the contest with a goal and two assists.

Sophomore John Yanchek (Hillsborough, N.J.) made 22 saves in goal to pick up the win, while Richard Nerland made 28 stops for the Polar Bears.

Middlebury tied its season-high with a seven-goal output, as the Panthers picked up a 7-4 win over Colby on Friday night.

The two teams came out charging, with three goals in the game's first 1:27. Colby took the opening face-off right into the offensive zone, as Cory McGrath fed Michael Smigelski for his seventh of the season just 14 seconds in. Middlebury answered 25 seconds later, when rookie Mathieu Dubuc (Blainville, Que.) centered a pass to Strauss for his first of the season. The Panthers took a 2-1 lead at the 1:27 mark, when Drolet skated in from the right wing and netted his 10th of the year. Middlebury took a 3-1 advantage with a power play goal at the 13:07 mark, when senior John Sullivan (Delmar, N.Y.) one-timed a crossing pass from junior Ken Suchoski (Bear Creek Township, Pa.).

Sophomore Tucker Donahoe (Canton, Mass.) gave Middlebury a 4-1 lead at 3:32 of the second period, scoring a four-on-four goal with a slapper from the left side. Sophomore Nick Resor (Westwood, Mass.) scored his ninth of the year on the power play at 7:49, putting home a rebound after a shot from Sullivan was saved. Nick Kondiles scored a late goal off a defender to make it a 5-2 game after two.

Colby cut the lead to one with a pair of goals in 1:13 in the third period. Jared Crittenden scored the first with a wrister from the slot at 6:10, followed by Smigelski with a one-timer on a feed from Michael Doherty at 7:23. Middlebury answered just 27 seconds later, when Suchoski scored after a nice feed from Drolet.

Middlebury senior netminder Max Kennedy (Cazenovia, N.Y.) kept the lead in tact at the 10-minute mark, stopping Wil Hartigan on a breakaway. The lead grew to 7-4 at 15:03, as junior Bryan Curran (Wilmette, Ill.). scored his fourth of the season. Drolet and Sullivan ended the game with three assists apiece as Middlebury held a 34-24 shots advantage.

Kennedy made 20 saves to earn the win for Middlebury, while Cody McKinney (24:41, 4 GA, 11 saves) and James Lemonias (35:19), 3 GA, 16 saves) split time for Colby.
. Men's hockey record: 9-3-4
. Up next: 2/2 vs. Plattsburgh - 7:00, 2/5 vs. Norwich - 7:00, 2/6 vs. St. Michael's - 4:00