February 13, 2012

The Middlebury College men’s hockey team won its third straight NESCAC game as the Panthers picked up a 5-1 win at Williams on Thursday night. Middlebury controlled the game, holding a 48-23 shots advantage in the contest.

With 4:13 remaining in the first, Middlebury broke the tie with a rebound goal from senior Charles Nerbak (Martinsville, N.J.). Eph goaltender Ryan Purdy stopped an initial shot from rookie George Ordway (Long Lake, Minn.) on the left side, but Nerbak pounced on the rebound in front of the net to put Middlebury ahead 1-0 heading into the first break.

The Panthers came out firing in the second period, putting several shots on net and cashing in on rebound opportunities. Their first strike came at the 17:31 mark off a faceoff win in the Eph defensive zone. Following the faceoff win, sophomore Tom Freyre (New Canaan, Conn.) found Ordway in front of the net. Ordway drifted to the left slot and fired a wrist shot past Purdy's right pad to extend the Panther lead to 2-0.

The Ephs got a chance on the power play three minutes later, but a strong Middlebury penalty kill limited Williams to zero shots on the man-advantage.

With five minutes left in the frame, rookie Alex Walsh (Basking Ridge, N.J.) took a pass from sophomore Robbie Donahoe (Canton, Mass.) and deposited a wrist shot from the right circle to put Middlebury up 3-0.

Less than three minutes later, the Panthers took advantage of yet another rebound opportunity when senior Martin Drolet (Montreal, Quebec) stuffed in an open puck on the left side of the crease. 

Just one minute into the third period, David Jarrett cut into the lead with the Ephs' lone goal of the night. Assisting on the play was Steinig, who found Jarrett in the left slot for a wrist shot goal to make the score 4-1.

The Panthers would not be denied, however, stamping out any chance of a comeback with a goal at the 13-minute mark. Purdy made the initial save on a shot from senior Charlie Strauss (Eagle River, Wis.), but senior Michael Griffin (Hingham, Mass.) corralled the puck and flipped it over a diving Purdy to settle the score at 5-1.

Purdy finished the night with 43 saves on 48 shots in 60 minutes of play, while freshman netminder Dan Fullam (Randolph, N.J.) stopped 22 of 23 shots in 60 minutes of play.

Middlebury topped Williams for the second time in three days as the Panthers (11-8-3, 10-5-1) picked up a 3-2 victory over the Ephs (10-7-5, 7-7-2) in Kenyon Arena. Middlebury remains unbeaten in its last five (4-0-1) games, all of them in NESCAC play, while Williams is winless (0-5-1) in its last six.

Middlebury jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 1:54 into the game as senior Tucker Donahoe (Canton, Mass.) scored from the right side past a screened Ryan Purdy. The first period ended with Williams holding an 11-9 shots advantage, trailing 1-0.

The Panthers again struck early in the second period, this one coming at the 3:32 mark. Sophomore Mike Longo (Morristown, N.J.) fed Freyre, who scored with a knuckler from the left side that found its way into the back of the net. Fullam (26 saves) kept it a 2-0 game by denying Nick Anderson on a breakaway at the 11:40 mark. The Panthers held a 9-3 advantage in shots in the second period.

Middlebury extended its lead to three 7:07 into the third period, when junior Trevor Pollock (Sunderland, Vt.) scored his third of the year on a rebound for the power play tally. Williams broke up the shutout at 9:32 as Peter Mistretta scored from a tough angle along the goal line after his initial shot had been saved.

            The Ephs made it a one-goal game late, with Bryden McGhee finishing off a scramble in front with just 46 seconds remaining. Williams tried to pull goalkeeper Ryan Purdy (23 saves) in the final seconds, but could not get the puck of their own zone for the extra attacker.

            Williams outshot Middlebury 11-8 in the third period and 28-26 in the game.
• Men’s Hockey record: 11-8-3
• Up next: 2/18 vs. Hamilton – 7:00, 2/19 vs. Amherst – 4:00