December 10, 2012

Junior Ben Wiggins (Cambridge, Mass.) scored 31 seconds into overtime, lifting 11th-ranked Middlebury to a 5-4 victory over Hamilton (1-4-2, 1-3-1) in Kenyon Arena.

Hamilton took a 1-0 lead with a power play goal 10:40 into the contest. Pat Curtis’s original shot was saved, leaving a big rebound to Dom Jancaterino who finished from the left side. The Panthers earned a power play goal of their own exactly two minutes later when sophomore Derek Pimentel (Laval, Que.) finished on the doorstep after a shot from the left point by first-year player Terrance Goguen (Weston, Mass.) hit traffic in front. Middlebury took a 2-1 lead at the 14:57 mark when sophomore George Ordway (Long Lake, Minn.) scored in transition with a backhander after a nice move through the slot. The lead grew to 3-1 with 39 seconds remaining in the period with a shorthanded tally. Ordway made a nice centering pass to junior Louis Belisle (Repentigny, Que.) who scored his team-leading sixth of the season.

Hamilton cut into the lead with a five-on-three goal just 33 seconds into the second session. After a pair of blasts from the point were stopped, Pat Curtis scored on the rebound to make it a 3-2 game. Middlebury wasted little time regaining its two-goal advantage, scoring on the power play 2:19 into the period. Ordway made a nice backhand pass to rookie Matt Silcoff (Thornhill, Ont.) on the left side, who finished with a quick wrister.

The Continentals came within one at the 6:08 mark when Drew Jelinek scored with a quick snap shot from the right side. Hamilton forced the game into overtime with an extra attacker on the ice and just six seconds remaining on the clock. After the original shot was blocked, the puck fell to the ice with a scramble ensuing. Anthony Roberto skated to the crease and quickly slapped the puck into the back of the net from the slot to send the game into the extra session.

In overtime, Wiggins took a feed from Belisle before skating across the front of the goalmouth and scoring with a backhander to the top corner.

Junior netminder Nick BonDurant (Macedon, N.Y.) finished with 20 saves to earn the win, while Joe Quattrocchi made 18 stops for Hamilton.

Middlebury suffered its first NESCAC loss of the season, falling 4-2 to #12 Amherst (5-3-1, 4-2) in Kenyon Arena. The 11th-ranked Panthers (4-2-2, 3-1-2) are now idle until they host their annual Holiday Classic Tournament on December 30th and 31st.

Amherst had a great chance early on, but Erik Hansen was denied on a breakaway by sophomore Dan Fullam (Randolph, N.J.). The Jeffs broke through at the 5:37 mark when Mike Rowbotham broke in with some space and scored with a backhander to give his team a 1-0 lead. The Panthers evened the game when Pimentel made a feed to Belisle on the left side for a quick wrister to make it a 1-1 game at 7:40. The Jeffs had a power play at the 15:41 mark, but the Panther defense held despite the entire two minutes in their own zone.

Pimental nearly gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead early in the second period, but his shot hit the crossbar. The Jeffs took a 2-1 advantage at 6:59 when Rowbotham found Brian Safstrom from behind the net for the quick goal. Amherst made it a 3-1 game when a nifty move by Nick Brunette in front found the back of the net at the 12:10 mark.

Middlebury made it a one-goal game 5:50 into the period with a power play goal. Pimental centered a pass that went through Amherst netminder Nathan Corey (24 saves) to rookie Ronald Fishman (Roslyn, N.Y.) on the far post for his first career tally. Down 3-2, the Panthers nearly tied the game shortly thereafter, but Pimental was denied by Corey. A Middlebury power play followed, but the Panthers were unable to tie the game. Amherst sealed the contest late with an empty net goal as a centering pass from Conor Brown deflected in off Johnny Van Siclen for the goal.

Middlebury held a 26-23 shots advantage in the game, with Fullam making 19 saves in his first action of the season.

• Men’s hockey record: 3-1-2

• Up next: 12/30-31 – Host Holiday Classic